Arts Administration

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Wagner College

Get a foundation in the performing and/or visual arts along with skills in business administration to prepare you for leadership and management positions in arts-related organizations. This program is most appropriate for highly motivated, self-starting, achievement-oriented students.

Choose a concentration in art, media management, music, theater, or combined arts. The capstone is a full-time internship, where you can apply your coursework in a fast-paced workplace in the New York metro area or beyond.

Goals and Objectives

The aim is to give students foundation(s) in the performing and/or visual arts combined with a background in business administration to prepare them for entry-level leadership/management positions in arts related organizations. The Arts Administration program is most appropriate for highly motivated, self-starting, achievement oriented students. As the program focus is on leadership and management, students are expected to maintain a high GPA and must have a minimum of a C grade in all courses required of the major.

Arts Administration is a multi-disciplinary major offering a choice of four (4) separate concentrations leading to the Bachelor of Science degree: a concentration in Art; Music; Theatre; and cross cultural concentration; combined. As Arts Administration is multi-disciplinary it is, in some regards, more complex than many disciplines: Students complete a set of foundations courses in their concentration; complete a series of Business courses; complete Arts Administration professional courses; complete a full-time, semester long internship; in addition to finishing the full range of general education requirements.


AA 250 Introduction to Management and the Arts. One unit. An introduction/overview of management of arts organizations. Managers and organizations, the management process, profile of the arts manager, evolution of management thought, staffing process in the arts, modern management, fundamentals of leadership and group dynamics, technology and information systems management. This course is a prerequisite for all the advanced upper level Arts Administration courses. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing. Offered Fall and Spring semester.

AA 421 The Business of Music. One unit. This course will explore the roles of the key players in the music business including personal managers, agents, and attorneys. The negotiation and structure of the record deal will be discussed, along with issues relating to the songwriting and music publishing agreements. We will learn how a band benefits from touring and merchandising, as well as how music is used in films. The creation of music is only the first step in the industry, and no course would be complete without understanding the various methods of promotion, marketing and distribution of music. Prerequisite AA250 or permission of instructor. Offered fall semester.

AA 440 Arts Management. One unit. A study of techniques in managing arts organizations. Areas covered include: developing various types of arts organizations, leadership/management, staffing, event management, facilities design and management, budgeting, contracts, fiscal oversight, and ticketing. Cross-listed as TH 440. Prerequisite AA250. Offered fall semester.

AA 450 Marketing the Arts. One unit. The course embraces the recent rapid changes in the arts and the challenge of maintaining proven established arts traditions and organizations while successfully adapting to current trends and developments. The course examines the way we value, experience and engage in the arts, promotions, publicity, public relations, branding, audience development, audience management, the use of volunteer assistance and fundraising. Pre-requisite AA250. Offered spring semester.

AA 451 Not-for-Profit Management. One unit. Leadership/management of not-for-profit organizations, personnel, budget planning, mission statements, development, and legal issues facing arts managers. Students enrolling in this course may need to plan for travel time and additional expenses associated with visits to off campus arts related sites. Pre-requisite AA250. Offered Spring semester.

AA 453454 Internship in Arts Management. 2 or 3 units. Full-time, full semester internship experience at an off campus arts management site. Taken simultaneously with AA490. Prerequisites: Senior standing and permission of instructor. Offered fall, spring, and summer semesters.

AA 460 The Film Business. One Unit. This course will focus on the business and legal aspects of filmmaking. The class will explore the development process, deal making, finance of films, unions, acquisition of rights, production issues role of agents and producers, distribution and marketing. The course will address both the independent producer as well as the studio affiliated producer / director. Prerequisites: AA250 or permission of instructor. Offered as necessary.

AA 475 Entertainment Business Law. One unit. This course will consist of an overview of the legal system and how the legal system impacts the entertainment industry. The topics to be explored include the relationship of the Artist and Agent/Manager, contractual issues, copyrights and trademarks, constitutional issues, and antitrust regulation of the industry. The laws and business practices affecting the broadcast, music, television, film and theatre industries will be discussed. Prerequisite AA250 or permission of the instructor. Offered spring semester.

AA 490 Senior Seminar/Senior Reflective Tutorial. One unit. A faculty supervised evaluation and workshop reflecting on the full-time internship experience. Utilizing discussion round tables, students evaluate host sites training programs, policies, procedures and management styles. A comprehensive journal is required. Final project is an oral and written business presentation analyzing the experience. Taken simultaneously with AA 453 or AA 454. Prerequisites: Senior standing and permission of instructor. Offered fall, spring, and summer semesters.


Declaring Arts Administration as a Major (B.S.)

Current Wagner students who are interested in declaring a major in Arts Administration will be individually assessed in an interview with either Prof. Gary Sullivan or Prof. Todd Price. This interview can take place as early as the first semester, although no student should fill out the major declaration form until their second semester.

Prospective Arts Admin majors should apply to the college. Once you are a student at Wagner, you will interview and declare your major. You can set up a meeting with either professor by emailing them directly at [email protected]

*Transfer Students must plan to spend no fewer than five (5) semesters in the program for successful completion of the program.

Wagner College

Dr. Penny Brandt
Alika Hope

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 718-420-4338

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