Drexel University's ARTSLine Newsletter 

September/October 2011 

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Featured Stories
Welcome from the Online Director
Reviewing 20 under 40
Survival Strategies for the Arts
Deframing Modern Art
Interview with Divya Janardhan
On Campus - Spotlights
Arts Administration Graduate Program Links

  

Arts Administration is Everywhere.

Check out these pictures from Dr. Brody's Time in Vietnam

Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay

 

Hanoi Opera House
Hanoi Opera House
Hanoi Youth Theatre
Hanoi Youth Theatre
Hang Gai-Thread Street
Hang Gai - Thread Street
Water Puppets
Water Puppets
 
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This E-Group provides easy sharing of information to members of the Drexel University Arts Administration Program. Current students, faculty, and alumni are invited to participate!


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AAGA Contacts


Catherine Ross 

President

 catherine.l.ross@drexel.edu  

 

Jordan Shue 

Vice President

 jordan.shue@drexel.edu  

 

Rachel McCausland 

Events Director


rachel.anna.mccausland@drexel.edu

 

Amy Gibbs 

Advocacy Director

amy.e.gibbs@drexel.edu  

 

Aileen Rimando 

Volunteer Director

 aileen.m.rimando@drexel.edu 

 

Whitney Roux

Communications Director


whitney.n.roux@drexel.edu


For general inquiries email aaga@drexel.edu  

  





 

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Letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

 

Welcome to Artsline!  I am extremely excited to make this transition as the new editor of Artsline for this academic year.  In honor of the changing seasons and new school year, this edition of Artsline will focus on transitions within organizations and among students and faculty. 

 

In this issue, Dr. Jean Brody, Director, Online Arts Administration Program, shares insight into the online program and her experience living in Hanoi, Vietnam; Jordan Shue, a second year student, Vice President of the Arts Administration Graduate Association, and Senior Program Associate at the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in Philadelphia shares her essay about cultural organizations in transition in Reviewing 20 under 40.  Similarly, Ali Gathers, a second year student, describes the changing faces of "art" in Deframing Modern Art. We spotlight two incoming students, Eric Colton and Tom Bonner, and take a look into their journey as they transition into the program this academic year.

 

Divya Janardhan, an Arts Strategy & Marketing Consultant from Philadelphia and alumna of the Arts Administration program, addresses transitions within Indian Museums and her work as a presenter at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi National Academy of Art and John Killacky, gives us tips and strategies to succeed in the arts world today.

 

Thank you to all of the contributors this issue and I look forward to more adventures in the Arts Administration program this year.

 

Best,

Caitlin Grogan

Artsline Graduate Assistant


Letter from the Director

 

Dear Readers,

 

Another year is upon us and we welcome it with a whirlwind of activity, interest and enthusiasm. Classes are underway with an impressive group of online and on campus students from across the country that are ready to take their place as leaders of an ever evolving arts and cultural sector. The Arts Administration Graduate Student Association is hard at work planning the annual auction which will take place on February 17 at the new integrated science building, featuring great art and tickets to area arts events as well as crafts, goodies from restaurants, and of course, wonderful company. Please mark your calendar, more details will follow.

 

Also, it is my pleasure to welcome Julie Goodman Hawkins as an Assistant Professor in the program where she will serve as coordinating advisor to students completing their theses. Professor Hawkins comes to us from the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance where she most recently served as Vice President of Public Policy. Julie has been an adjunct professor in the program for several years and is considered by the students to be an inspiring and dedicated teacher as well as being regarded by the field as an expert policy thinker and implementer. We are delighted to have Julie among us.

 

So, what is this field we are preparing our students for? Having just attended the Social Theory, Politics and the Arts conference in Lexington, Kentucky, I am excited and overwhelmed by the trends researchers are observing in our sector. Issues of cultural determinism, planned obsolescence, sectoral rejuvenation and other advocacy and policy concerns resonated in the discussion.  They lead me to the conclusion that students and emergent leaders will need to be more nimble, have greater facility with a broad range of knowledge that goes beyond traditional management expertise and develop radar to anticipate and lead in turbulence. It is also a time of spectacular opportunity. So my advice to the students of Arts Administration is read, read, read, analyze, analyze, analyze and network, network, network!

 

We look forward to a productive year and welcome you to this year's bimonthly Artsline.  Best wishes for a beautiful fall, my favorite time of year.

