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Spotlight on: Arts Administration


With such a broad spectrum of internships, jobs, and opportunities available, the arts administration major may be a little hard to wrap your head around. I know this was the instance for me so I decided to interview four arts administration students who gave me insight on the major, and what exactly it entails. Freshman Robert Gallo, sophomore Rozzie Heeger, junior Madison Decker, and senior Ro Taylor were able to tell me the ins-and-outs of this unique major, and even contributed a little bit of their personal stories and advice.

"The arts admin program is the reason why I'm here. There are similar programs around the country but Wagner is something special" said Robert Gallo. In order to get what our students are getting out of our arts admin major, other college students would have to double major.

The mission for arts administration students is to be given a solid foundation of performing/visual arts combined with some business administration to be ready for entry-level leadership and management positions.

Rozzie gave some words of advice and said to "Find someone to talk about the major. It can seem very vague from the title but ask someone about it because there is just so much to it." She mentioned that the opportunities weren't necessarily presented to her back home in San Francisco, but her passion to pursue this career brought her across the country.

Coming all the way from England, Ro Taylor agrees and adds that Wagner is in the prime location for what the majority of arts administration students want to pursue. With the goal of being a general manager for a Broadway show, Ro believes that she is one step ahead of the game just by being so close to the city. It puts her ahead of the people that she will be competing with for jobs.

Ro states that as she was sitting in the audience of Spring Awakening, she was thinking that their are so many people in this country who will never see this amazing piece of work, and we are just so lucky that the city is so accessible to us.

Ro (Rosa) Taylor made her Broadway playbill debut before she graduated college!

With intriguing classes and intelligent professors, the arts administration students are getting a ton of real world information in their four years here. They are able to apply all of the knowledge that they learn and use it when they intern at various places in New York City.

Madison Decker will be doing her fifth internship in her spring semester of her junior year. Ranging from Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia to MCC in New York City, Madison has explored a plethora of different jobs and now has a concrete idea of what she would like to do in the future.

"It's SO important to start internships early because there are so many different jobs within this major. In my three years, I've gone from wanting to go into casting, to being an agent, to development, and now the goal is to be an executive director" Madison adds. Things change and Wagner allows you to explore, and experiment with different internships.

James Forbes Sheehan and Madison Decker at the 2015 Tony Awards. An opportunity that came from James' internship!

A few of the many notable arts administration alumni from Wagner that have gotten jobs are James Forbes Sheehan (Jeffrey Richards Associates), Madison Sylvester (Telsey & Co.), Melissa Foulks (Radio Disney), and Chris Luner (stage manager for 1st National Tour of "The Illusionist").

One huge misconception is that arts administration students have to work in the theatre business. With internships at The Met, The Tonight Show, and a myriad of fashion designers, this goes to show how broad of a job market you can choose from.

In the instance that you love performing but don't want to pursue a career in performing, that is okay! There are still many performance opportunities for those who are not a performance major. Robert was one in three arts administration majors in a student run production last month!

As much as it takes a certain person to be a physicians assistant, a biology major, a theatre performance major, or a business major, it also takes a certain person to be an arts administration major and if you have the knack to pursue it, then Wagner College will prepare you to go out into the world, and become a successful worker.

Shelby Hoehne, Claire Manning, Robert Gallo, Rozzie Heeger, Madison Decker, and Ro Taylor, six arts administration students, at Wagner's BC/EFA benefit.