In 2005, Ruth Bereson left her post as associate director of Columbia’s arts administration program to sculpt a more comprehensive arts management discipline at the U. at Buffalo.
“This is a fairly unique program,” she says of the rigorous two-year master’s degree that preps students for careers in museum, music and theater management as well as arts advocacy.
Says Bereson, “We’ve designed a special 39-credit curriculum that covers everything from key legal issues, whether it’s contracts or labor negotiations or intellectual property, to questions of profit or not-for-profit management for the arts.”
A class size of 15 enables faculty to help each candidate tailor the degree to his or her specific needs. If one student has not traveled abroad, for example, Bereson may whisk them to the Venice Biennale or help arrange an internship in France.
“We’re trying to create a lateral thinker who can adapt to a changing mode and delivery of arts and entertainment,” Bereson explains.