Thinking about arts administration? You need this course.

October 08 2021

By Brooke Horejsi 

I remember the moment, not long after I finished my undergraduate degree, when the averageness of my talent sunk in for me.  My creative switch had been flipped in college and I spent my undergrad exploring, learning, practicing, trying, and hoping for a life, a career, in the arts. 

After I graduated, I was successful getting some gigs, but was always thinking about where the next one would be, and wondering what I would do for health insurance? Unexpectedly, I was offered a full-time position, which although it was within the arts, was not related to my creative training. 

I was offered the position because I had worked in a variety of places to put myself through college (hotels, restaurants, offices of various types) and I was a particularly methodical and organized kind of human. My day planner was not only always with me, it was also always updated and my handwriting in it was meticulous. Anyone could read it!  As I looked ahead in my paper calendar (remember those?) and saw that I was pretty available, it occurred to me that perhaps this availability reflected my level of talent, and that perhaps, without being one of the top talents, my ability to build that career in the arts I had dreamed of was going to be pretty tough. 

It’s now been over 20 years since that moment, and I’ve worked in the arts all this time (and had health insurance for the majority of it) because I took that job offer and discovered a whole other part of the arts ecosystem: the part that is behind the behind-the-scenes part, made up of the administrators who are organizing, planning, fundraising, and leading in order to make sure that the creative brilliance of artists gets seen and heard.

Join me for Introduction to Arts Administration (FA 3100) to explore what it means to be an arts administrator.  We’ll explore things from marketing, to budgeting, to non-profit structure, to board service, to programming and curation.  Offered for the first time as a fully online course, with an option for variable credits of 1-3.  Experience the learnings and join the discussions for just 1 credit.  Develop a comparative research portfolio of existing organizations and working professionals for 2 credits, or conceive and build an organization of your own for 3 credits. (If you are interested in graduate level credit, contact me at .)

You likely have more talent in your little finger than I ever had in my entire hand, but you never know what skills and knowledge, outside of your particular craft, you might need to get your brilliance seen and heard.  Or maybe your calendar is super organized and even though we type most everything these days, your handwriting is still impeccable, plus you want to know more about the kind of things that happen in that behind the behind the scenes place. 

Either way, I’m making you an offer, you should take it.

FA 3100/6100 
Introduction to Arts Administration 
exploring marketing, budgeting, non-profit structure, curation and more! 
Available for 1-3 credits

At the end of this course, students will gain:

  • The ability to describe and discuss the basic areas of work in the arts ecosystem
  • The awareness of standard non-profit management tools like mission statements, budgets, grants and an introductory knowledge of how to use them.
  • The ability to examine, compare, explore, and test models in the cultural sector for further insights.
  • Basic experience writing, speaking, and thinking in terms relevant to management in the arts ecosystem.

Author Brooke Horejsi is the Assistant Dean for Art & Creative Engagement in the College of Fine Arts, and Executive Director of UtahPresents.

This post was originally published on Nov 17, 2020 and updated on October 8, 2021.