While theatres, venues, and performance spaces across the country are shuttered, the Master of Arts Leadership and Cultural Management (MALCM) enrolled a record number of students this semester.
“Faced with a challenging and devastating blow to arts organizations across the globe due to the pandemic, arts leaders are looking for ways to be involved in the recovery of our industry in a creative and thoughtful way,” said Arts Management Program Director Michelle Stanley. “Going back to school is one response for these leaders.”
Arts Management students bring diverse experiences, passions, and goals to Colorado State, whether they choose to pursue their degrees online or at the Fort Collins campus. Below, four MALCM students share their hopes for the future and why they chose CSU.
Jessi Simmons became interested in Arts Management after spending a semester as the Program Coordinator for the Arts Department at a private school.
“I realized there were many career opportunities in the arts outside of the classroom!”
As a fire performer and “flow” artist, Lucas Hester wants to bring more mainstream attention to this explorative art form.
“If more flow artists had management skills, I believe the ambitious goals of many of these young performers and teachers could be met.”
With a passion for the arts and a desire to inspire, JW Miller was looking for the next step in his professional life.
“I’ve always pondered how I could bolster my career with the necessary skills to become a thorough manager and most importantly a leader. The Arts Management program is doing just that.”
Kayla Jackson hopes to provide opportunities, guidance, and resources to emerging artists of the Navajo Nation.
“The art world can be daunting and discouraging, but having a support system can make it fulfilling. I went on a quest to find a graduate program that allowed me to be versatile in the art community that aligned with my passion.”
Get your degree in a community that values the arts
Earning a master’s degree in Arts Leadership and Cultural Management (MALCM) at Colorado State University prepares students for leadership in arts organizations, communities, and municipalities. Through practical, hands-on experiences in arts organizations and classes with experts in the field, students learn responsible arts advocacy, urban planning through the arts, the drivers of the arts economy, and how to create opportunities for artists of all disciplines.
Apply Today. Lead Tomorrow.
Applications for Spring 2021 will be reviewed on a rolling basis through December 31.
Jessi Simmons is a music educator and Georgia native who wanted to expand her career horizons in the arts. CSU’s academic programs, inviting staff, and commitment to the environment drew her to Fort Collins.
“Throughout this transition, the entire LEAP department has been extremely supportive and encouraging! I genuinely feel supported, both as graduate student and as a new member of the Fort Collins community.”
I have a background in Music Education, and I became interested in Arts Management after spending a semester as the Program Coordinator for the Arts Department at a private school. It was at this time that I realized there were many career opportunities in the Arts outside of the classroom!
I chose CSU for so many reasons. Being a Georgia native, I fell in love with Colorado after visiting for the first time in 2017. When I decided to go back to school for my Master’s, I knew that Colorado is where I wanted to be! As I began my research into different institutions, CSU stood out with their variety of programs, inviting staff, and their commitment to the environment. During these unprecedented times, I have appreciated the constant communication and updates about the pandemic and social justice issues. I made the hard decision to switch my program to online as a precaution, but still moved to Fort Collins to find a new home. Throughout this transition, the entire LEAP department has been extremely supportive and encouraging! I genuinely feel supported, both as graduate student and as a new member of the Fort Collins community.
Being in my first semester of graduate studies, my Creative Industries Career Management elective has been extremely useful! The resources and assignments given have provided space for me to learn more about myself as an artist, connect with other creatives in the industry, and further develop my skills in self marketing.
Being a student at CSU has expanded my horizons as to what jobs are available to me in the creative industry! I am exploring opportunities with companies like Insomniac and Netflix and I would love to work as an Event Planner or Safety Coordinator. Attending “CSU Writes” events has expanded my writing style and I am also looking into writing opportunities. The pandemic has changed what the future looks like for all of us. Completing this program is going to open many doors and I am grateful that CSU and the LEAP department are committed to providing their students with multiple pathways to success!
