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Purchase-SUNY Adds Masters Program That Combines Arts, Entrepreneurship

Purchase College-SUNY will launch a new Masters Degree program in Entrepreneurship in the Arts.
Purchase College-SUNY will launch a new Masters Degree program in Entrepreneurship in the Arts. Photo Credit: Contributed

PURCHASE, N.Y. -- Purchase College-SUNY announced Tuesday it will launch a master's degree program in Entrepreneurship in the Arts — the first degree in the country that focuses exclusively on creating new entities in the arts sector.

The program will begin in fall 2015. It will provide graduates with the skills to create arts ventures and act as entrepreneurs—along with an in-depth foundation in management and leadership skills.

“This visionary degree program will enable graduates to identify, imagine and build enterprises that will create and sustain the arts marketplace of  tomorrow,” said Thomas J. Schwarz, president of Purchase College-SUNY. “It will address a critical need for creative leadership in both the commercial and not-for-profit arts and culture sectors.”

Ravi Rajan, dean of the Purchase College School of the Arts, said, “The program is designed to empower the emerging generation to be leaders who will redefine the arts through innovation.  It will foster a ‘meta synergy’ by equipping graduates with a unique blend of idea generation, marketing, policy, management and financial skills to apply to the creation of new entities for the arts.”

James Undercofler, professor and chairman of the Purchase College Department of Arts Management and Entrepreneurship, spearheaded design of the new program following many years of his leading both schools and professional arts organizations. “With its visionary leadership and world-class arts programs, embedded together with a college focused on liberal education, Purchase College is the ideal institution to offer this degree,” he said. “We anticipate that this new program will be a galvanizing force campus-wide, as well as helping to redefine the arts world.”

The one-and-a-half-year degree program will feature a core of three courses in arts entrepreneurship, plus leadership and management techniques, fund development and financing for the arts, digital marketing and law and the arts. Students will be guided into deep thinking about the arts and culture worlds, then create entirely new ideas, which will then be developed into their own new enterprises.

Examples of these new ventures could include organizations that deliver services, companies that build devices and even organizations that re-imagine the arts disciplines and how they interact with society.

The new degree program recently received approval from the New York State Education Department.

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