University of Oregon

Arts and Administration Program

Course Descriptions

AAD 510 Planning Interpretive Exhibits
Interpretive exhibits bring objects, images, and ideas to life for visitors through storytelling, diverse presentation media, and learning opportunities that engage multiple intelligences. In this workshop you’ll learn the basics of exhibit planning, organization, and text writing. Using examples from actual exhibit projects and working with real images and objects, you’ll experiment with ways to make exhibit content meaningful and memorable for visitors. The instructor will share a proven approach to exhibit planning. Discussion, group work, and individual writing projects, with on-the-spot feedback, will give you a taste of the specialized, but growing field of interpretive exhibit development and design.

AAD 510 Museum Theory
Following a brief introduction to the history of museums, this course surveys key issues and theoretical orientations informing contemporary museum practice and museological inquiry. To date, theoretical influences have generally been filtered through cognate disciplines (e.g., art history, anthropology), and the influence this has on museum studies will also be explored.

AAD 510 Museum Ethics
Ethical decisions are based on good judgment accumulated from knowledge and experience, often forming the basis of discussions leading toward museum policies and the interpretation of legal issues. As museums act as public institutions who must build trust with its audiences and patrons, high standards of ethical behavior are critical to their success. This course looks at two main areas of ethical decisions for museums and cultural organizations: area of governance, i.e., conflicts of interest, the decision making process, and professional practices; and programs, particularly collections management and exhibitions.

AAD 510 Media Boundaries
In this course we will undertake a critical investigation into the notion that boundaries between various media exist, that these boundaries serve some set of purposes, and that such purposes intersect broader domains of social/cultural practice. The boundaries we will think through span conceptual, technological, political, and legal domains, and are often as permeable as they are rigid. A combination of readings, discussion of current events, and media creation will propel us toward sorting out what the range of "boundaries" might be when it comes to media, and what factors we must consider in order to engage such boundaries simultaneously as limit and potential.

AAD 510 Media Publics
In this course we will inquire into the ways in which media and publics constitute, and are constitutive of, each other. Taking media to be the range of technological tools and cultural strategies people use to communicate—and publics to be the various ways people conceptually congregate—we will explore readings, historical examples, and current events in order to amass a critical vocabulary useful to students interested in myriad disciplinary takes on culture and communication. Coursework will consist of seminar-style participation in class sessions, weekly posting of reading responses, two critical essays, and a final creative endeavor. No particular background is required, and the course is open to all those interested in thinking about the dynamic relationships between media and publics.

AAD 510 Media Management Praxis
This class introduces students to practical and theoretical issues informing media management in arts and culture sectors. While emphasizing current concerns with digital culture and emergent technologies, we will explore the historical arc of media through which arts and culture programming continue to manifest. Taking on media as communications strategies, delivery technologies, creative tools, and archiving mechanisms, we will read widely and discuss critically the issues central to arts management across varying contexts. Visits by professionals managing media across a range of settings will give us opportunity for mentorship and advice, while hands-on engagement with media management and theoretical inquiry/analysis of case-studies comprise the balance of coursework. The goal is that over the ten week term we move through these resources toward praxis—the translation of idea into action— preparing us to work effectively and efficiently with media in the arts and culture sectors.

AAD 510 Arts Learning Policy and Practice
This course concerns policies and programs in arts education that take place in school, during out-of-school time, and as education programs conducted and supported by public arts and nonprofit arts agencies. We will examine the historical context out of which de facto arts education policies emerged in the United States, and the resulting effects of these federal policies and programs on arts education program delivery. The purpose of this course is to prepare arts management professionals to enter the field with skills and knowledge about the historical and contemporary practices in arts learning, to know how to access resources and information around critical issues, and to gain perspectives on current best practices in arts learning so that they may continue to advance the field through research, policy, and practice.

AAD 510 Community Arts Praxis
This course will address the historical, theoretical, and philosophical foundations of the community arts field. The community arts field is undergoing significant growth, through emerging professional and academic associations, a body of recognized practice and practitioners and research, new professional and research journals - both national and international, new academic training programs, and federal policies. We’ll address what constitutes this “field,” historically, theoretically, and programmatically; the values that undergird it, practitioners who have been moving it forward, and the skills that are unique to this arts practice.

AAD 521 Cultural Programming
In this course we will explore practice and theory related to arts and cultural programming in the public sector. A primary focus will be the intellectual history of public (or applied) folklore, especially its intersection with the field of community arts. Readings, guest speakers, and focused discussions will illuminate a range of opportunities available to cultural workers of varied backgrounds: folklorists, museum specialists, community arts managers, or arts advocates. Exercises in project development (conceptualization, proposal writing, fieldwork plan) will provide opportunities to make initial forays into arts and cultural programming, or even to workshop an idea you have kicked around for a while. We will pay special attention to opportunities involving local and/or UO-related projects, though by no means will we limit ourselves to these! While the ten-week term limits our ability bring to fruition full-fledged projects, we will identify and discuss the kinds of skills that public folklorists or arts and cultural programmers bring to (and sometimes learn through) various long and short-term projects. 