Lucas Hester is a fire performer and “flow” artist who hopes to share the therapeutic and educational benefits of his artform. After earning his undergraduate degree in philosophy from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, Hester enrolled in the Master of Arts Leadership and Cultural Management to develop the professional skills he needed to elevate the status of the flow arts.
“The flow arts are beginning to be recognized as an extremely effective tool for physical and mental therapy, which is a main reason I would like to bring the art to the public eye.”
I am interested in Arts Management because I am a Fire Performer and “Flow” Artist! The flow arts, which is a form of prop manipulation fused with dance, is a newer art form whose modern origins only date back to the late 80’s. I primarily spin poi, but I also perform with contact staff, hoops, rope darts, various juggling props, and more (usually on fire or with LED lights)! The rise of events like Burning Man and the Electric Daisy Carnival have popularized the flow arts greatly, but it still remains in a “subculture” status. I want to tackle the flow arts from a management perspective to professionalize it. There are many benefits the flow arts can bring to people, far beyond its value as a fun and explorative art form. The flow arts are beginning to be recognized as an extremely effective tool for physical and mental therapy, which is a main reason I would like to bring the art to the public eye. There are not many flow artists (if any) who have a background in higher education, especially when it comes to management. There have been many “flow festivals” which are weekend long events dedicated to fostering the language and community of the flow arts, that have failed due to a lack of solid event planning. If more flow artists had management skills, I believe the ambitious goals of many of these young performers and teachers could be met.
I chose CSU because I learned about the LEAP program. I was a Philosophy major in my undergrad at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, and my department advisor, Karina Beam, recommended this program to me because she is friends with an alumni professor. I felt that this degree was perfect for what I want to do with the flow arts because it broad enough for me to explore many different fields and professions but specific enough for me to focus on the arts and bring those skills wherever I choose to go.
My dream job would be to run a year round flow arts camp. Much like an athletics summer camp, where children spend several months honing their skills in a sport, my flow arts camp would exist to refine people’s skills in the flow arts, but it would be different in a few key ways. It would be year round, with various different programs that last for different time periods, including but not limited to a summer camp, and it would also be dedicated to fostering community health. I want to model the camp after Westwind, a campground on the Oregon Coast that offers various programs and services all geared toward educating people about the natural world as well as fostering community. I lived at that camp for a month as a class in my undergrad, and the experience was profound and unforgettable. Being able to run a place where other people could have such an amazing experience and could do it within the context of the flow arts would bring me indescribable joy.
Choosing which class has been the most meaningful to me is difficult. It would have to be a toss up between the Arts Leadership course in the LEAP department and the upper division Marketing course in the Journalism department. I value these classes highly but for two completely different reasons. The Arts Leadership course was fundamental in helping me understand myself as an arts leader and manager and I felt like I gained immensely important skills that I will be able to use in pursuing my goal as a Flow Arts leader and innovator. The Marketing course was crucial for me learning the hard truth that success in the arts takes more skills as a marketer than as an artist. When it really comes down to it, the only people who appreciate the intricacies of fire performance skill are those who perform with fire themselves. Anyone is impressed by fire spinners almost regardless of their skill level. Getting hired to perform or convincing people that you are qualified to teach or manage an event requires knowing how to present yourself as a professional. I feel I understand the “art of marketing” much more now, which is invaluable to my journey as a flow artist.
I believe management and leadership is something the flow arts and fire performance arts need to become more accepted in the public eye. There are some controversial connotations that events like Burning Man have, and I want to dispel some of those by creating more events focused on community health and wellness and by fostering a culture that values mindfulness. Approaching this art form by systemically researching management techniques is going to help make the culture of the flow arts more approachable to the average person. I want to “demystify” the flow arts and help people realize that there is so much more to them than simply a wild fire show. I want to use the management skills that I gain from this degree to make connections with different art forms and fields to show all the benefits of the flow arts. I think emotional and physical wellness is a huge concern on a global scale, and I believe that the flow arts can be a great way to help people overcome their struggles.
