Schulich celebrates 45 years of Arts and Media Administration MBA Program
On Monday, May 5th, seventy-five ARTM alumni, graduating students, faculty, advisory board members and staff gathered to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Schulich’s MBA Program in Arts and Media Administrationand to honour the program’s founders: Jim Gillies, Paul Schafer, Brian Dixon and Joe Green.
Nostalgia was combined with debate and discussion in reminiscences by two of the four founders of the program, Paul Schafer and Joe Green, and by members of the first Arts Management class, Ralph Zimmerman and Marc Boyman. Paul’s history of the events leading up to the creation of the program and its early years – the cover article in this year’s ARTM newsletter – chronicled the history of the program and its first few years, provided a launching point for the discussion.
As Paul noted, in 1969 the York University MBA Program in Arts Management was the only program in North America to offer a curriculum which focused on not only the business knowledge and skill sets required for managing in the cultural sector but also on the importance of cultural policy for Canadian arts managers. Forty-five years, later Schulich’s MBA Program in Arts and Media Administration remains unique in English Canada; as do its combined programs: the MBA/MA and MFA programs in the Visual Arts, Art History and Curatorial Studies, Dance, Music, Theatre and Film Studies and Film Production (created in 1998 and offered in conjunction with York’s Faculty of Fine Arts).
It was a great evening, with alumni from over four decades, current and former faculty members, the program’s Advisory Committee and, of course, Program Co-ordinator, Kathleen Welsby, catching up, sharing memories and exchanging ideas. As one alum wrote in a note of congratulations the next morning: it was a great evening and wonderful to see “so many successful and talented Arts Administrators in one room.”
When ARTM Program Director, Joyce Zemans announced the creation of four new prizes for Arts and Media students to honour the program’s founders, alumni – who today work in every field in the arts and cultural sector – rose as one to applaud. The Brian Dixon Founder’s Prize, the James Gillies Founder’s Prize, the Joe Green Founder’s Prize and the Paul Schafer Founder’s Prize will honour those founders, their commitment and their dedication, and the difference that they have made in the lives not only of managers but of artists and of our society as a whole.
Article submitted by Kathleen Welsby.