New Minor Arts and Culture

Sarah Shelton photo editor

With the university constantly evolving, there is now a new minor for students interested in art administration.

“Studying arts and humanities at Southern gives you the unique advantage of the cultural richness of New Haven, a city home to some of the nation’s leading organizations in the visual and performing arts, cultural heritage and preservation, and public humanities. The new Arts Administration and Cultural Advocacy minor provides an introduction to this professional world by helping you develop skills for a more diverse range of careers,” according to the Inside Southern website.

Some of the courses in this minor include topics in Arts Administration and Cultural Advocacy, an Arts Internship in Cultural Administration and Advocacy, and more.

The website also states, “The 19-credit minor is particularly ideal for art, English, history, music or drama majors, interdisciplinary students and those hoping to add an arts-related focus to another discipline. professional.”

This minor has been gathering since 2019, and it’s finally done.

“Over the past few years, I’ve had many calls from local performing arts organizations looking for entry-level administrative help. Through independent study and internships, we had referred students on an individual basis to the Arts Administration Field,” said Mike Skinner, Arts Administration Co-Coordinator and Culture Advocate Minor.

Skinner said he realized there was still “one more need”.

“When we stepped back to take a look, we noticed that we could better serve the industry and our students by creating a BIPOC-focused curriculum. [Black, Indigenous and people of color] students in hopes of changing the face of the existing, predominantly white leaders who currently hold arts administration positions in the region. This minor was created by working with some of the local arts organizations to specifically address their needs by providing new paid internship opportunities for our students while championing cultural diversity locally and nationally,” Skinner said.

This minor is open to all majors at the university and lasts at least three semesters. There is even a new course created for the needs of the minor.

“We have developed a new course. This is a course delivered by practitioners in the field. So this fall they were taught by a woman named Lucy McClure, who is the founder and director of Nasty Women’s CT, which is a feminist arts organization. She has extensive gallery experience and also completed her MA in Southern Women’s and Gender Studies,” said Joel M. Dodson, Associate Professor of English and Co-Coordinator of Arts Administration and Promotion. cultural.

AAC 200 is a three credit course taught by different people.

“Students go out to New Haven and see who works behind the scenes at the yellow libraries, the New Haven Museum, the symphony orchestra, the arts and the festivals. Likewise, in the spring, it will also be taught by a practitioner in the field named Caitlin Daly-Gonzales, including the pedagogical director of the symphony orchestra. So Arts Administration 200 is a new class that puts students in direct contact with practitioners in the field,” Dodson said.

Although the major is for all students, as chair of the drama department, Skinner wants drama majors to know that it could be helpful.

“There is a lot of overlap with training content and internships. The theater industry is one facet of the performing arts that needs a culture change to start at the administrative level. The theater department has many course options available for arts administration. minors and shares the goals of cultural advocacy,” Skinner said.

Both Dodson and Skinner said 15 people have already signed up for the minor.

Interdisciplinary studies major Aleeki Shortridge, a senior, said she hadn’t heard of the new minor, but would consider it if she had more time in college.

“I think it’s pretty good that they have it as an option now,” Shortridge said. “I love theater and the arts in general, so I love it, it’s something that gives students the opportunity to focus more on those passions.”