Last week, UC-Berkeley professor Richard Andrews came to the Marchutz School to lead the students in an arts management workshop. The workshop functioned as a simulation. Students formed themselves into groups and created their own arts organization. Through various exercises the students learned about all of the different elements that go into creating and supporting an arts organization. The first exercise was about creating a mission statement. We learned that missions statements describe the overall goal of the organization, the values of the organization, and how the organization will go about achieving its goal. Frequently, mission statements become too cluttered, so the succinctness of the statements was emphasized.
For the strategic planning exercise, students conducted an SWOT analysis of their organization. This means they described their organization’s internal and external strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Now that the students had visions for their arts organizations, it was time that they assess their ability to begin growing them. By assessing these elements, students were able to get a better grasp of how they will reach the goals of their organization.
The last exercise we did involved fundraising. All of the students worked on this exercise together. Students took turns pretending to be the board of trustees for each organization and thinking creatively to come up with resources that they can contribute to the organization. This exercise was aimed at highlighting the role a board of trustees plays in establishing connections, fundraising or otherwise, on behalf of an organization.
One of the evenings during the workshop we watched a particularly capitvating documentary called “The Art of the Steal” (watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMe3r9PLtpI) The film told the story of the decades long controversy of the Barnes Foundation and how Albert C. Barnes’ will was broken. Watching it allowed the students to place the lessons they were learning and see how all of these elements and obstacles play themselves out in a real life arts organization.
Having Richard Andrews visit the Marchutz School gave the students a specific look into the art world that sometimes gets overlooked. We are looking forward to having him again this summer for a more in-depth look into arts management!
-Nick Velleman, Alumni Fellow