At the 441st meeting of the Trent University Senate in January, the Senate voted to approve approve a proposal for an Master  of Arts program in Arts Administration.

The proposal was based on research from a working group established in 2012 as well an external reviewer’s assessment and having a ‘desk audit’ performed by York University Professor, Dr. Jody Berland.

Dr. Berlan’s report called the program “innovative” and “incontrovertibly useful”.

The program would be the first of its kind in Ontario and, according to the Senate report, combine “scholarly knowledge and practical, job-related skills” and “will offer students a broad understanding of the arts and the administrative needs of the cultural sector in Canada.”

Among its recommendations are that, “A portion of the program curriculum will be delivered by a non‐academic teacher, a community consultant with connections to diverse arts management resources.”

There was also some debate over whether there should be a required half-credit in arts writing or theoretical writing, with some suggesting that there should be a required element and others suggesting that it might be an unnecessary demand for a 12-month, intensive program focused on management skills and project leadership.

Assuming an intake of 20 students per year, the report projects a net profit of approx. $64,000 a year, with a budget of about $113,000 a year.

The program would have one required two-credit course,’The Arts Management Colloquium: Foundations and Futures Arts Management 1 and Arts Management Lab’ which the report describes as “A two-credit modular core course, and various workshops and presentations by visiting professionals and specialists in the field”.

The program would also require one half-credit elective, one credit of field placement and two required half courses, “Cultural Policy: History, Theory, and Context” and “Arts Management 2: Arts Administration and Management Practice”.

Components of these courses would cover a wide variety of skills and knowledge including financial management, marketing and audience development, and human resources management.

Among the faculty affiliated with the program are Dhavina Bhandar (Canadian Studies), Alan O’Connor (Cultural Studies), Nadine Changfoot (Political Studies), Sally Chivers (English), Jonathan Bordo (Cultural Studies), Chris Dummitt (History), Finis Dunaway (History), Michael Epp (English) and Julia Harrison (Anthropology).

The program, if bought to fruition, would open in 2016.

Unfortunately for interested students however, “since Trent University is over its quota of funded graduate spots, no funding package will be offered to students at this time,” meaning that there won’t be any research or fellowship grants for students.

Like other Masters of Arts programs, the program would be based out of Traill College.