New program at NSCAD

NSCAD's School of Extended Studies will offer a program to teach students financial management

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The new program will be offered here at NSCAD's Granville Campus. Photo: Allison McCabe

If the right brain/left brain philosophy is true, artists are graced with big imaginations and meticulous attention to detail. But it might also mean they need a little help with the mathematical side of their art.

NSCAD University's School of Extended Studies is launching a new program to teach students the business skills they need to self-manage and promote their work. Financial Management for the Arts is one of two required courses for the Certificate of Arts Administration program, which begins at the Granville Street campus tonight. It's the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada, offering professional development training for members of the art community.

Charley Young, an instructor with the Extended Studies department, says the program is designed to give students and full-time artists a professional boost toward building their careers.

"A lot of the people who have registered so far are actually working in the arts already," she said. "They just want more information on how to manage themselves financially and learn the things that go along with being a practicing artist or working for an arts organization."

The School of Extended Studies is a department within NSCAD that offers non-credit programming through six to eight week courses throughout the year. All of its programs are open to the general public. Students will also have two years to complete six courses in the Certificate of Administrative Arts program.

Young says bookkeeping is an important skill graduating students aren't formally taught at the school.

"There's not an emphasis on it at NSCAD," she said. "You don't really get a huge amount of information about how to apply [art] towards administration."

Norma Jean Maclean is in her last year of the fine arts program at NSCAD. Although the bachelor of design program includes a business theory course in its curriculum, The only guidance she's had on entering the art industry is from instructors who happen to discuss their experiences in class Maclean said, "they could probably relay a little more."

She says business management skills should be integrated into the program so full-time students can benefit from the same training that's being offered in the certificate program.

"We're in a little bubble until we leave here," she said. "I think there should be a required course that deals with the business side of art in some way. Just promoting yourself, getting grants and making proposals..."

As of yet the program is only available through the School of Extended Studies, which is an external department of NSCAD. Current students will have to pay the same as the general public at $295 per course.

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