Introduction to Arts Management – Sample Syllabus



Office Hours: _________ or by appointment


  1. To develop an overview of the history, theory, principles and practices of management of arts and culture organizations.
  2. To apply this overview through a project which will develop your skills and abilities as a future manager.
  3. To improve your writing and presentation skills.
  4. Others as per instructors needs…


William J. Byrnes, Management and the Arts, 5th edition, Focal Press, Taylor & Francis Group, NY and London, 2015.  Companion website:

Other books that could also be used depending on how course content is focused:

General NonProfit and Arts Management Focus

  • Meg Brindle, Constance DeVereaux, editors, The Arts Management Handbook, M.E. Sharpe, NY, 2011.
  • Anthony Mancuso, How To Form a Nonprofit Corporation, 11th Edition, Nolo Press, Berkeley, CA, 2013.
  • Mim Carlson, Margaret Donohe, The Executive Director’s Guide to Thriving as a Nonprofit Leader, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA, 2010.
  • Thomas Wolf, Managing a Nonprofit Organization, Free Press, NY, NY, 2012.

Museum Management Focus

  • Gail Dexter Lord, Barry Lord, The Manual of Museum Management, 2nd. Ed., AltaMira Press, MD, 2009.
  • Neil Kotler, Philip Kotler, Wendy Kotler, Museum Marketing & Strategy, 2nd, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA, 2009.

Concert Management Focus

  • Ray D. Waddell, Rich Barnet, Jack Berry, This Business of Concert Promotion and Touring: A Practical Guide to Creating, Selling, Organizing, and Staging Concerts, Billboard Books, 2010.

Artists Management Focus

  • Paul Allen, Artist Management for the Music Business, 3rd Ed., Focal Press, Taylor & Francis Group, NY and London, 2014.

Theatre Management Focus

  • David Conte, Stephen Langley, Theatre Management and Production in America, Drama Books, NY, 2007.
  • Donald C. Farber, Producing Theatre, 3rd edition, Limelight Editions, NY, NY, 2006.
  • Jim Volz, How to Run a Theatre, 2nd, Methuen Drama, 2011.


Most classes have a reading assignment along with the expectation that you will prepare short written responses to the chapter questions. In some chapters, there is also a case study assigned to read and additional questions to answer. Most classes have a general topic for the day. The classes are a mixture of lecture and discussion and you are expected to participate on a regular basis in the discussions.

Other meetings are marked as presentation classes. You will be expected to make an oral report about the project theatre you are working on this semester (see Class Project).


 Exams: There will be two essay exams during the semester. Each exam will cover the readings in the sections designated in the syllabus. Each exam will be taken in the 75-minute class time scheduled.

 Class Project: The major project for this class involves your creating a hypothetical arts or service organization from the ground up. You will work in teams of two to create the mission and develop programming for the organization. You may select an existing venue or, if you are feeling ambitious, you may design your own space. I suggest you consider locating your organization in a city with enough of a population base to support your programming on a regular basis. You will be expected to staff the organization, create an overall operating budget and a production calendar for the season. The assignment deadlines are as follows:

4th Week             ___         #1 – Mission and Purpose Statement presentation

7th Week                ___         #2 – Organizational charts, job titles and job descriptions presentation

10th Week              ___         #3 – Budget and overall programming calendar presentation

12th Week              ___         #4 – Marketing and fundraising plan presentation – Part 1

13th Week              ___         #4 – Marketing and fundraising plan presentation – Part II



Your grade in this course will be based on the following break down of 100%:

Exam #1 = 30%

Exam #2 = 30%

Project Organization = 40%

Grade Ranges:

A=100% to 95%, A- = 94% to 90%, B+ = 89% to 86%, B = 85% to 84%, B- = 83% to 80%, C+ = 79% to 77%,

C= 76% to 74%, C- = 73% to 70%, D+ = 69% to 66%, D = 65% to 63%, D- = 62% to 60%, F= below 60%

NOTE: Graduate students enrolled in this class will be expected to answer two addition question on the exams and write a 15-page research paper on a subject to be agreed upon no later than the third week of the semester.


Students are expected to attend all class meetings and to be on time. A maximum of two unexcused absences are allowed during the semester. Excessive absences not documented by a written excuse will result in your grade being lowered by 5% for each absence. Each lateness reduces your grade by 1%.


The __________________________________ desires that all of our students fully participate in our classes. If you have a disability or condition that compromises your ability to complete the requirements for this course you should register with the Office of _____________________. We will make all reasonable efforts to accommodate you in this class. If you do not understand, or as the result of a disability, cannot accept the contents or terms of this syllabus, you must notify the instructor by the beginning of the second week of classes.

VIII. Religious Holidays

Students are not penalized for absences due to observance of religious holidays. Students who miss class due to such observation should notify the instructor in advance so assignments may be completed.

