The Fine Arts Administration Certificate offered at UW-Eau Claire is truly a hidden gem when students are choosing a Major and Minor. Jennifer Zwicky proudly takes on the role of running this successful program. “We have 27 students currently enrolled with more adding all the time” says Jennifer. “It's an 18-credit program that includes IDIS 410 (Arts Management Seminar), a 3-credit internship in arts administration, and 12 credits of electives that are outside of one's major/department.”
The Arts Management Seminar gives an overview of the field of arts administration, from leadership to fundraising to marketing to programming to boards of directors to advocacy and so much in between. However, it also has some fairly in-depth and hands-on projects, such as the Experiential Learning Project, where students apply arts management theory to a real-life project with a partnering non-profit arts organization in the region, and the Final Project, which has students create their own "theoretical" non-profit arts organizations and take them from start (developing a mission) to finish (pitching their idea to a committee of their peers for funding).
“I try to make the class as interactive as possible.” She describes accomplishing this by “including having students present "Arts Briefs," which spark conversation and debate on current events in the world of arts administration.”
With the internship portion of the program, students have the option of doing a single 3-credit internship or breaking the requirement up into smaller opportunities throughout their tenure. Recent placements have included the Heyde Center for the Arts, Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra, Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra, Pablo Center at the Confluence, and more. A past internship with Arts Administration was done by Sarah Jo who worked with FreaQweek. “This internship was one of my favorite experiences as a student at UW-Eau Claire” says Sarah Jo. She got the opportunity to go to San Francisco for 2 weeks and saw thousands of films, all Queer, at the Frameline Film Festival. “It was a very different culture and atmosphere – I’ve never felt so much pride, happiness and acceptance.” “In the Fine Arts Administration Seminar class, I learned how to “get-going” in the world of the arts – I was able to apply my knowledge in real-life experiences.”
Sarah Jo leaves us with amazing advice on the hidden gems offered at UWEC, just like the Arts Administration Certificate. “Opportunities are hidden, you will stumble upon them. Take advantage of them! There is an opportunity and experience for everyone. You just have to look a little and take it all in. The amount of involvement and opportunities UWEC brings is incredible.”