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Courses: Fall 2017

1-Credit Mini-Courses

EXCEL mini-courses, for undergraduate and graduate students, meet one evening a week in only the first two months of a term – check each description for precise meeting dates. They allow you to learn new skills and strategies that will amplify your artistry, taught by a variety of experts from the U-M community!

Arts Entrepreneurship Forum

ARTSADMN 410/510, Section 001
Choose 10 EXCEL workshops per term + 6:40-7:30PM meetings on 9/11 and 12/11 in Moore 2038
Instructor: Jonathan Kuuskoski


Learning entrepreneurship is in part learning from the examples of those who are blazing the trail in the arts industry. EXCEL provides an extraordinary wealth of visitors throughout each semester to offer workshops and talks. Topics vary, but range from copyright, personal management, finding your artistic identity, and principles of leadership to career skills such as networking, interview basics, how to apply for grants, and representing yourself in a CV and cover letter. Students receive 1 credit for attending a minimum of 10 qualifying EXCEL workshops and completing post-workshop reflective exercises, attending an introductory and a final discussion session, and submitting a final essay.


Grant Writing and Fundraising Basics

ARTSADMN 423/523
Wednesdays, 6:40–8:30, Moore 2044
Instructor: Carrie Throm, Deputy Director of Development and External Relations at UMMA


Fundraising is critical in the arts today and, fortunately, individual artists have an unprecedented set of tools at hand to raise money to make their artistic visions come true. A broad range of government agencies and private foundations offer grant programs, and enterprising artists who have the skills can secure these grants to fund their ideas. In this course, you will learn to argue for the importance of your work, to create budgets, and to customize your proposals to fit the criteria of the granting agency. Additionally, you will learn about when and how to effectively use crowd funding tools to solicit financial support and to create a fan base. Through a look at current events, students will also learn what skills are required to succeed as an arts development professional. Students will complete the course with a fundraising plan to put a project into motion.

Arts Leadership

ARTSADMN 428/528
Tuesdays, 6:40-8:30PM, Moore 2044
Instructor: Ken Fischer, Former President at University Musical Society


This course explores the theory and practice of leadership in both the non-profit and for-profit arts sector. Students will learn about the history and structure of non-profit organizations, especially the principles of board leadership and fiduciary oversight. They will explore fundamental principles of executive leadership, including strategic planning, communication, decision making and budgeting, fundraising, mentoring and coaching, crisis management, hiring and firing, assessment and evaluation, and organizational renewal. Course participants will learn about leadership in today's professional settings through ongoing engagement with leaders in the field.

The Recording Industry: Selling Your Music to the World

ARTSADMN 432/532
Mondays, 6:40-8:30PM, Moore 2044
Instructors: Matthew Dear, Ghostly International


"How do I sell my music on iTunes? Do I need a commercial recording label? Can I release an album on my own? What rules and laws do I need to think about? How hard is it to get an album on Spotify?" Musicians of all stripes face these questions when considering how to release and promote the music they've created in audio or video format. This class will answer these questions (and more), focusing on the real-world application of entrepreneurial, legal, business, and artistic considerations required to promote and sell music digitally today. You'll learn basic music industry standards and the necessary legal considerations that come into play when releasing music online. We'll delve into the process of preparing recordings for the release in digital formats, how to decide which service providers are most effective for your goals, and ultimately release your recordings online! You'll also learn about promoting your work and how to track your business efforts. Finally, we'll explore current trends and future directions in the music business. Note that this class uses GradeCraft -- a course system that lets students chose their own path to success via a series of badges and projects in order to gain enough points for the grade they'd like to get. Examples include attending and evaluating live performances, performing in front of class, and more.

2-Credit Courses

Fundraising and the Arts

ARTSADMN 426/526, Theatre & Drama 426 (undergrad only)
Mon/Wed 4:40–5:30 PM, 2443 WDC
Instructor: Professor Greg Poggi


A review and analysis of philanthropy and development in America's cultural life, and the role of both the public and private sectors in supporting the arts.

3-Credit Courses

Creative Entrepreneurship: Developing the mindset and skill sets to build sustainable creative enterprise

ARTSADMN 406/506, Section 001
Mondays, 2:40–5:30 PM, Moore 2235 -- by permission of instructor only. Email for permission to register
Instructor: Aaron Dworkin


Creative Entrepreneurship is a comprehensive journey that begins with developing one's mindset of conceiving, vetting and formulating an idea and then implementing them into successful, sustainable creative ventures. Students will have the opportunity to explore entrepreneurship through the prism of their own arts of life focus and specialization. Required texts, coupled with class lectures, collaborative projects and engaged discussions are designed to help develop the core skill sets necessary to awaken and develop young creative entrepreneurs. As a practicing arts and social entrepreneur having founded several successful, ongoing creative initiatives and organizations, Dean Dworkin introduces a unique and practical course informed by his own life experiences, including building a thriving non-profit with a 5 million dollar annual budget and a 20-year track record. As an overall philosophy, this course demystifies entrepreneurship and illustrates how an authentic passion and commitment to creativity and learning serve as key pillars for a successful, fulfilling life. The final Capstone Project will tie together the material covered in all modules, showcasing each student's ability to formulate and make the case for a creative venture.

Arts Leadership Forum

ARTSADMN 406/506, Sec. 002
Mondays, 10:40–1:30 PM, Moore 2235 -- by permission of instructor only. Email for permission to register
Instructor: Aaron Dworkin


This course is designed to provide access to the greatest leaders from the field of performing arts, arts administration, arts leadership and philanthropy. Students will have the opportunity for multi-faceted in-depth engagement and reflection. The premise of the class is to ignite learning through inspiration from and role modeling by successful leaders and direct mentorship. Students will meet with the visitor for a facilitated interactive experience and conversation, engage each speaker in a facilitated Q and A and process the materials in an interactive group discussion. Students will also write response pieces to each speaker, providing their own perspectives and takeaways form the absorbed material. Finally, as the final project, students will present a mini-lecture, engage in a peer Q and A and provide critical feedback. The response papers will be submitted after each visit and will serve to jump start the first hour of discussion the following week. Each visitor may also assign a reading for the preparatory discussion, and possibly, for the visit itself.

Creating Social Value through the Arts

ARTSADMN 477/577
Tue/Thu 2:40–4:00 PM, Burton Memorial Tower 506
Instructor: Tiffany Ng


Social entrepreneurship draws upon business principles and skills to develop and implement effective solutions to social needs and problems. Beyond measuring performance in terms of profit and return, social entrepreneurs take into account a positive return to society. This pursuit calls for multi-disciplinary, innovative thinking, and teamwork -- values that form the core of our course. This course begins with a survey of the arts as a social good in global society as well as site visits to local arts organizations. You will work in teams to identify and research a target audience, develop and execute an arts experience, and measure the impact of your event. We will explore the social role of the arts in contemporary society and how local and nationals arts organizations create social value by serving their community through partnership. Topics of focus will include the impact of technology on the arts, and how the arts can respond to and benefit from social diversity. Participants will refine skills in idea generation, public speaking, organization and project management, feasibility testing, grant seeking, and collecting and interpreting data on audiences and communities to determine local needs and impact.


ARTSADMN 491/591
1-4 credits, by permission of instructor


Supervised internship in cooperation with a professional arts organization; by permission of the instructor only. Typically offered for 1-2 credits proportional to 35-70 hours of work, plus a final report. Specifics of evaluation to be worked out by supervising instructor in cooperation with the host institution


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