Using the community as a classroom, students enrolled in Castleton University’s Master of Arts in Arts Administration recently took to campus for a weeklong residency to learn about local community arts as part of the newly established graduate curriculum.
The low-residency program, which launched in the summer of 2016, is project-focused, with an emphasis in all courses on the practical application of material. Out of the nine students enrolled in the program, two are Castleton University alumni, while the additional seven are new to the Castleton experience, each respectively coming from various locations across the country.
“This residency brought nine very different people with very diverse backgrounds and interests together for a week of learning, sharing, inspiring, and becoming part of the Castleton family,” said program coordinator and Director of the Castleton Fine Arts Center Rich Cowden.
To kick off the program, students spent a week on campus to immerse themselves in the learning process, and participated in their first academic courses.
Throughout the week the group visited a number of local arts organizations in the area, including the Mahaney Center for the Arts at Middlebury College, Town Hall Theater in Middlebury, and the Paramount and Chaffee Arts Center in Rutland. Speaking with the leadership of each organization, they were able to see first-hand the challenges and rewards associated with leadership at the executive level.
“The group ventured around the area to explore and learn more about different types of facilities and management styles,” said graduate student Judith Mathison, “Rather than sitting in a classroom, it was a busy, hands-on week full of great discussions.”
The hybrid program is designed to allow participants to learn from experienced arts administrators, in a personalized setting, intended to quickly and effectively prepare students to take the next step in their professional career.
“We learned about a variety of arts organizations and jumped right in to our studies,” said fellow classmate Christy Chenausky. “The best part of the week, though, was getting to know one another face-to-face. Being able to start this year of online coursework really knowing the people in our cohort has added depth and substance to our online forums from day one.”
In addition to the new program, Castleton University also offers a Master of Science in Accounting, Master of Arts in Education: Curriculum and Instruction, Master of Music Education, Masters of Art in Education: Special Education, Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership, Masters of Arts in Education: Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis, Masters of Arts and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in School Psychology and a Master of Science in Athletic Leadership.