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Courses: Winter 2018

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!

Money Smarts for Artists

ARTSADMN 402/502, Section 001
Thursdays, 6:30-8:30, 1/12-2/22, Moore 2044
Instructor: Prof. Jonathan Kuuskoski, Director, EXCEL Lab


Artists often treat money as a dirty word, yet an inability to develop sustainable income and, in turn, to manage their financial resources is one of the primary reasons highly trained arts professionals leave the field. What are the different ways in which artists earn money? How do you manage personal and professional funds? How do you deduct professional expenses from your income taxes? How does one save money for big projects or to meet financial goals. What about health insurance and retirement planning? How can a budget help you meet your artistic, personal, and long term financial needs? This course will explore these types of important questions surrounding personal and professional finances, coupling both the nuts and bolts of budgeting with an exploration of how to identify and balance multiple income streams based on one’s artistic passions, abilities, and demand areas. Each student will develop a personal financial strategy and related decision-making skills, such as how to price one’s products competitively in a way that still respects the value of his or her work. We will look at passive and active income models, and each student will leave the course with a personalized budget for the first year post-graduation along with a set of smart strategies for planning and balancing multiple income streams.


Running Your Own Ensemble, Theatre Troupe, or Dance Company

ARTSADMN 431/531, Section 001
Mondays, 6:30–8:30, Moore 2044. Class meets 1/8, 1/15, 1/29, 2/12, 2/19, 3/5, 3/12 and Saturday 3/17 9:00AM-12:00PM
Instructor: Kari Landry, Akropolis Reed Quintet


This course explores the process of building out a performing arts venture outside of the rehearsal room, providing students with the insights and tools needed to jump-start a sustainable career in professional chamber music. Students will learn an entrepreneurial approach to small ensemble performance, integrating such topics as: for-profit and non-profit business models, the importance of branding, DIY marketing, financial planning, legal pitfalls in the field, fundraising, and how to engage with audiences, managers, and granting organizations. The course will be led by clarinetist, U-M alumna, and award winning chamber musician Kari Landry, who is one of the founding members of the nationally acclaimed Akropolis Reed Quintet. She also holds a masters degree in Arts Management and serves as Marking and Programs Manager for the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, presenting 150+ concerts and events annually in the heart of Ann Arbor. Class meetings will include periodic visits from additional members of the Akropolis Reed Quintet and a weekend intensive on Saturday, March 17. Coursework will include in-class activities, short presentations, and several written assignments designed to help students create personalized building blocks to construct their own professional goals. At course’s end, participants will walk away with a detailed business plan, outlining their path to success as an entrepreneurial performance artist.

Writing About Your Art: Bios, Blogs, Websites & Grants

ARTSADMN 422/522, Section 001
Tuesdays, 6:30–8:30 PM, 1/9-2/20, Moore 2044
Instructor: Dr. Andrew Kuster, Executive Editor MUSA


Artists today not only have to perform compelling work at the highest level, but must be advocates for their creative vision. Writing well about your art can both help you identify your creative voice and inspire others to support your work by attending performances, donating to your cause, or approving grant funding to advance your artistic mission. In this course, you will explore how artists today are giving voice to their creative activities through traditional vehicles such as professional bios and grant proposals as well as new technology-enabled conduits such as tweets, blogs, websites, and crowdfunding appeals. Writing is an old technology but remains a vital skill for the twenty-first century artist who must serve as his or her own agent, publicist, development director, and program note annotator. In this mini course, you will develop a suite of small projects and exercises geared toward identifying your own artistic vision and sharing that vision with strategic audiences. Students will complete the course with a personalized advocacy plan targeting their own professional goals.

Media Technology Careers

ARTSADMN 433/533, Section 001
Thursdays, 6:30-8:00,1/4-2/15, in the Music Technology Lab (SM378)
Instructors: Jay LeBoeuf, Stanford University and CEO, Real Industry


Music Technology Careers explores how leading audio, music, and video technology companies, such as Sonos, Adobe, Smule, Dolby, iZotope, Universal Audio, and Avid, bring products from idea to market. We examine best practices, roles, day-to-day responsibilities, desired skill sets, and department/team function. This is an online class taught by Jay LeBoeuf (Stanford University). Jay will visit U-M to meet with class members and participants will be assigned a U-M alumni mentor. There is a required $50 registration fee, fully refundable on withdrawal from the course.

After completing Inside the Music and Video Technology Industry, learners should...

  • Know the leading companies involved in the media technology industry.
  • Understand the goals, responsibilities, and daily life of a software engineer, UI/UX designer, product manager, and program manager in industry.
  • Understand how teams collaborate to conceive, design, and commercialize new software and hardware products.
  • Understand what hiring managers look for in new interns and full-time hires.

2-Credit Courses

Performing Arts Management

Theatre 385
Tues/Thurs 9:30-10:20 AM Rosen Room, Walgreen Drama Center
Instructor: Kerianne Marie Tupac, Marketing and Communications Director University Productions and Lecturer of Theatre


Theatre 385 is intended to give interested students a working knowledge of how performing arts organizations operate. Throughout the course we will examine the general form of operating structure which arts organizations might adopt, how the organization makes decisions and consider the kinds of problems these institutions are likely to face in the upcoming decade. Students will also have the opportunity to learn and practice some of the skills required to effectively manage an arts organization. This course is one of the gateway courses for the Performing Arts Management and Entrepreneurship minor.

