New Online "Cultural Policy and Advocacy" Course in Spring 2018!

The Arts Extension Service (AES) is excited to announce a new online Cultural Advocacy and Policy course, which will be offered starting in Spring 2018.  Available for credit or non-credit, this course will provide emerging, mid-career, and advanced arts leaders with an understanding of the fundamentals of creating cultural policy, as well as tools for advocacy, so they can create legislative change in their communities. Cultural Policy and Advocacy can be taken “a la carte,or as part of our degree and certificate programs, including AES’s new advanced Leadership Certificate in Arts Management.

Cultural policy is the aggregate of what governments do, or fail to do, to encourage the arts and humanities to apply creative/cultural solutions in the arts and other civic sectors. Cultural policies of governments in the United States have evolved from being centered on artists, arts organizations, and arts audiences, to more widely apply the arts and humanities into civic affairs. With a backdrop of progressively diminishing funding for the arts and a move toward embedding the arts in social change, community engagement, and projects from the Creative Economy to Creative Placemaking, it is policy that determines focus - and advocacy can push policy. 

Changes in political climate and value-driven ideologies have spurred this shifting of the lens through which governments view the arts. In this course, students will learn the basic principles behind public policy, historical and current development of cultural policies, the gatekeepers who enforce cultural policies, and how they can deftly position themselves through advocacy to address intended and unintended political forces.

"This course supports both learning and action. Arts leaders learn how, why, and by whom current US cultural policies are made and then forge ahead to create implementable advocacy plans that continue to help spur the change in arts policy that is much needed. This course has been created and will be taught by Dr. Min Cho, with curricular support from Dr. Craig Dreeszen. Dr. Dreeszen co-wrote the Cultural Policy chapter in our Fundamentals of Arts Management, 6th edition textbook, along with Bob Lynch, CEO of Americans for the Arts. This course is an exciting opportunity for students to learn why, as arts leaders, the bigger picture of cultural policy is so essential and that through advocacy, they can become catalysts to make change come to life,” said Dee Boyle-Clapp, AES Director.

Registration will open on November 6.

Contact us at or 413-545-2360 if you have any questions.

For more information our Leadership Certificate and how to apply, click here.