Online Performing Arts Leadership and Management

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Shenandoah University

The online Master of Science in Performing Arts Leadership and Management is designed to provide future performing arts executive and artistic leaders with the industry skills required in the 21st century.  The PALM program provides online training in arts leadership, marketing, fundraising, financial management, entrepreneurship and governance, and program/project planning that prepares students to find a meaningful professional career in the field of performing arts management, artistic leadership, and arts entrepreneurship.

The program is intended for students who hold a baccalaureate degree in music, theatre, dance or related fields, emerging leaders who hold an entry-level arts position and are seeking to advance their career, and those seeking to change career to arts leadership and management.  The 36-credit program can be completed in as little as two years (five semesters) or may be completed at a slower pace.

Experiential learning through an arts management internship and optional enrollment in the annual 10-day Summer Arts Leadership Institute in Athens, Greece is embedded in the curriculum.

The Performing Arts Leadership and Management Program is directed by David Edelman, Professor of Arts Management, Shenandoah Conservatory.

Goals and Objectives

With a faculty drawn from the professional world, the Performing Arts Leadership and Management program includes foundational and advanced coursework, internships with leading professional arts organizations, and a faculty that regularly engages with students live via Zoom on a one-to-one basis. Graduate students study with highly experienced arts management faculty from Shenandoah Conservatory and from the professional field. Students also interact closely with professional arts and nonprofit leaders who serve as guest lecturers. Coursework is fully asynchronous which allows students to manage their time according to their schedule. There is no requirement for on-campus orientation or intensives.

The annual, 10-day, 2-credit Summer Arts Leadership Institute in Athens, Greece is an optional addition to PALM study. The institute brings together students, cultural leaders, and artists to investigate international cultural policy issues, visit Athens' cultural institutions, and attend evening performances. Workshops, discussions, and presentations by leading EU cultural policy experts are also included. Students reside at the beautiful campus of the American College of Greece during their stay.



PALM 509 Foundations of Arts Management 3 credits
PALM 512 Arts Marketing and Audience Engagement 3 credits
PALM 517 Financial Management for Arts Organizations 3 credits
PALM 519 Fundraising in the Arts 3 credits
PALM 520 Institutional Planning in the Arts 3 credits
PALM 525 Governance of Arts Organizations 3 credits
PALM 526 Leadership in the Arts I 3 credits
PALM 528 Leadership in the Arts II 3 credits
PALM 529 Grant Writing for the Arts 1.5 credits
ACCT 501 Foundations of Accounting 3 credits
QM 502 Business Statistics 1.5 credits
CONR 602 Arts Management Research and Writing 2 credits
CONR 689 Arts Management Culminating Project 1 credit
PALM 698 Internship in Arts Management 1 credit (3 credits w/o participation in the Summer Arts Leadership Institute)
Summer Arts Leadership Institute 2 credits


Entrance Requirements

Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree or equivalent in music, theatre, dance, or other area of study within arts and culture with a minimum grade point average of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) prior to admission into the program. Transcripts from all post-secondary school study must be submitted. As part of the Shenandoah University graduate application process, applicants submit writing samples that address their professional goals and demonstrate proficiency in academic writing. An interview via Zoom with the Program Director is required. Persons with baccalaureate degrees in other disciplines may be considered on an individual basis if they have had extensive non-curricular experiences in the arts.

Transfer of Credits

Up to nine credits may be transferred into this curriculum when earned at an accredited institution and when the credits fulfill required courses.

To apply visit our website

Shenandoah Conservatory

Shenandoah University

Prof. David Edelman

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 800-432-2666

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