IX. Academic integrity

Scholastic dishonesty will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent.  You are expected to have read and understood the current issue of the student handbook (or whatever resource is used by the college or university) regarding student responsibilities and rights, and the intellectual property policy, for information about procedures and about what constitutes acceptable behavior.


This course syllabus and supplemental information is posted on the course web site. Questions about course material and discussion topics through email are welcomed.

[NOTE: It is assumed that a campus learning management system will be employed when teaching this class. Please feel free to supplement the course with links, files and videos to best support the content. There are resources posted to the companion website that may prove helpful.]



(Schedule assumes Tues/Thurs class meeting schedule for 75 minutes per class and 15 week semester)


Class 1: Course overview and review of syllabus and course requirements

Class 2: Read: M & A – Chapter 1 – Arts Management Overview
Prepare: Responses to chapter questions
Discussion Topic: Overview of field of arts management and discuss Analysis Focus.


Class 3: Read: M & A – Chapter 2 – Evolving Role of Arts Managers
Prepare: Responses to chapter questions
Discussion: Focus on NFP Organizations (Theatres, Dance, Music, Concerts, Museums, and so forth, depending on the course content selected by the instructor)

Class 4: Read: M & A – Chapter 3 – Management History and Practice
Prepare: Responses to chapter questions
Discussion: Management as an art and science


Class 5: Read: M & A – Chapter 4 – The Adaptive Arts Organization
Prepare: Responses to chapter questions
Discussion: Your project organization and the environments it functions in

Class 6: Lecture Topic: Starting your own arts or service organization – outline of steps required
Read: Instructor selected readings based on class focus (e.g. theatre, music, museum, etc.)
Discussion: Just why do you want to start an arts or service organization?

WEEK 4 (presentation #1)

Class 7: Read: M & A – Chapter 5 – Planning and the Arts
Prepare: Responses to chapter and case study questions

Class 8: Presentation #1: Mission and Purpose Statements about the arts or service organization you want to create (The instructor should feel free to tweak the schedule depending on the class size and how much time you want to allot to each presentation)


Class 9: Read: M & A – Chapter 6 –  Organizational and the Arts
Prepare: responses to chapter questions
Discussion: How organizations really work?

Class 10: Read: Read: Instructor selected readings based on class focus (.e.g. theatre, music, museum, etc.)
Discussion: TBA

WEEK 6 (presentation #2)

Class 11: Read: M & A – Chapter 7 – Human Resources and the Arts
Prepare: responses to the chapter

Class 12: Presentation #2 – Organization design and job descriptions for key staff in your proposed organization


Class 13: Read: Chapter 8 – Leadership and the Arts
Prepare: responses to chapter questions
Discussion: Leadership issues in operating different types of arts, culture and/or service organizations

Class 14: Read: Instructor selected readings based on class focus (.e.g. theatre, music, museum, etc.)
Discussion: TBA

WEEK 8 (exam #1)

Class 15: Review session for Exam #1 – Management & the Arts Chapters 1-8 and readings from other books or readings selected by the instructor.

Class 16: Exam #1 


Class 17: Read: M & A – Chapter 9 – Controls, Operations, and Budgeting
Prepare: Chapter questions
Discussion: Selected chapter questions

Class 18: Read: M & A – Chapter 10 Economics and Financial Management
Prepare: Questions and Case Study from instructor
Assignment: Create a financial Report


Class 19: Return Exams and review
Read: M & A – Chapter 11 – Marketing and the Arts
Prepare: Chapter questions and Case Study Questions
Discussion: Selected chapter and case study questions

Class 20: Read: Instructor selected readings based on class focus (.e.g. theatre, music, museum, etc.)
Discussion: TBA

WEEK 11 (presentation #3)

Class 21: Read: M & A – Chapter 12 – Fundraising and Development
Prepare: Chapter questions and Case Study Questions
Discuss: Selected questions from chapter and case study

Class 22: Presentation #3: Budgets and overall production schedule for your theatre


Class 23: Read: Chapter 13 – Integration of Managing and the Arts
Prepare: Chapter questions and Case Study Questions
Discuss: Selected questions from chapter and case study

Class 24: Review Session – Management and the Arts Chapters 9-12 and other readings as required

WEEK 13 (exam #2)

Class 25: Exam #2

Class 26: Read: M & A – Chapter 14 – A Career in Art Management
Prepare: Chapter and Case Study questions theatre

WEEK 14 (Presentations #4)

 Class 27: Presentations #4: Marketing and fund raising plans for your project

Class 28: Continue Presentations #4: Marketing and fund raising plans for your project


Class 29: Final Class Meeting
Discussion: Thoughts about the future
Course evaluation


Throughout the semester, there will be updates of books and resources that you may find relevant to this course. There is a wealth of website information about arts and culture organization around the world. Students are also urged to establish a free account to receive the daily listings from the online arts journal at: In addition to daily articles, there are several interesting blogs at the site.