 

Regards,

 

Cecelia Fitzgibbon

Department Head, Arts & Entertainment Enterprise

Program Director, Arts Administration Program

 

 


Welcome from the Online Director

 

By: Dr. Jean Brody, Director, Online Arts Administration Program

 

Welcome to Fall Term 2011, and for those of you, who just started your journey with us, welcome to Drexel!  The beginning of the new school year is always a time of transitions. Some of you are managing a transition to a new life juggling the demands of your graduate work with your existing work and family commitments.  If this feels challenging, that's because it is!  You will each teach yourselves how to fit this important new work into your lives, and find the balance.

Dr. Brody in Hue in Central VietnamFor some of you, this fall brings a transition to your final year of coursework, and the beginning of your work on your thesis.  While your thesis work may seem daunting to you, to me it's a particularly exciting time, as I have the vantage point of seeing how you've developed intellectually and professionally.  I'm incredibly proud of the accomplishments of our online students.  Please keep sending me your news, and let everyone know what you're up to.  that's right for you.  You'll be learning from some of our country's top arts administrators, and learning from each other as well.  A year from now you'll be veterans, familiar with your own patterns of life as a working Drexel student, just in time to finish up your coursework and move on to writing your thesis.

 

This year the online program boasts its first full contingent of graduates.  I hope you'll all join me in congratulating Marguerite Culp, John Furno, Amy Gerald, Adelaida Gonzalez, and Susan Matyas, who all completed their thesis this summer.  I hope that everyone who completes your thesis during the coming year will plan to join us for Commencement in June of 2012 so we can celebrate properly.  Moving into the thesis process involves a transition into managing your own research and writing goals more independently, but completing the thesis process means you now have a chance to remember what you used to do before you were a graduate student, and how to apply all of your recently acquired knowledge in the practical world of the arts.

 

 Read More

 

 Featured Stories


Reviewing 20 Under 40

 

By: Jordan Shue

 

In the world of arts and culture today there is an obsession with "identity," but culture cannot be branded in such a decisive manner that the noun prescribes.  The same goes for an arts organization, which, if its audience and surrounding community are in natural and constant flux, should likewise (un)structure itself to do the same in response.  Change, when monitored and accommodated, can breathe life into a previously padlocked and dusty cultural institution. 

 

The same problem exists with the need for organizations to be "innovative."  There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking out the newest technologies and how they can better serve an organization's patrons, but the obsession with constant transformations and persistent metamorphoses is entropic and could ultimately drown an organization.  Those seeking change and the ability to connect with their audiences through the latest technologies must take small and strategic steps towards a larger journey.  This is not only for the sake of the organization's resources but also for the sake of the audience, which could be turned away if too much change is implemented too quickly.  Ultimately, this could erode the organization's base, which would make the furthering of its mission next to impossible.

 

Organizations must also be careful not to introduce a technology to an audience simply because the technology is "cool" and it exists.  Drexel faculty member, Dr. Young Moo Kim described a new smart phone iNotes App that he is designing that will give symphony goers the opportunity to follow along with each piece and learn while listening to the Philadelphia Orchestra.  However, according to Wolf Brown's study "Assessing the Intrinsic Impacts of a Live Performance," giving the audience context of a performance or work of art does not always ensure impact.  While there are many new technologies that could be used to reach new patrons and engage uncertain audience members, cultural organizations must also be careful not to rely too heavily on them or to lose themselves in the current trends.  Though it is impact the arts community is seeking, utilizing a system like the one above does not always convey that message properly to its patrons as it could.

 

Read More 

Survival Strategies for the Arts

 

By: John Killacky

 john killacky

 

 

 

John Killacky, artist and arts funder, not only knows that we need the arts now more than ever, but gives us ten survival strategies for arts organization and one for audience members - and reminds us that all of us are audience members.

 

The arts are where hope lives. And right now, as the very tenets of civil society are being rewritten, and as health and human service needs rise, there is legitimate concern about whether the arts will survive, how the arts can thrive.

 

The arts, like every other nonprofit sub-sector, are being challenged by significant contribution losses from government, corporations, foundations, and private donors. Box office and gallery admissions are also eroding as discretionary dollars evaporate. Almost everyone agrees funding problems will become more acute in the upcoming three to five years. Adaptability is replacing growth as a barometer of success.