Fundraising and the Arts

ARTSADMN 426/526 (also listed as THTREMUS 426)
Mon/Wed 4:30–5:30 PM, 2443 WDC
Instructor: Prof. Greg Poggi


This course provides 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

Music Industry Workshop: Starting Music Businesses

ARTSADMN 475/575, Section 001
Mon/Wed, 12:30–2:00 PM, Burton Tower #506
Instructors: Prof. Jonathan Kuuskoski, Director, EXCEL Lab


The music industry today has undergone enormous changes fueled by both social and technological shifts. In this course, participants will work in teams to learn about the business of music today, identify industry needs within the U-M campus community, and ideate a new product or service to meet that need. Teams will then conduct customer discovery, explore legal barriers, formulate and validate a test with a sample customer group, and pitch their results to the class and other campus stakeholders. This course may be taken as a stand-alone, or as a practicum for the Entrepreneurship Minor.

The Business of Music

ARTSADMN 472/572, Sec 001
Tue/Thu, 3:00–4:30 PM, Stamps Auditorium
Instructor: Prof. Robert Swedberg


The Business of Music will help you balance creativity and business awareness, which may lead to engagement in a wide range of career possibilities in the performing arts. Whether working as an individual artist or for a performing arts organization creating and articulating a vision, planning, budgeting, understanding legal issues, marketing, fundraising, entrepreneurial spirit and leadership skills are necessary. This class is one of the gateway courses in the Performing Arts Management and Entrepreneurship minor and also qualifies for the Sweetland Upper Level Writing Requirement.

Arts Entrepreneurship Essentials

ARTSADMN 450/550, Section 001
Mondays, 2:40–5:30 PM, Moore 2038
Instructor: Prof. Aaron Dworkin


Arts Entrepreneurship Essentials is a comprehensive journey that begins with developing one's entrepreneurial mindset (conceiving, vetting and formulating an idea) and then implementing those ideas into successful, sustainable creative ventures. Students explore entrepreneurship through the prism of their own disciplinary 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 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 ties 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. 001
Mondays, 9:30–12:30 PM, 2439 Walgreen
Instructor: Prof. Aaron Dworkin


This course is designed to provide access to the greatest leaders from the fields of performing arts, arts administration, arts leadership and philanthropy. Every week students engage in deep, seminar-style discussions with a visiting guest arts leader, after processing weekly required materials (readings, videos, etc.). Students also write response pieces based on each speaker’s visit, providing their own perspectives and takeaways from the discussion and material. Finally, as the final project, students present a mini-lecture, engage in a peer Q & A and provide critical feedback. The response papers are 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. Through this course students develop insights to executive-level strategy, philosophy, and tactics directly from professionals in active leadership roles. They also learn how to engage such leaders effectively, and to probe the underlying values guiding each leader’s work.

Producing in the American Theatre

Mon/Wed, 1:30–3:00 PM, 2443 Walgreen Drama Center
Instructor: Prof. Greg Poggi


This course is a survey of the evolution of the producer's role in the development of the American theatre as an art form, a profession, and a business. Significant producers and productions of plays and musicals are explored, along with their impact on the field and the larger culture. An understanding of the historical perspectives of theatre management practices, both commercial and institutional, are emphasized.

Legal Issues in the Arts

Fridays, 1:00–3:00 PM, 2443 Walgreen Drama Center
Instructor: Prof. Greg Poggi


A study of the history and significance of American labor law and how it affects collective bargaining agreements in the performing arts; also examining recent negotiations, strikes, lockouts, and bankruptcies while considering the implications of "the culture war" - can or should the government control the nature and/or content of art?

Personal, Present and Immediate*: Making Performance on Socio-Political Questions

ARTSADMN 506, Sec 002 (meets with RCHUMS 334.007)
Tuesdays, 2:00-5:00pm, location TBD
Visiting Professor Eryn Rosenthal
Residential College Arts & Ideas in the Humanities Program
Global Theatre and Ethnic Studies Minor


This composition workshop-style course is a generative laboratory to make rigorous, experimental works that open reflection on socio-political issues. Our seminar involves: a study of other artists' work and ways they engage with wide-ranging political matter through performance, animation, sculpture and other media; an embodied exploration of compositional elements at different sites in the Residential College and U-M's campus; and creative assignments that employ various methods to interrogate sociopolitical material of your own choosing. We'll be examining the immediate, present, and personal relationship of the body to performance in a very expansive way, studying William Kentridge's stop-gap animation, Diego Rivera's Detroit Industry murals, and Maya Lin's Vietnam Memorial, for example, alongside more traditional understandings of performance in theater, dance and film. Questioning assumptions of performance, genre, audience and politics will form an important part of our work in this interdisciplinary class, as will a detailed examination of compositional elements common to multiple art forms. We will gain practice and experience with different approaches to making performance and different ways to deploy compositional tools, depending on your objectives. No previous experience in performance or socio-political action necessary, and all bodies, abilities, and backgrounds are actively welcome on this journey; experimentation, adaptation and play with formats and tools that may be new to you will be encouraged. The course will culminate in a public showing of original student work.

* “Personal, present and immediate”: From Murray v. Maryland (1935), one of the precedents to the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education (1954).


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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U-M Photo Services

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Peter Smith

David Smith

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