AAD 528 The Cultural Museum
This course introduces students to Museum Studies (the study of museum history, theory and practice) from an anthropological perspective. The format of this course will primarily involve student and instructor-facilitated seminars, critically analyzing and debating literature and issues in the field. Experiential aspects of the course will involve the examination of key themes through classroom discussion and museum visits. Finally, students will also be exposed to current issues in professional practice through question and answer sessions with local museum workers.

AAD 550 Art and Society
This course examines the arts as expressive practice that manifest through material culture in society. Specific attention is given to the concepts of participatory and convergence culture. Participants in this course explore the relationships of art to society and individual values using folkloristic, anthropological, sociological, philosophical and art education literature. This is accomplished in a transmedia environment. Drawing on concepts derived from these literatures, material culture is examined as it functions to maintain, transmit, and dynamically engage cultural and social change. Fine, functional, popular, folk, multimedia, and environmental forms of art constitute a range of subject matter. The implications for arts administration are considered.

AAD 551 Community Cultural Development
This course is an overview of the relationship of the arts and culture to community development. Settings, constituencies, philosophical approaches, methodologies, planning and funding of arts and cultural programs will be examined. Career opportunities will be discovered and explored, and there is a strong emphasis on developing practical strategies for community cultural development. Focus is on making the difference in communities.

AAD 562 Cultural Policy
Cultural policy is an arena of public policy that pertains to political choice processes and governmental institutions involved in problem identification, agenda formation, and policy formulation, adoption, implementation, and evaluation actions made in the arts and culture sector. This graduate-level course explores the development of cultural policy institutions and processes in the United States and abroad, with a strong emphasis on understanding the context and issues of contemporary American cultural policy. The course shifts during the term from a theoretical to an applied lens, as we move from understanding the general cultural policy context, to understanding the implementation of cultural policy in the USA, to developing capacities and skills to influence cultural policy as proactive leaders in the field.

AAD 571 Performing Arts Management
Examines development of cultural-policy institutions and processes worldwide; emphasis on understanding contemporary American cultural-policy issues. Governance and strategic planning; executive leadership; management; revenue; developing audiences; cross-cultural interactions.

AAD 572 Artistic Administration in the Performing Arts
This course focuses on developing leadership and management skills for professional non-profit performing arts administration (theatre, music, opera, and dance). The course addresses the changing context in which the performing arts operate, strategic leadership in performing arts administration, and change management capacities required of emerging leaders in the field. Course sessions are framed by topics in artistic administration, programming, performing artist career management, facility management, stage management, and production management. It is designed as a partner course to Performing Arts Management.

AAD 607 Digital Ethnography
This class approaches ethnography in, through, and about the digital from two perspectives: using digital tools to do ethnography, and doing ethnography in the digital realm. We will focus our inquiry and knowledge-building on the practice of ethnography, emphasizing tools over theory, methods over meaning. Readings will cover ethnographic and technological texts, and assignments will traverse use, play, and analysis when it comes to conducing digital ethnography. Ultimately this course seeks to address student concerns and interests in this emerging landscape, so those in the class should be prepared to bring their problems, research topics, and ideas to the group.

AAD 610 Arts Marketing, Media & Communications I
This class is part of a required two-course sequence that introduces students to practical and theoretical issues delineating ways in which media, marketing, and communication intertwine in arts and culture sector work. While emphasizing current concerns with digital culture and emergent technologies, we will explore the historical arc of practices and strategies constituting marketing, design, and the deployment of various technologies for arts and culture programming. Taking on marketing approaches, communications strategies, delivery technologies, creative tools, and archiving mechanisms, we will read widely and discuss critically the issues central to arts management across varying contexts. We will also develop and refine skills in marketing and communication through hands-on projects that synthesize readings and tools, while visits by professionals across a range of settings will give us opportunity for mentorship and advice. The goal is for us to move through these resources toward praxis—the translation of idea into action—preparing us to work effectively and efficiently with media in the arts and culture sectors. For the first course in the sequence, such preparation will manifest in a robust marketing plan for an arts or cultural organization. This plan will form the basis for assignments and activities will be undertaken in the second course of this sequence, entitled AAD 610 Arts Marketing, Media & Communication II.

AAD 610 Comparative Technologies

Students explore and learn about various technology tools particular to their concentration area and professional goals. The objective of this seminar is to allow independent and small group exploration and demonstration of technology tools relevant to various disciplines within the field of arts administration. The structure of the course is based on a faculty-facilitated, peer-driven model. With instructor assistance and faculty mentorship, students determine project intents, necessary resources, project timelines, assessment and evaluation checkpoints and measures.

AAD 612 Cultural Administration
This course provides a grounded foundation for your coursework in the Arts and Administration program. Readings and classroom activities are designed to introduce you to major functions and issues in the administration of a nonprofit organization, with particular emphasis on cultural organizations. Students are expected to analyze readings and form questions on the readings and topic for each class. The pedagogical goal is to both (1) map the practical terrain of arts administration, and (2) develop leadership, critical inquiry and presentation skills in the process.

AAD 630 Research Methods
This course is designed to introduce a range of research methodologies and methods of importance to the field of arts administration. In this course, students will explore the language, process, and dimensions of research. Students will develop critical thinking and writing skills useful in retrieving, storing, and managing information for the research proposal/process. Students will also compare and contrast a variety of research approaches in order to identify, describe, and develop elements of a research proposal toward satisfying the research component of the Arts and Administration program degree.