From the Westchester County Business Journal:
Since former television executive Neil Braun became dean of Pace University’s Lubin School of Business in July 2010, the university’s fastest-growing department hasn’t been communications or finance or accounting.
It has been the performing arts – a feat that hardly escaped Braun, who served as president of the NBC Television Network and CEO of Viacom Entertainment prior to his arrival at Pace.
In an effort to tap into the growing interest in the arts and the wealth of resources in the New York City area, the Lubin School this fall introduced an Arts and Entertainment Management program to prepare students looking to get involved in the business side of the arts and entertainment fields.
“Most of the calls I get from people in my past are, ‘How do I get my kid into this business?’” Braun said. The key, he said, is showing a demonstrated interest in the industry – and having the degree and the internships to prove it.
“The studios don’t have training programs like the investment banks,” Braun said. “We’re not creating a career path, but think about someone who now shows up to that interview … I think, if I’m a potential employer, that person is going to have an edge.”
Students enrolled in the Lubin School’s management department now have the option of graduating with a concentration in arts and entertainment management, with those students eligible to earn a bachelor of business administration degree.
An arts and entertainment management minor is available to all students.
Both programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
“There are arts and entertainment management programs at other schools, and in New York, but very few have it within the business school,” Braun said. “The difference here is you’re getting an AACSB-accredited business education in the context of learning about an industry you’re really interested in.”
The program will be under the direction of Theresa K. Lant, who has taught in the Lubin School’s management department since 2009 and who serves as co-president of the board of directors of Little Village Playhouse, a nonprofit educational theater program in Pleasantville.
Lant said the program will bring together students from a range of different backgrounds and departments within the university.
“One of the most exciting things about the program is we’re going to have both sets of students – the majors and those getting a minor – in the same classroom,” Lant said. “These are people who work together in the arts and entertainment world – the business people and the creative folks – and we think this is a great way for folks to learn while they’re in school about how to forge these connections, about the skills that each of them brings to the table.”
The Lubin School has already announced a formidable lineup of guest lecturers for students enrolled in the Arts and Entertainment Management program, drawing from television, film and the performing arts.
Included among the speakers are ABC’s Katie Couric, director and Imagine Entertainment founder Ron Howard, Viacom Entertainment Group President Doug Herzog, American Ballet Theatre Executive Director Rachel Moore, New York City Center President and CEO Arlene Shuler and The Shubert Organization co-CEO and President Robert Wankel.
“The initial list of celebrity speakers we have is to both demonstrate the range of what we’re going to be doing … and also to demonstrate that this is the caliber of people we expect to bring to campus,” Braun said.
The academic program will feature courses relating to all aspects of entertainment management, from overseeing the creative process to securing financial support and working with the various stakeholders to the role of technology in the arts and entertainment.
A major focal point for the department will be helping students to secure internships in what is one of the toughest fields to crack into, Lant said.
In the past, Pace has placed students into internships with the likes of NBC, CBS, ABC, HBO, MTV Networks, the Metropolitan Opera, Sony Music, the Roundabout Theater Company, and Sirius XM radio, among others.
Ultimately, Lant and Braun said the school hopes to foster a network of performers, entertainers and business associates within the arts and entertainment fields.
“We’re really interested in building a community of arts and entertainment practitioners,” Lant said. “This will create the network that will carry them into their careers.”
Other outlets covering the new program include Downtown Express, Daily Markets, Digital Journal, I4U News, LA-Fascination.com, Positive Impact Magazine, TV Balla, 21st Century Scholarships, First Class Travel and more.