Making Vision a Reality: An Interview with Terre Vandale

Terre Vandale is the new instructor for our online Arts Programming course, offered this fall. Terre develops and manages community-based programs and professional performances for educational and performing arts non-profit organizations and for her own dance company. She has fifteen years of experience in program development, project management, performance production, funding prospect research, and board development for non-profits and independent performing artists. In addition to Arts Programming, Terre also teaches AES's Arts Fundraising on-campus. You can read Terre's bio here.

AES spoke recently with Terre about her experience in arts programming, as well as what students learn in the course. Arts Programming will be offered in the Fall 2016 semester

What kind of work have you done in Arts Programming?

As a non-profit administrator, production manager and artist, I have designed and produced arts programs from the Northeast to California and beyond for thirteen years.

My focus is on the performing arts, arts education, collaboration across sectors and artistic disciplines, and socially engaged art. I have forged partnerships between non-profit organizations, international artists, government agencies, private corporations, and educational institutions to produce innovative creative programming that serves the needs of the public.

Whether the art event is a headliner at a high capacity venue, or a classroom showing of student work, there is nothing more exciting that creating a successful well-attended art event that makes a difference in people's lives and leaves everyone talking about it for years to come.

What happens in the Arts Programming course? What will students learn?

Students learn about the entire life cycle of an arts program: from conception, to development and partnership building, to implementation, to evaluation. We study innovative approaches and best practices, and then apply our knowledge through a case study project.

Each student has the opportunity to make a real impact through the case study project. We begin by identifying a specific need within the constituency we hope to serve, and with guidance from the case study organization's mission, create a new arts program that addresses this need. We fully develop the new program: Which partnerships and collaborations will deepen the program content and expand its reach? How does the program connect with the mission and interests of potential funders? How exactly will the program logistically happen? How can the program be tangibly (and economically) evaluated?

Students leave the course with a fully developed arts program, ready for implementation.

Why is the course important for people studying arts management? Who should take this course?

If you want to learn how to make creative vision become a reality, this is the course for you. Arts Programming is the heart and soul of arts organizations and the primary way non-profits serve their communities: where mission becomes action.

An arts programmer's thoughtful approach, organizational prowess, facilitation and managerial skills, and ability to perceive the needs of a constituency and connect those needs to funders' interests are what make a program (and an organization) successful, or not.

These skills are applicable in any sector, and make you highly marketable as an employee. But they are essential in the arts world where creative vision and efficiency must come together in order to make programs fundable and feasible, at the same time that they inspire and serve.

In this course, veteran arts administrators will learn about trends in the field and get the time and support needed to tackle new program development. Students new to the field will make connections with arts organizations, and gain invaluable real world experience.

The Arts Extension Service is offering the Arts Programming course this fall. Registration for our Fall 2016 courses opens July 20- sign up for our mailing list to receive registration reminders.