Arts management students excel at Eastern Michigan University, find numerous opportunities in the marketplace

by David Konarske, Published April 27, 2015

YPSILANTI – Students in Eastern Michigan University’s Arts and Entertainment Management Program are experiencing considerable success in securing internships along with jobs upon graduation.

Students and graduates work in many local arts organizations and with out of state organizations as far away as Massachusetts, says Susan Badger Booth, director of EMU’s Arts and Entertainment Management Program.

The program currently has nine interns working in off-campus positions, four interns in on-campus positions and recently had seven alumni hired at regional cultural organizations. Local organizations hosting student-interns or hiring graduates include the Arts Alliance of Washtenaw County, the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, Kresge Detroit Arts, the Ann Arbor Summer Festival and the Ann Arbor Film Festival.

“We give our students a leg up with our practical curriculum,” said Badger Booth. “We use a mix of theoretical learning and applied projects, including academic service-learning.”

Jonathan Skidmore, an arts management student graduating at the end of the semester, says he has experienced a great deal through his internship with the Ann Arbor Film Festival. He hopes to continue in the arts management field after he graduates this April, working in development and fundraising.

Emily Fromm, EMU graduate

“It has been one of the best opportunities in my life and has reaffirmed my commitment to the arts,” Skidmore said of his internship. “My overall mission is to expand people’s understanding of themselves through artistic expression. I have come to realize that one of the best ways I can make it happen is by working with community leaders to get projects, festivals, museums and many more things funded.”

Arts and entertainment management majors at EMU learn to manage arts-based organizations, and they take additional classes in the arts, writing, marketing and communications. Majors must also have a business-related minor and do two internships—one with a campus organization and one with an outside organization.

Students in the program begin by working on their resume, along with developing interview skills and writing cover letters. Then they are guided individually to an appropriate internship, with an eye on developing skills for that job post-graduation.

Emily Fromm, who graduated from the program, has extensive experience with arts management internships. She did six internships, including two at the MASS MoCA, a contemporary arts museum in North Adams, Mass. She has also supervised EMU interns in her current role as the marketing and public relations coordinator for The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra.

“I have hired a few Eastern Michigan University interns for the symphony,” Fromm said. “I like to support and mentor students from the Arts Management Program because I know how the program is set up and what the guidelines are. The work ethic, passion and drive of EMU students are impeccable.”

Badger Booth said there are many job opportunities for students graduating with an arts management degree.

“The arts sector is really growing,” she said. “It is mainly in the nonprofit sector, but there has been increasing interest and demand in areas such as artist management, gallery management, arts in healthcare and other arts-related businesses.”

The EMU Arts and Entertainment Management Program includes a major, a minor in arts management and a masters program in arts administration. For more information about the program, you can contact Susan Badger Booth at, or visit the Arts and Entertainment Management homepage.

Geoff Larcom


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