by Geoff Larcom, Published December 19, 2013
YPSILANTI – One of the leading arts advocacy organizations in the United States has featured a distinguished and distinctive Eastern Michigan University arts program on its new website.
Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit organization with offices in Washington DC and New York City, seeks to advance the arts throughout the country by creating broad awareness of special local arts programs.
The Arts Management Program at EMU is the first "Member Spotlight" on the AFA website, at http://www.americansforthearts.org/
Featured in the AFA Spotlight is AMP!, the student organization connected to the Arts Management Program. AMP!, shorthand for “amplifying the arts,” offers hands-on experience for students who want to produce events such as music festivals, art competitions, art crawls and reality TV shows.
In the fall semester, a 400-level class in the Department of Communication, Media and Theatre Arts entitled CTAR Arts Management uses these activities as an academic service-learning project designed to provide experience in managing arts ventures.
Membership to AMP! is open to all EMU students, and the group is governed by an eight-member student board and a faculty adviser. Membership meetings are held in 310 King Hall the first Thursday of the month or the first Thursday of the semester. Please visit http://www.emuamp.com/ for details on the program.
“Being the first program spotlighted on the AFA website is a distinct honor for all of EMU’s arts programs,” said Susan Badger Booth, a professor in the department of Communication, Media and Theatre Arts who oversees the Arts & Entertainment Management Undergraduate Program and the Arts Administration Graduate Program. “AFA is a membership organization serving 150,000 individuals and organizations that are passionate about the arts. Being displayed in this manner illustrates Eastern’s commitment to developing creativity, the arts and cultural opportunities for our students and campus community.”
The AFA website display featuring EMU shows a photo of 10 EMU students attending the annual AFA sponsored Arts Advocacy Day in Washington D.C. The students are pictured with Rocco Landesman, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, whom they met at this conference.
The Arts and Entertainment Management curriculum at Eastern provides career training and practical experience for those with a passion for the arts, and whose talents are in the field of administration, marketing and/or entrepreneurship. The arts manager must develop a variety of management skills yet maintain a high sensitivity to aesthetics.
Students are provided a broad background in all of the arts, with an opportunity to study a specific area in more depth. Each student gains vital practical experience working in the arts during internships on the University campus and with an approved off-campus professional arts organization, creative business or artist.
Successful alumni from the EMU arts program include Neeta Delaney, former president of ArtServe Michigan; Deb Polich, longtime president of Artrain and executive director of the Arts Alliance of Washtenaw County; and Marissa Kurtzhals, marketing director of the Performance Network in Ann Arbor.
Americans for the Arts says its mission is “to serve, advance and lead the network of organizations and individuals who cultivate, promote, sustain and support the arts in America.”
The organization’s goals include building environments in which the arts can thrive, generating public and private sector policies and resources that benefit the arts, and building appreciation of the arts and the value of an arts education.