by Minh Nguyen
Management roles in the creative industry are usually positioned as savvy people behind the scenes, running and watching over the circus fair of show business. But what if, within the artist-me exists an entrepreneur twin who looks forward to functioning in marketing, strategic planning, and communication for my artworks? Yes, I know my deepest career aspiration is to be a playwright, yet my entrepreneur self does not have to be behind.
A year ago, I co-majored in Arts Management, in addition to my primary Theatre Major, and here’s how the actual comedy of no errors begins!
Theatre and Arts Management
During Fall 2022, I take up the role of Assistant Stage Manager for These Shining Lives, a production by the Theatre Department. My responsibilities include keeping up with rehearsal and production meeting schedules, managing furniture, checking headsets, and running screen projection for actual performances. However, the real perk of stage organizing a show is to work, play, and laugh alongside my friends. They are excellent actors, designers, and crews, many of whom are part of the AMAE program.
In practice, Theatre and Arts Management share two core values, care and commitment, on the ground of which we train our communication skills. Instant calls, quick responses, and on-the-spot decisions require an exchange of clear, helpful, and purposeful messages. For a theatre production, having a team of AMAE majors and minors also means mutual understanding, disciplinarity, professionalism, and effective collaboration. We think systematically: about how each person can plan and manage their own tasks’ progress and how each task fits into the scheme. We also see opportunities for collaboration in specific jobs, namely marketing, and community engagement. Everyone contributes a say, uniquely, to poster design, public marketing, and social media promotion.
Still, while spreading words about These Shining Lives, I once introduced myself to a parent and got asked, “So you’re a Theatre major, but what is Arts Management? Is it a major?”
AMAE’s fun twins and where to find them
Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship program provides students with an understanding of any possible profession within the creative industry. AMAE’s cross-college liberal education allows its undergraduates to engage in not only arts-related topics but also hands-on practice in advocacy, budgeting, fundraising, grant writing, marketing, data analysis, and program management, making the program compatible with any other arts- or business-focused program.
If you seek to work or even dive into the creative industry, a major, co-major, or minor in AMAE may be the missing twin you are looking for. AMAE, in fact, never lacks opportunities and events for students to network and launch their careers. The two most unimaginable experiences I got were advocating for the arts at the 2022 Creative Ohio Advocacy Summit and being on the team running the department’s LinkedIn account. Well, unexpected, but exciting and conducive for professional training.
Some final words…
Why do I call my post-AMAE-enrollment life a comedy of no errors? Because there has been a whole lot of joys and no apologies at all.
Minh Nguyen is a junior majoring in Theatre and East Asian Languages and Culture (Japanese Concentration) with a Co-Major in Arts Management. In Theatre, she enjoys playwriting and stage managing. In her free time, she would usually get lost in Miami hiking trails. Her must-go event of the year is the annual Comic Expo in Cincinnati.