 

There's no question to me but that the arts organizations that have dynamic, interactive, authentic relationships with their constituents, audiences, and neighbors are the ones that will come out of this maelstrom stronger. Here are ten ideas for organizations and a potpourri of options for audience members.

 

1.  Do more with less by doing something different. Groups are mounting four plays instead of six, sharing co-production costs, presenting biannual seasons instead of annual, shortening performance runs, mining permanent collections, and altering gallery hours to allow for higher production values, deeper engagement, and higher audience  satisfaction. Capitalize to mission delivery, not sustainability. Michael Kaiser from the Kennedy Center is adamant: "We mustn't be scared into thinking smaller. Small thinking begets smaller revenue that begets smaller institutions and reduces excitement and involvement."

 

2. Place matters. Make sure the neighborhood feels your building is their community center or assembly hall. I loved when Yerba Buena Center for the Arts hosted an election night party last November - a wonderful cultural celebration.

 

When I go to the theater I ask myself: why is this theatre presenting this piece at this time in this community? Through your marketing materials, your programs, your audience involvement, make sure your audience can answer that question. Audiences will respond when they know why you are presenting a particular play/exhibit/dance. Eric Chinski of Farrar, Straus, & Giroux offers a potent reminder of relevance: "The word necessary comes to mind for me. Beyond a good story, beyond good writing, does the novel feel necessary?"

 

Read More 

Deframing Modern Art

 

By: Althrisca Gathers

 Ali

Don't adjust your lens; the new trend in art is that things are meant to be blurry. The lines that once neatly surrounded the borders of what makes art and how it should be delivered are moving. Art is expanding and retracting rapidly. As the pace of the world picks up speed, anything that remains static may be passed by.

 

The first challenge in discussing art is defining what art is. There has long been controversy surrounding the ideas about so-called "high" and "low" art. When the Ford Foundation first offered funding for the arts, theatre was not included in their definition. It was enjoyed by the masses, though not considered to be legitimate until later. Slowly, other areas of applied art such as design and architecture have been incorporated into what is thought of as art.

 

Today, what was once "low" is now gaining popularity and being pushed into the artistic arena. The 2008 NEA Survey of Public Participation in the Arts indicates that the poor economy has made attendance of traditional benchmark arts decline while more flexible and inexpensive arts opportunities saw an increase of interest. Out of economic necessity or a shift in perceptions of art, people are looking to the everyday to find the extraordinary. Amateur practitioners and enthusiasts are bringing what was formerly underground into high-end concert halls and museums. Some may still categorize it as merely entertainment.

 

Read More 

 

Artsline Interview

Interview with Divya Janardhan

 

divya

Divya Janardhan's research study National-level Autonomous Museums of India: Management Challenges, Global Best Practice Remedial Frameworks and Strategies to Develop Museum Administration examines the five major

  management challenge areas faced by the national-level Autonomous museums of India, the current efforts being put in by the museums to control these challenges and global best practice models that could provide solutions. Interviews with the directors of the Indian museums identify the challenges and interviews of museum professionals in the United States and Switzerland examine potential resolution frameworks. Other areas examined by the study include the needs of current museum leaders and the future trends in the Indian museum sector. The study recommends resources that can aid the Indian museum leaders, presents strategies to develop museum administration in India and identifies Arts Administration and specialized courses as key to developing India's museum sector.

 

Artsline: Can you tell me a little bit about your background in arts strategy and marketing?

 

 

Divya Janardhan: My original background was in advertising and project management while I was working in the advertising sector in India.  Also, the theoretical side of marketing was always present thanks to my Post Graduate degree in Marketing again from India, and when I moved to Philadelphia I fortunately stumbled upon the Masters Program in Arts Administration at Drexel University. While I love marketing, I also love the arts and have formal training in the Indian classical vocal arts as well as in painting and the ceramic arts. I saw the Arts Administration degree as an opportunity to merge these two worlds I love so much. In parallel, I began working with arts organizations in the Philadelphia area, helping them with market research and marketing strategy.

 

Artsline: What made you take up this field and how do you see the field progressing?

 

Divya: Growing up in India I saw that the cultural systems, especially in the public sector, were lacking rigor and I thought how could I play a role and add some value?   I had in me a desire to see if I could do something that would be relevant in both the United States and India. My current profession keeps things flexible and I hope to be a cultural connector.  The latest in the field is that many of the arts organizations in India are rapidly evolving and are open to collaborations and learning from global best practices.

