Professor: Arts administration minor gives students options

The College of Fine Arts will provide students with the opportunity to get out of the studio and into the business world with the development of a new arts administration minor.Eric Salisbury, a College of Fine Arts adjunct professor, said the new minor will teach students business principles, enhance their writing skills and help them to manage their careers more efficiently.

“At some point, (artists) need to do something to supplement their incomes,” Salisbury said. “This allows them to build a career but it also gives them an alternative income without moving away from the arts.”

Scott Sullivan, dean of the College of Fine Arts, said the minor, which will be offered in the fall, will be the first arts administration minor offered on the undergraduate level in the Southwest.

Students will fulfill nine of the 18 hours required for the minor by taking classes already offered in the School of Business, Salisbury said. The other nine hours will be taught by Salisbury and will be more specific to working inside the arts.

Salisbury has taught a directive study on arts administration the past two semesters.

Sullivan said he asked Salisbury, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a master’s degree in arts administration, to develop the program in response to consistent inquiries from students and parents about an arts administration minor.

In addition to Salisbury’s input, Sullivan said the college received a Vision In Action grant for a “feasibility study” that would give an indication of student interest in the minor.

The survey found 59 percent of the 124 students surveyed said, if it was an option, they would have chosen arts administration as their minor.

Based on the students’ interest, the minor could be made into a major or a four-and-one master’s program, but Salisbury said the program is years from reaching that point.

“There are only 20 to 25 schools that offer arts administration on the master level and only 10 on the undergraduate level,” Salisbury said. “This is an opportunity for TCU to lead the way in the field and let TCU students lead the way out.”

For Sullivan, the minor is an opportunity for students to remain in the art community.

“This gives students a career choice,” Sullivan said. “With this minor, you have the opportunity to be in the arts, but you don’t have to struggle as a starving artist.