The New BA Arts and Entertainment Management Degree at BCC

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A New Programme

In September 2016 an excited group of students entered the Barbados Community College (BCC), proud to be a part of the historic first cohort of the new Bachelor of Arts in Arts and Entertainment Management (BA AEM). This comprehensive programme, offered through the Centre for the Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA/Division of Fine Arts) is the first of its kind on the island. In the BA AEM, recent secondary school graduates, experienced arts practitioners, entrepreneurs, promoters and aspiring managers can all learn together, sharing skills and experiences in an environment that encourages creativity.

Over the four intense years of this degree (longer for part-time study), students will encounter industry-relevant subject areas including management, marketing, accounting, business plans, digital design, presentation skills, law, entrepreneurship, networking, intellectual property, brand-ing, the cultural landscape, sponsorship, etc., while being surrounded daily by visual artists, graphic designers, fashion designers, musicians, dancers, actors and stage managers in the CVPA, some of which they may hire one day.

In the first semester, the students were introduced to the concept of the BA Arts and Entertain-ment Management and the skills needed to successfully steer through the next four years of their study. These included techniques for creating attention-grabbing electronic press kits and other documents, shortcuts for completing study and business-related tasks on various devices, and guidance on improving their study skills, time management skills, research skills, personal reflection and goal-setting. The students also extensively surveyed the local, regional and inter-national cultural landscape, including the the key players, places and events. By the second semester, they were well into their studies with courses in Management, Law and Cultural Ecol-ogy. As the BA AEM is well balanced, equipping its students with a wide range of skills, the first year students also took electives in Caribbean Culture and Digital Photography and completed their core courses in English and Mathematics. Some ambitious students even visited some of the programmes in the Centre for the Visual and Performing Arts to participate in Musical Thea-tre, Technical Theatre and Music Ensembles.

BA AEM classroom learning is supplemented by visits from guest lecturers, educational tours and hands-on learning with real life projects. Some of this year’s intriguing guest lecturers in-cluded artist managers, lawyers, visiting international lecturers, a business skills trainer and an event planner. Tours included the Supreme Court Complex, various performance spaces around the island and an artist management seminar with a panel featuring international artists. Stu-dents were provided the opportunity to plan a Back to School Rally for the BCC Centre for the Visual and Performing Arts, bringing together students from the various disciplines- music, dance, theatre, fashion design, interior design, visual arts, studio art and graphic design- in a mix of fun, brotherhood and networking. Even more hands-on learning is acquired through the BA AEM’s Docent Programme as each student is paired with a mentor who practices in a field in which he/she is interested, so that they will have first hand insight into the ‘real world’.

After a year full of challenge and growth, the students were well rewarded with several new skills, numerous additions to their network and the offer of two summer internships. Here’s to a successful year two for these pioneers of the BCC BA Arts and Entertainment Management programme and the future leaders in the region’s Arts and Entertainment Industry.

Please view the links below for more information about the BA AEM.