 

 Read More 

On-Campus - Spotlight on Incoming Students 

Spotlight on Eric Colton & Tom Bonner

Eric Colton & Tom Bonner share their stories about how and why they chose the Arts Administration Graduate Program at Drexel University

 

By: Eric Colton

 eric

Fall of 2010 presented an extremely tough situation for me. As a recent college graduate in a failing economy there weren't many roads to take. A friend of mine invited me to be her date to the opening night of Curtains at the Walnut Street Theatre. That evening as the houselights went down and the overture began, a rush of adrenaline surged through my body and I felt alive again.  As an undergrad at Drexel I studied Film & Video, focusing primarily on Producing.  I had many great experiences and worked with top-notch industry professionals, but I never felt the same reaction as I did that night at the Walnut. There is something extremely enchanting about sitting in a theatre and starting a new journey. I knew there and then that my journey would start with going back to school to pursue my masters.  The question now was... in what? 

 

With my background in producing I re-evaluated my career goals and aspirations, with the new objective of working as a managing director for one America's great regional theatres. After doing some research and reading countless job descriptions, I decided to look into the world of Arts Administration. I was already pretty familiar with Drexel's program, so I decided to look into it further, and compare its coursework with other programs around the United States.  I was drawn back to Drexel for  the experience I would once again receive in the classroom, as well as outside in Philadelphia's thriving theatre community. I have recently started an internship with the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia and am excited by the prospects that lie ahead. It's great to be back in the City of Brotherly Love and I am thrilled about the journey in the Arts Administration program at Drexel University. 

 

By: Tom Bonner

 

As a director, producer, and stage manager, the graduate program at Drexel University seemed like a great fit. I am now a student in the Arts Administration program at Drexel University and the Graduate Assistant for publicity in the Performing Arts department. I'm originally from Virginia, but spent most of the last decade in New York where I did my undergrad in directing at Marymount Manhattan College, and I recently finished a year working at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC as the Assistant to the Artistic Director.
 

In my time directing in New York and DC I collaborated with many well-meaning, inspiring artists that unfortunately lacked the knowledge and resources to maintain and grow their organizations. These experiences, as well as my own forays into producing, attracted me to the Arts Administration at program here at Drexel. I am thrilled to be in Philadelphia, a city with a vibrant performing arts scene, and here at Drexel, and institution so deeply invested in the development of artists and administrators. 

  

 Student, Faculty, & Alumni News

M.S. Candidate Madeline Bell, a first year student in Drexel's Arts Administration graduate program received an internship with the Kennett Symphony of Chester County.  She is primarily working with sales, marketing, and event planning. 

 

M.S. Candidate Jamie DeAngelis, a first year student in Drexel's Arts Administration program , recently accepted an internship at Warrior Writers. As the Administration Intern at Warrior Writers she supports the daily operations of the organization. Responsibilities include fundraising support, research, assistance with business correspondence and mailings, data management and office organization. Jamie is also working with the Philadelphia Sculptors on their exhibition "Catagenesis" for September of 2012.

 

M.S. Candidate Roger Lee, a second year student of Drexel's Arts Administration program was recently published in the Dance Magazine College Guide 2011-2012, instructing incoming freshman dance majors on what to expect. He also will be published this fall in an upcoming issue of Dance Magazine.

 

M.S. Candidate Lisa McClellan, a first year student in Drexel's Arts Administration program has recently received an internship at Arts-Reach, as the Arts Community Relations Intern.  She will be assisting the Associate Director by researching potential relationships with arts organizations in the Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey areas - then scheduling and conducting recruitment meetings.

 

M.S. Candidate Samantha Salazar, a first year student in Drexel's Arts Administration program, recently accepted the position of Program Coordinator at Musicopia. Musicopia is known as a non-profit that brings music programs to schools throughout the Philadelphia area. She also in the new Administrator at Latin Fiesta Inc., a charitable musical and performing non-profit that is known for its crossover popular and classical Latin based musical and dance performances.  To learn more about Samantha's endeavors please check out her website, www.samanthasalazar.wordpress.com

 

M.S. Candidate Kristin Schol, a second year student of Drexel's Arts Administration program received an internship at The Franklin Institute. She will be providing support for the the Marketing Department as well as planning and executing all marketing and advertising events and programs.

