It’s not a bad way to spend a workday, operating a music label, managing ballerinas or directing an art gallery. All it takes to nab these kinds of jobs is a passion for the arts and an ability to keep a budget in the black.
The College of Charleston’s arts management program is the perfect place for students interested in the arts to hone business skills critical to almost any arts-oriented organization, including marketing, fundraising, financial planning and advocacy. And when it comes to internship opportunities in the arts, it’s hard to beat Charleston, what with the Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Stage, Redux Contemporary Art Center, Creative Spark Center for the Arts and the city’s many galleries.
That’s not to mention the Spoleto Festival, a two-week arts extravaganza in Charleston featuring some of the world’s greatest theater, dance, opera and music performers. Each year, two students from the arts management program are awarded fellowships by the City of Charleston to manage an event for Piccolo Spoleto, an offshoot of the main festival that features local artists.
Program director Scott Shanklin-Peterson says many arts management students are goal-oriented individuals with a passion for the bold and inventive.
“They’re very creative, and they have that aptitude for business, too,” says Shanklin-Peterson “It’s a unique combination.”
It’s a practical degree, too, judging by the success of the program’s students who have found work in organizations who make critical contributions to our culture. Recent graduates have landed jobs across the country that include:
- manager of the dance-troupe-in-residence at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
- special events coordinator for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
- arts education director for the Virginia Arts Commission
- senior special events manager for the Special Olympics.