Course Overview by Semester

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Introduction to Arts Management

Arts Managers perform the work that is required to bring the arts and cultural programs to audiences, organizing programs such as festivals and exhibits, performing arts events and film screenings.  This course will introduce you to the "business of the arts," providing you with an overview of the careers in arts management, the types of work that arts managers do, and the current issues and trends now affecting arts management professionals.

This course is designed for individuals who are new to the field of arts management, are considering an arts management career, or are interested in arts management principles for the purposes of starting one's own nonprofit.  This course is a requirement for all students joining the Arts Management program who have no prior experience in the field. View sample syllabus here.

Catalog #
ARTS-EXT 500 Online Class Details
ARTS-EXT 500 On Campus Class Details
LLAMS 01 Online Non-Credit Course Class Details

Arts Programming

Quality arts programming is at the core of all arts and culture organizations, yet many arts managers struggle with how to present a program once they have developed an idea. In this course, you will learn how to develop an arts programming philosophy and plan programs that connect the arts with audiences. The course will examine culturally specific and controversial programming, explore exemplary programs, and review technical and logistical support requirements. The course will conclude with the development of a program plan for your own nonprofit or a case study organization of your choosing.  If interested in taking a course a la carte, contact AES about waiving the prerequisite. View sample syllabus here.

Catalog #
ARTS-EXT 503 Online Class Details
ARTS-EXT 503 On Campus Class Details
LLAMS 15 Online Non-Credit Course Class Details

Cultural Equity in the Arts

Today’s arts and culture organizations are confronting the multi-faceted issues of cultural equity and need to understand the role that inequity has played in decision making, hiring, programming, funding, arts policy, loss of audience, and audience participation. Arts leaders are now looking at their own institutions, and need the information and tools necessary to address biases, and create equitable and just institutions with deep connections to their surrounding communities. This new course will explore the history of inequity in the arts, how “the arts” came to be defined through a Western European lens, how cultural funding affects opportunity, and how systems in our culture and society have prevented building diverse staff and board leadership. Topics will include how to create authentically-inclusive programming, how to partner and cross-program with organizations that serve different demographic communities, how to expand audiences for the traditional arts in a time of demographic shift, how to advocate for change, and how to create an organizational infrastructure that promotes equity and diversity. This course will explore the role of personal biases and will help students find new solutions that fit the needs of their community. Due to high demand, instructor approval is required for registration; contact AES at or 413-545-2360 in order to register. If interested in taking a course a la carte, contact AES about waiving the prerequisite.   View Sample Syllabi here.

Catalog #
ARTS-EXT 390A Online Class Details
LLAMS 22 Online Non-Credit Course Class Details

Financial Management in the Arts

Designed especially for those who are intimidated by or unfamiliar with financial concepts, this course will introduce you to how to develop a budget, as well as how to read and interpret financial statements, such as income statements, cash flow statements and balance sheets. Through discussion and hands-on exercises, you will explore ways of developing and sustaining fiscal responsibility throughout an organization, including the understanding of roles and responsibilities of the board of directors, management and staff. The course will culminate in the preparation of a financial plan for your case study organization. If interested in taking a course a la carte, contact AES about waiving the prerequisite.  View sample syllabus here.

Catalog #
LLAMS 14 Online Non-Credit Course Class Details
ARTS-EXT 504 Online Class Details
ARTS-EXT 504 On Campus Class Details

Grantwriting for the Arts

Grantwriting is one of many tools in fundraising and is a necessary skill for arts managers and artists who seek to support their work with grants.  This course will teach the nuts and bolts of grantsmanship, including introducing the vocabulary and philosophy of grantwriting, the hallmarks of a well-written proposal, and the basics of grant searching. 

The class will use a Common Grant application as its organizing principle, selected because it is comprehensive and reflects a growing trend in grantmaking.  Students will learn the essential skills of grantwriting, how to describe a cultural program’s mission, goals and program to grantmakers within space limits, writing in teams, critiquing a grant, and planning a budget. Students will conclude the course by writing a comprehensive and ready-to-submit grant for their nonprofit or a case study organization. If interested in taking a course a la carte, contact AES about waiving the prerequisite. View sample syllabus here.

Catalog #
ARTS-EXT 511 Online Class Details
LLAMS 20 Online Non-Credit Course Class Details

Greening Your Nonprofit Arts Organization

The arts have always been on the forefront of change, and never has change been more required than today. Whether your organization needs to cut its facility costs, be first in line for donation dollars, or serve as a 'green' model for your community, this class is for you. Determine which changes are easy to institute, provide the greatest cost saving, reduce your carbon footprint, and build credibility with your audiences. This class concludes with a final Green plan be tailored to the unique needs of your institution.  All course work is applied to a case study organization, which may be your own organization or one where you volunteer. If interested in taking a course a la carte, or UMass campus student studying Sustainability, contact AES about waiving the prerequisite. View sample syllabus here.

Catalog #
ARTS-EXT 509 Online Class Details
ARTS-EXT 509 On Campus Class Details
LLAMS 19 Online Non-Credit Course Class Details