Program for graduate students to teach running of non-profits

Allison Harris

A new portfolio program announced Thursday will teach graduate students how to manage museums, theaters, libraries and other non-profit cultural organizations.

The Portfolio Program in Arts and Cultural Management and Entrepreneurship, sponsored by the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and the College of Fine Arts, is currently accepting applications for next semester. The program responds to the growth of non-profits in the U.S. in the past 25 years, said College of Fine Arts Dean Douglas Dempster.

“More and more students are finding employment opportunities in the non-profit sector, but that’s especially true in the arts,” Dempster said. “More municipalities, city governments are recognizing the importance of the arts and cultural activity to their regional economy and to tourism.”

Dempster said the program will prepare students for arts administration careers in a new way.

“Many of them found their way into arts administration and management, or even starting their own commercial businesses, without any training or education in that,” he said. “They had to teach themselves.”

Program Director Francie Ostrower said 33 faculty from 10 departments will teach in the program. Students in the program will take four of 41 approved courses, do 40 hours of work and participate in an annual training session and a student presentation event.

“These requirements are key to achieving the program goal of providing students with practical skills and hands-on training and experience,” Ostrower said in an email.

Printed on Monday, August 8, 2011 as: Student, teacher workshop preserves Texas folk stories