Having always worked in and around the arts, JW Miller was looking for a graduate program that could take his career to the next level. He knew CSU’s opportunities for hands-on experience and student involvement would prepare him for the future.
“I chose CSU not only for its rank as an educational institution and highly rated Arts Management program, but also for its respected status among the community.”
I’ve always worked in and around the arts, so Arts Management always stood out as the perfect fit. With my passion for the arts as well my desire to inspire, it’s the perfect program to get my professional life to the next step. I’ve always pondered how I could bolster my career with the necessary skills to become a thorough manager and most importantly a leader. The Arts Management program is doing just that.
I chose CSU not only for its rank as an educational institution and highly rated Arts Management program also but for its respected status among the community. CSU offers a variety of opportunities for its student body to get involved and be prepared for their careers. The school is rich in diversity, culturally aware, and is empathetic to the needs of its students.
My dream job post-graduation would be working as an artistic director for a theatre or arts company. A company that is established at bringing fine art to its patrons as well as being mercurial and adaptable with and for its community.
Thus far, Leadership in the Arts has been the most meaningful class. Professor Stilwell leads a wonderful class through the fundamentals of leadership. The curriculum is built around discussions and projects that culminate in a well-rounded understanding of arts leadership. There are things I’ve learned that I’ve never realized. It’s an informative class that shines light on exciting topics.
This program will prepare me for the future because it’s going to give me a stronger sense of leadership skills as well as better understanding of the whimsical kinetics that encompass the arts industry. In whatever role I land in, I believe this program will be responsible for success.
Kayla Jackson hopes to inspire and support a new generation of Navajo artists. With strong ties to Colorado through rodeo, Jackson knew that CSU would support her diverse ideas and prepare her to become a leader in the arts for her tribe.
“The Arts Management program has shed light on to the meaning of an artist’s role in their community. It has brought the term advocacy to life for me.”
My last semester in my undergraduate, a requirement to graduate was for me to curate my own exhibition. In all honesty, I had little to no idea the process of curating my own exhibition. I figured out many ways in making my event successful. From that moment on, I knew I needed to give it my all to help future students who need help, guidance, advice and a friend when they are embarking on their artistic journey. The art world can be daunting and discouraging, but having a support system can make it fulfilling. I went on a quest to find a graduate program that allowed me to be versatile in the art community that aligned with my passion.
Choosing Colorado State University was an easy choice for me. I have strong ties to the state. My family and I rodeo in the beloved state, it has given me many opportunities. I’ve won my fair share of rodeos, now I am looking to obtain my graduate degree from CSU. I knew that CSU would support my diverse ideas.
My dream job will be providing endless opportunities for my Navajo students and artists. In any shape or form I will find opportunities, resources, and services for my Navajo art students and artists. I want to obtain grants for the tribal colleges on the Navajo Reservation. I want to inspire students to become the new generation of being a Navajo artist. I want them to have a place in the dominant art world.
All LEAP courses I am taking this semester are very critical in teaching me skills I need to become a leader in the art world. Leadership in the Arts has very much opened my eyes into a new realm of culture and art. The class has been successful in helping me understand my place in the art world. We all have a viable purpose in this art world. Without one we would not be successful; we need to listen to one another, we are all on the same team. I have been conditioned to produce meaningful art all my life. Now, I am learning ways of supporting meaningful art and giving art and culture a place in my community.
The Arts Management program has done a great job, they embraced me into their program. I am sure to provide that hospitality into my art communities. The Arts Management program is preparing me to become a leader in my community. I strive in becoming a leader in the arts for my tribe. My tribe has a strong cultural economy, and I am learning new ways to provide policies for my tribal artists. The artist are providing economic growth within our communities and in the nation. They need to have a voice in our tribal council. The Arts Management program has shed light on to the meaning of an artist’s role in their community. It has brought the term advocacy to life for me.