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2012 Archives

Where Are the Arts Managers?


The following is from the January 11, 2012, edition of KERA Radio's Art&Seek. SMU Dean and Music Professor Jose Bowen provided expertise for this story.

January 11, 2012

By Jerome Weeks

The past two years, so many arts groups in North Texas have had to find new directors, managing directors and CEOs that people have wondered if there was something wrong — with the Arts District? With Dallas in general? KERA’s Jerome Weeks reports it’s not an Arts District problem, not a North Texas problem.

It’s an arts problem. . .

Top arts management jobs . . . pay well. So they should attract a bevvy of candidates. But arts organizations have reported getting dozens of applicants for artistic director, conductor or curator — while barely scraping together a handful for executive director.
And that’s at the top of the profession. Jose Bowen says one reason the pickings remain thin is that the starting jobs for arts management graduates generally don’t pay well. And the punishing costs of college don’t help, either. Bowen is dean of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. It’s one of the few that offers a double master’s degree in arts management – in the arts and business administration.
Bowen: “Our students graduate and are immediately faced with a choice. Come work for Goldman and make more money or go work for a nonprofit and make less money. And when you have loans, right out of school? That’s a hard choice to make.”

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