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About the Program

Arts Management is on the rise! Now one of the fastest growing majors at the College of Charleston, arts management prepares students to become leaders, managers, integral members of arts organizations. The courses in the program emphasize the management, organization, decision-making, and problem-solving skills in the areas of fundraising, financial management, marketing/audience development, artistic and educational programming, policy, governance, and volunteer management relevant to the unique world of the visual and performing arts industry. Internships and participation in the School of the Arts and community arts organizations reinforce classroom experiences. Local artists, administrators, managers and other arts professionals augment the teaching faculty in the classroom.

To broaden each student's interests and to develop career flexibility, students in the Arts Management Program are encouraged to double major or minor in another academic program of their choice. 

Learn more about possible career directions in Arts Management by visiting our Alumni Page to see the variety of jobs our graduates have today.

Mission and History

The Arts Management major prepares students for careers in the rapidly evolving creative sector through a comprehensive program of academics and experiential learning. The multidisciplinary curriculum reinforces the College’s liberal arts foundation while emphasizing management, communication, and innovation in the arts.

In 1993-94, the School of the Arts established the Arts Management minor as an interdisciplinary program in conjunction with the School of Business and Economics. In 1996-97, the Arts Management major became available to students. Jerry Spencer (owner of Spencer Art Gallery in downtown Charleston) and Stacy Shaw began teaching in the program and in 1998, Shaw became the Program Director. In 1999, Dr. Karen Chandler joined the program as Co-Director with Shaw and in 2001, she became the Director of the College’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture. Scott Shanklin-Peterson, former Director of the South Carolina Arts Commission and Senior Deputy Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, became Director of the Arts Management Program in 2001 and served until she retired in 2014 at which time Chandler began serving as Program Director. In 2008-2009, Shanklin-Peterson and Mark Bryan, lead guitarist of Hootie and the Blowfish, created the Music Industry concentration within the Arts Management major. Bryan currently serves as the program’s Artist in Residence.

In 2002, the Arts Management Program, in partnership with the Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program and the Graduate School, first offered an Arts Management concentration within the MPA Program, and in 2005, an Arts Management Certificate Program was established. A second Arts Management emphasis was established in 2016 in the Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing with Brett Lott as the MFA Program Director. Lott is a former member of the National Council of the Arts for the National Endowment for the Arts.