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(This post was originally posted on Think It, Do It, Blog It as part of  The MetLife/TCG A-ha! Program. We’re cross-posting on the Circle to better highlight the work of our grantees.)

By Patricia Garza, Center Theatre Group

Discussion with Project Advisor Terry Wolverton, Faculty Supervisor for Claremont Arts Management Graduate Program.

One of our project advisors on this journey is Claremont Graduate School here in California. Claremont has a Masters of Arts in Arts Management, which “blends the best of the renowned Drucker School of Management and the School of Arts and Humanities to balance business courses with advanced cultural studies. Cultural institutions in the profit and nonprofit sector are seeking capable managers with an understanding of the arts and business to head museums, theatre and dance companies, cultural centers, music and arts education organizations, and to advocate for the future of the arts.”

During the last year in the program, students must complete a capstone project—An Arts Management Consulting Practicum and Final Report. It is approximately a 100 hours semester-long project culminating in a formal consulting report. The required deliverables are status reports during the semester, a final written report plus a final presentation to the organization attended by the faculty supervisor of the student’s consulting project.

The Arts Management department will assist in partnering students with a local art or cultural nonprofit organization. Students are partnered according to their professional backgrounds and interests if possible.

Sample consulting projects can be found here.

When I was listening to Terry speak about the culminating experience for Claremont arts management graduate students I could not help but hearken back to my theatre management graduate days which were not so long ago. I had to ask the question: would I have been ready for this experience at the end of my program? It was a real eye opening question because I would have, honestly, had to say no. I still needed a critical internship experience bridging school to real world theatre work in order to apply all of my school lessons to everyday occurrences. What do you all think? Are you ready? In what ways are graduate level students ready for a consultant project in various arts organizations? What do they still have to learn? Or considering the caliber and experience of the Claremont Arts Management students does it really depend on the student?

Next Steps: More insights from our other project advisors!