News & Events

An important part of the Arts Extension Service’s work is to provide trainings and workshops for arts managers, artists, and public or private clients across the nation. Arts Extension Service Director, Dee Boyle-Clapp, has been busy this past spring and fall leading workshops for the Connecticut Office of the Arts. These evening or morning-long workshops and full day trainings serve as an introduction to the significant role the arts play in communities.

In many Arts Extension Service courses, students work with a case study organization to apply their learning in real-time throughout the semester. Currently, our fall online courses in Financial Management in the Arts, Arts Programming, and Cultural Equity in the Arts are interfacing with nonprofit organizations on course projects.

The Arts Extension Service (AES) is passionate about helping artists to fund their creative endeavors. AES developed the free, evening length workshop, Upping the Ante: How to Secure Funding as an Artist, to support artists and creatives who want to make more money from their creative businesses. Dozens of artists attended the workshops facilitated by local artist and arts manager Burns Maxey on September 24th at the Amherst Jones Library and October 2nd at the Holyoke Public Library.

By Kate Beckley, Arts Extension Service Department Assistant

The audience plays a significant role in the art world. They determine success, in part based on whether they choose to participate in the arts at all. However, the power of audiences extends far beyond the direct interactions with arts events. Thus, studying and researching arts audiences can be as crucial to an arts event as the art itself. By understanding how audiences are impacted by arts events, and how they, in turn, choose to create (or not create) their impact through the arts, this research can be used to create developmental tools to enrich audience experiences at arts events.

By Kate Beckley, Arts Extension Service Department Assistant

AES student Nils Neubert was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany and moved to the United States at the end of high school. He attended college in New York City and ended up studying voice, music education, and music performance. He has taught in higher education for almost ten years now and has worked with several music festivals. Currently, he teaches at a few New York conservatories, specifically focusing teaching German diction for singers.

The world of arts and arts management is replete with stereotypes about artists and money; the starving artist image seems to imply that artists do not know how to manage money or do not care, because they live in their dreams and not in the ‘real’ world. The truth is that money matters, whether you are an artist solopreneur or the leader of a complex, cultural non-profit overseeing a large scale operational budget and multiple program budgets.

Vicki Meek, Professor of Cultural Equity in the Arts in the Arts Extension Service's Online program, will open her retrospective exhibition November 16-17, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Vicki Meek: 3 Decades of Social Commentary will feature a variety of mixed media works created by Professor Meek over the last 30+ years, all of which explore her lifelong investigation of social conditions affecting the African American community. Houston Museum of African American Culture

As news of the devastating effects of the climate crisis floods our screens and inboxes at an ever faster rate, many artists, arts professionals and organizations, cultural workers and leaders are organizing and collaborating on initiatives to keep apace. Arts professionals and leaders are quickly rising to the calls for urgent action coming from environmental activists and climate justice advocates around the globe, and AES has been among those future-oriented organizations leading the charge.

Kate Beckley is the new summer Department Assistant for the Arts Extension Service, and just graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and with Certificates in both Arts Management from the Arts Extension Service, and Media Literacy from the Communications Department. The combination of her certificates and education has supplied her with a deeper appreciation for art and what occurs behind the scenes in order for the final product to be visible to audiences.

A panel discussion about the state of economic development in Amherst was held at the Old Chapel on the UMass campus on May 29, 2019. The discussion, hosted by the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, Bobrowski and Vickery, LLC, and UMass included UMass AES Instructor of Creative Economy and Placemaking, John Delconte.