Do You Know The Way To San Jose?

November 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) Conference in San Jose, CA. The conference ran from November 12 to 15, and it was an absolute heaven for arts marketing nerds such as myself. I was able to network with many professionals in the field, and most importantly, I learned a great deal from attending the sessions and workshops. One of the workshops I attended on Saturday was called “Building for The Future: Develop The Next Generation of Arts Marketing Masters.” This workshop was run by Professor Ellen Rosewall (University of Wisconsin) and Professor Dennis Rich (Columbia College). As the title suggests, the panel focused on discussing the skills arts marketers need in this world of evolving technology and consumer practices. Both professors asserted that arts management programs around the country are teaching crucial arts marketing concepts such as: marketing planning, branding, audience development and current arts trends. However, the interesting part was when the panelists turned to the audiences and asked: what skills should arts management programs teach to ensure that the students are ready to enter the field? The most recurring thought involved having good communication skills. In fact, many managers in the room asserted the importance of having excellent writing skills. Also, some audience members mentioned that their best employees had a passion for the mission, not necessarily a background in the particular art form. In addition, arts management graduates must possess excellent analytical/critical thinking skills. Most importantly, employers are looking for candidates that have the ability to be innovative, as well as the ability to be flexible. The session ended with this question: can these skills be taught?

~Ahlam Yusuf~


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