Happenings in Arts Administration

Bridget McCracken (MPA, 2004) , Director of Academic Services for the MPA Department and Managing Director of Trash Mash-Up, attended the 2011 Americans for the Arts Conference in San Diego, California.  Her attendance to this conference was supported by the Department of Public Administration and the San Francisco State University Retirement Association. The Americans for the Arts Annual Convention is most extensive gathering of arts leaders and professionals from across the field of arts administration. This is the only national arts meeting that assembles leaders from multiple disciplines with a wide range of experience and with different perspectives for advancing the arts in America.

Bridget attended two panels exploring the role of technology in connecting arts organizations with their communities and a session the arts as an creative economic engine oversees.   In addition, she went on a behind the scenes tour of Balboa Park’s most treasured arts institutions.

More about the panels Bridget attended:

Rich Mintz, Vice President of Blue State Digital, and Molly Surno, Outreach Director of Kickstarter, lead a panel regarding how mobile technology, micro-giving, and entrepreneurship are wrapping.  These innovators shared how they have built engaged digital communities that want to make a difference in our society.

David Dombrosky, Executive Director of Center for Arts Management and Technology; Matt Lehrman, Executive Director of Alliance for Audience, and Laura Weigand, Director of Programs & Technology of Texas Commission on the Arts, lead a panel discussing new ways to for arts organizations use technology to better serve their constituents, and in turn give them the skills to grasp technology more fully.

Stephanie Madden, Arts and Culture Program Manager of Bank of America, and Jean Bonilla, Senior Office Director, Economic Bureau (EEB/TPP/IPE), Department of State lead a panel discussing how the arts are changing the way people look at each other and contribute to peace, security, human rights, mutual understanding, and respect worldwide. Cultural exchange programs introduce the American public to international communities they often have little access to or information about. Conversely, America’s creative industries number among the country’s top three exports and our creative products can positively shape foreign views of America.

Bridget also attended a tour of art education programs located in Balboa Park. She met with the leaders of the education programs offered by the Museum of PhotographicArts, San Diego County Office of Education, San Diego Unified District, Young Audiences, and The Collaborative Arts Resources for Education (CARE) program. She got a behind-the scenes peek at the education complex at The Old Globe and observed rehearsals by young artists at Civic Youth Ballet, the San Diego Junior Theatre, and the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory.

Besides attending these engaging panels and tour, Bridget met and mingled with the leaders and emerging leaders of arts organizations large and small across the U.S.A and Canada.  She looks forward building deeper connections to these leaders as the MPA Department explores the development of a certificate in arts administration with the College of Extended Learning.


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