 
M.S. Candidate Jordan Shue, a second year student of Drexel's Arts Administration graduate program, was recently hired as a Senior Program Associate at the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in Philadelphia. As part of the Center she will work under two departments, Communications and the Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative (PCMI). As part of the Communications team she will work to promote the Center as a hub for cultural discourse and creation. Under PCMI she will assist in furthering the program's mission of awarding grants for organizations in Philadelphia to strengthen their management capacities.

 Contributors ( in order of appearance)

Dr. Jean Brody is the Director of the Online Graduate Program in Arts Administration at Drexel University. Prior to her current position, she was the Director of the Graduate Program in Arts Administration at Goucher College for six years.Dr. Brody has more than 25 years' experience in education and the arts, and has worked in a variety of roles with Philadelphia arts organizations including the Philadelphia Theatre Caravan, Hedgerow Theatre, Point Breeze Performing Arts Center, the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, Relāche, Inc., and more. She continues to consult with area nonprofit arts organizations. She holds D.F.A. (1991) and M.F.A. (1983) degrees in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism from the Yale School of Drama, and a B.A. (1979) in Literature from Yale College. More recently, she presented a discussion on American Arts at the American Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam.

 

Jordan Shue is a second year graduate student in the Arts Administration program at Drexel, as well as the Vice President of the Arts Administration Graduate Association. She is currently working for the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage as a Senior Program Associate. Jordan received her undergraduate degree in Design & Merchandising and Fine Arts from Drexel University. While in college she spent a year working as the assistant to a multi-media glass artist based in Philadelphia, learning about the art form and the cultural makeup of Philadelphia's gallery scene. Jordan also worked as the Graduate Assistant at the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery from 2010-11, and she recently curated a show of work by a local multimedia artist.

 

John Killacky, program officer for arts and culture at the San Francisco Foundation, previously served as executive director of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for six years and curator of performing arts for the Walker Art Center for eight year. Other past positions include program officer at the Pew Charitable Trusts, general manager of PepsiCo SUMMERFARE, and managing director of the Trisha Brown and Laura Dean dance companies. He received the First Bank Award Sally Ordway Irvine Award in Artistic Vision; the William Dawson Award for Programming Excellence from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters; Dance USA's Earnie Award as an "unsung hero"; a Gerbode Foundation Professional Development Fellowship; and a scholarship to Harvard Business School's summer intensive.  Mr. Killacky has served as a panelist, lecturer, and consultant for a broad range of arts and funding organizations, including the National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, Jerome Foundation, Ontario Arts Council, MacArthur Foundation, Arts International, Irvine Foundation, Michigan Arts and Cultural Affairs Council, and the Japan Foundation. He has written numerous publications on the arts and written and directed several award winning short films and video.

 

Ali Gathers, is a second year graduate student in the Arts Administration program at Drexel University. As a long-time resident of the city of Philadelphia, she has contributed to the arts and culture sector in her hometown for most of her life. She most recently worked to support the grant-funded programs at The Franklin Institute.

 

Eric Mathew Colton is a first year student in Drexel's Arts Administration graduate program. He graduated Drexel in 2010 after completing his undergraduate coursework in Film & Video, Theatre. During his time at Drexel Eric worked on parts of Seasons 7 & 8 of American Idol and assisted one of the Senior Supervising producers at Entertainment Tonight/ The Insider. Most recently, he developed and taught the "Globe Theatre Program" at Frost Valley YMCA in Upstate NY, and is currently one of the Administrative & Special Events Interns at the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. Eric's biggest thrill was being on the Drexel billboard across from 30th Street Station for a year...ask him about it! 

 

Tom Bonner is a first year student in Drexel's Arts Administration graduate program. As a native of Virginia, he has been involved in theatre since he was 8. He received his bachelor's degree in directing from Marymount Manhattan College in New York, where he lived and worked for six years. In the spring of 2010 he moved to Washington, DC where he worked as the Assistant to the Artistic Director at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, and directed and produced for the Baltimore-based arts collective, EMP Collective. He moved to Philadelphia in July and is currently the Publicity Graduate Assistant for the Performing Arts department at Drexel University.

 

Divya Janardhan is an Arts Strategy & Marketing Consultant from Philadelphia, U.S.A. and an alumna of the Arts Administration Program at Drexel University. Through research on rapidly evolving arts systems across the globe Divya hopes to help develop sustainable frameworks for best-in-class management of arts organizations. Divya presented her research on management problems in Indian museums at the prestigious 2011 Social Theory Politics & the Arts Conference at University of Kentucky.