AAAE 2021 Virtual Conference...
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Tuesday, May 4 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm
2 PM ET: What Can Arts Administration Learn from Artists?

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In spring 2021, we have piloted an experimental course co-taught across arts administration and studio art. Co-teaching as arts administrator and artist, we have explored the structures of administration—contracts, budgets, investment—but from the point of view of visual artists. This two-part session includes a thirty-minute research paper and a related teaching demonstration.

In this paper, we discuss what we learned pedagogically that can generalize to other teaching in arts administration, centering artists within our work. The paper also contributes to longstanding questions of funding for individual artists, precarity of artists’ economics, and broadening definitions of art as more people make creative work on TikTok or other mediums, as has especially flourished during the pandemic.

Our methods are case-study driven and experiential, borrowing from studio art and then generalized to a conceptual framework. We ground our work in literatures of critical pedagogy, art history, archival records, and economic study of artists. Our work contributes to studies of empathy in arts management, to creative methods of teaching arts administration (e.g., from scenario planning to entrepreneurship), and to reflections on our field from the point of view of the artists we serve. The pedagogy of the course rests on story—case study—and a broad range of assignments across studio work, writing, and analysis. We aim to share this work with colleagues and to bring about a conversation in the field around artists, administration, and imagination.

This paper (presented by Whitaker) and related teaching demonstration (co-presented by Whitaker and Pryor) reflect the themes of the conference: renewal of our teaching by centering the perspective of the artists. In addition, in our teaching demonstration, we invite students and practitioners in arts administration into the studio experience. Rather than view money as a template that is placed onto artists—whether by teaching them budgeting or studying data about artists statistically—in this case we see profound resourcefulness, and imagine a new angle from which to see the inseparability of art itself from arts administration. We hope students, practitioners, and scholars will find new lenses on funding, governance, and empathy.

Our combined teaching draws on both tools of arts administration and studio practice. We hope that this focus on artists engagement with money will in turn help us to reimagine the forms of arts administration of the future.

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Meeting ID: 870 3569 9248
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avatar for Amy Whitaker, Assistant Professor, Visual Arts Administration, New York University and SNAAP Fellow

Amy Whitaker, Assistant Professor, Visual Arts Administration, New York University and SNAAP Fellow

Amy Whitaker is an assistant professor of Visual Arts Administration at New York University, where she teaches classes in economics, entrepreneurship, and art markets. Her research concerns the economic sustainability of the arts and questions of equity--in the sense of both ownership... Read More →
avatar for Gerald Pryor, New York University, Associate Professor, Art and Art Education

Gerald Pryor, New York University, Associate Professor, Art and Art Education

Gerald Pryor is an associate professor of art and art education and head of photography at New York University. A recipient of two NEA awards, Pryor combines photography, video, and performance. His work has recently been exhibited at Tianjin Fine Art Museum, Tianjin, China and Ewha... Read More →

Tuesday May 4, 2021 2:00pm - 3:30pm EDT
Online - please register