Having Arts Management Skills in Your Back Pocket Pays Off!

Katherine Garland (right) poses with her co-worker Lyndsey Mackie outside the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania office. Julie Queen

When we talk to students and professionals about the Certificate in Arts Management available to them through the Arts Extension Service here at UMass Amherst, we tell them it is a “value add” to their degree or their career. Joining our program from arts backgrounds such as Theatre, Dance, and Music; humanities disciplines like English, Art History, and Film Studies; or adjacent programs such as Public Policy and BDIC (Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration) – we encourage our students to consider how a Certificate in Arts Management can support their future endeavors and enhance the toolkit they are carrying out from their college experience.

For professionals, with backgrounds ranging from independent artists to nonprofit executive directors, we see people coming to our courses to learn a new skill, make a career move, reconnect to sector trends, and prepare for future opportunities.

Often we hear from alumni about how their work with the Arts Extension Service has impacted their career path. Whether it is their first job out of school or an unexpected turn in the path, we are never surprised to learn that these skills continue to be highly valuable as alumni pursue their passions in the arts and beyond.

Alumna Katherine Garland recently wrote about the unexpected turn her career took into Fundraising, working with the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania. While at UMass, Katherine completed her Master’s in Public History and coupled it with a Certificate in Arts Management. As part of her Certificate program, Katherine took a course in Arts Fundraising which, coupled with her background in Public History led her to a position that she had not anticipated.

In our changing world, being prepared to pursue any opportunity that comes your way is invaluable. Whether you are pursuing a degree or looking to expand and deepen your professional knowledge, taking the time to learn new skills ensures that you are ready for your next move. We are thrilled to hear about the success of our students, from undergraduates to executive directors, and hope that Katherine’s experience serves as inspiration for anyone wondering…what’s next?!

Read an excerpt from Katherine’s personal story below and visit the link to read the full article:


How a Public Historian Became a Fundraiser

Katherine Garland | Nov 28, 2018 | Perspectives on History

“Of course, I did not enter public history expecting to become a fundraiser. After graduating in 2015 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a master’s degree in public history and a certificate in arts management, I went on the public history job market. To pay the bills, I took a part-time fundraising job at a personal care home. While there, I fell in love with fundraising, and my life changed forever.

Today I work for Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA), raising money to support girls across the central and northeastern parts of the state. In my role as coordinator for strategic partnerships and donor relations, I write grant applications and annual appeals, facilitate programmatic partnerships with local businesses and organizations, and oversee our donor database. It’s a big job, and one that I succeed at because of, not in spite of, my background in public history.”

Link: https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/december-2018/a-career-in-development-how-a-public-historian-became-a-fundraiser?fbclid=IwAR2Z7Pu52781R-W3nrXDr6RhrR206Og5bKrffGkDLluwF-TSWYv9CIHRnbo

Katherine Garland is coordinator for strategic partnerships and donor relations for Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She earned her bachelor’s in history from Messiah College in 2012 and her master’s in history from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2015.