Business Education for the Creative Class

When you think of an art student, what comes to mind? Funky outfits and piercings? Alternative music and idealistic dreams of making it big? These may be stereotypical tags for artistic young people, but the truth of our consumer society is that every product you buy requires a team of artists to design the logo, labels, packaging, and even the product itself.

Artists are in demand and whether they plan to work in Corporate America, or open up their own gallery or design shop, the more business education they can get the better.

The First ‘Business of Art’ Degree
The Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida has launched a new BA program that combines art studies with business schooling. Believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, the Business of Art and Design degree was created for students who want to pursue art and intend to run their own businesses or work for others.

According to Ringling, there are more than 1.25 million people working in art and design in the United States alone. They point out that in addition to the actual creative aspect of the work, there is more and more business skill required in this sector of the global economy.

Creatives Are a Valuable Commodity
Ringling President, Dr. Larry R. Thompson, says that individuals who have great creative ideas, and also the ability to organize, plan, and successfully lead and manage others are going to be a ‘valuable commodity’.

Lead faculty Dr. Wanda V. Chavez agrees:

“The new program is the first to integrate the study of business and the study of studio art and design — marrying the right and left brain into one practice. With a solid grounding of business skills, an understanding of the creative process, the reputation of a world-class art and design institution, and the ability to work effectively with other creative individuals, successful students will be able to take advantage of design concepts and design practice as integrated parts of strategic planning, as well as leverage learned leadership skills with the confidence to think creatively themselves to realize their own visions of success.”

What Students Learn
The program is a four-year curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Arts Degree in The Business of Art and Design. Students majoring in the new program will be equipped with a solid foundation of business skills, an understanding of the creative process, and the ability to work effectively with other creative individuals.

Business courses focus on case studies in industries such as arts management, advertising, video production, and art-and-design entrepreneurship. Students also participate in traditional studio classes to learn to think creatively and to understand how artists work and apply art and design in today’s market.

Now all we need to do is get the MBA students into the art studio and we’ll have a fully integrated workforce!


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