About the Program

The Arts Management Program is one of the fastest growing majors at the College of Charleston. The program prepares students to become leaders, managers, and integral members of arts organizations. The courses in the program emphasize 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, then started working on the Music Industry concentration within the Arts Management major. The concentration was launched soon thereafter, and quickly grew to be the program's most popular major. Bryan, who serves as Arts Management’s Artist in Residence Emeritus, taught in the Music Industry concentration until 2018 when he returned to touring and recording with Hootie and the Blowfish full-time. In 2019, Chris Burgess began serving as Program Director for the undergraduate program.

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 then MFA Program Director Bret Lott. Lott is a former member of the National Council of the Arts for the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2019, a new Graduate Certificate in Arts and Cultural Management (ARCM) was established with Karen Chandler as Program Director.