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Arts Administration Celebrates 50 Years


The Arts Administration graduate programs at NYU Steinhardt are celebrating their 50th anniversaries on Friday, October 22.  

At the virtual celebration, “Arts Administration in the 21st Century — Globalization, Philanthropy, and Inclusion,” participants will learn about the origins of the Performing Arts Administration (PAA) and Visual Arts Administration (VAA) programs, explore the future of the arts administration field, and engage with guest speakers and distinguished alumni. The anniversary event will be followed by a post-event virtual mingle, providing an opportunity for the PAA and VAA community members to reconnect with one another. 

The event’s keynote speaker is Karen Brooks Hopkins, President Emerita of the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the author of the forthcoming book BAM – And then it Hit Me. She will also engage PAA and VAA alumni and other distinguished arts leaders in a discussion focused on philanthropy in the arts. Each program will present an alum with a distinguished alumni award, Nellie Gencheva Gipson for VAA and Joseph Morrisey for PAA, followed by a panel discussion on arts administration in a global context, focusing on leadership, diplomacy, and equity, featuring alumni of the two programs. There will also be remarks by the current directors of the PAA and VAA programs, Dr. Richard Maloney and Sandra Lang; Dr. Jack Knott, Dean of NYU Steinhardt; Marilyn Hernandez, president of the Visual Arts Administration Alumni Council; and Carlo Lamagna and Brann Wry, former directors of the arts administration programs.  

With the rapid expansion of the art world following the founding of the National Endowment for the Arts in 1965, forward-thinking arts administrators and educators quickly agreed that their field needed better-trained leaders if it was to thrive.  In 1971, NYU founded its graduate Arts Administration program to meet this challenge.

Throughout the years, arts administration at NYU flourished, quickly establishing a separate program in Visual Arts Administration and, a few years later, a program in Music Business. These interconnected degree programs provide an unequaled educational experience for students who wish to lead arts organizations in the 21st century.

From their founding, NYU’s arts administration programs featured an interdisciplinary approach to learning – the programs were established in partnership with the Stern School of Business – and soon after developed connections with the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. The unique “three-program, three-college” framework offers students a myriad of course options and educational opportunities and is a defining aspect of the NYU arts administration degree experience. With a deep commitment to internationalism – experienced through multiple study abroad opportunities – and internship and job opportunities that only New York City can provide, it is easy to see why the performing and visual arts administration programs have remained at the top of student “wish lists” for many years.     

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