Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thursday, June 10: American Art Administrator Educator (AAAE) 2010 Conference at American University (June 3-5)

Day 1 June 3, 2010
After paying a friend a visit for lunch while he intern with the Department of Housing and Urban Development building in Washington DC, I ventured to Dupont Circle toward Phillips Collection. It rained that night and walking in the rain was miserable getting semi-disoriented in my sense of direction. What was a happy surprise was running into my friend from my college fellowship in the neighborhood on 21st St. After finding my way there I was able to finally enjoy the night hearing from the AAAE opening reception speaker Michael Kaiser. I had previously heard of Michael Kaiser from an excellent book I read about art management called The Art of the Turnaround about his adventures of turning debt ridden not-for-profit art organizations such as American Ballet Theater, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, London's Royal Opera House, and now president of Kennedy Center. I highly recommend it for arts lovers and business guru alike to learn about sustainability of the health of arts organizations. His message was a warm welcome for educators hearing about the privilege he has to speak to an audience who understands his passion for the Arts. But the rest of the night was an eye-opener for us to hear of his discovers from his 50 cities in 50 states tour of art community centers around the United States. This is what he discovered-
1) Arts are not being advocated enough
2)Generational need for art advocate leaders
3)Persistency in advocating for the arts in local communities.
I believed no one are against the arts as Michael Kaiser mentioned but how to fit the arts into community budgets are hard. Part of the problems are the arts community are not doing a good job of communicating and articulating importance of the arts to one's joy of life. I feel his message was a vibrant appeal to educators to continue to speak to their students to inspire a new generation of leaders to emerge in America. I left the night feeling re-energized and refresh with light conversation with a recent Master of Art Management graduate from University of Maryland student by the name of Michelle. The had attended the conference 5 years ago as an undergrad and enjoyed it.

Day 2 June 4, 2010
Suit and tie I ventured into Washington DC at 7am in the morning on Franco-Springfield blue line transferring at Metro Center to the red line heading to Shady Grove to Tenleytown-American University. The 1-hour metro ride was worth the wait stepping my first steps on the grounds as I entered American University Katzen Arts Center which looks enormous from the outside. The facility were polished as I begin the day with their continental breakfast preparing myself for a packed day.

State of Research in Arts Management
What I learned that morning was about the state of research in Arts Management. I didn't realize how new in academia Arts Management field is until I hear about the topics being discussed. Antonio Cuyler a Ph.D at American University Professor and Program Director talked about a need for a systemic review for research in the field. His presentation touch upon what kind of research articles can you find in the field and a need for more credential review of article journals and publications in Arts Management.
He broke down the two different kind of research of knowledge basic which is "pure" knowledge for knowledge sake and applied research meant for unbiased external micro-research. How research can be increase by educators in the field is by more publication grants and scholarship rewards for graduates to do their dissertations.
Mike Wilkerson from American University followed with his presentation on "What Deem as Qualifications in Academia Track for an Art Administrator?" He posed a lot of questions which I don't believer there are clear or distinctive measures of standardized qualifications universities have from a national level. This is problematic as Wilkerson did research by Monkey survey members from AAAE. There were statistics that strongly suggest a problem in academia of rejections rate from universities' Deans of Art Administrators when academia track tenure comes into consideration. If Arts Management will continue to develop AAAE will need to take initiative to establish a common national standards to present to universities' Deans about who qualifies in this field as best educators and practitioner.
Our very own Daniel Waxman, graduate from George Mason University Arts Management program present a study on Assessment class in Higher Education. Learning the outcomes from this presentation, the academia does not know what are the core classes for Arts Management with a variety of classes of choice all over the map at different programs. Most agree from the majority that an Arts Management degree at the masters level includes marketing, finance, budgeting, accounting, research methods, technology and the arts but with all the essential a mock degree program max out at 36 hours. What is recommend by Waxman is consideration of how important the role of technology will effect the field and studies, consideration of students adaptability because of current economic conditions, and review of role of practical experience in masters degree.

Day 3 June 5, 2010

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