Students of the Department of Arts Management gain the skills and knowledge needed for careers such as production manager, marketing specialist, arts institution manager or a freelance art project manager. The programme includes theories of project and institution management, communication, economy, law, technology in theatre and other. Throughout the course, practical applications in arts management and business are always stressed. The programme also has a practical side in which students are able to use and test their acquired knowledge in real life, through participating in the management of the university theatre DISK or through reflection of their own projects.
Particularly in its practical section the programme is closely interconnected with programmes at other DAMU departments.
Studies at the department are conducted in two stages. The three-year Bachelor’s programme equips students with basic knowledge of many areas of theatre management and operations. The continuing two-year Master’s programme is a selective programme focused on students’ individual professional development.
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The Department of Arts Management celebrated its 45-year existence at DAMU in 2014. The department as it is, founded in 1991, was preceded by a course in organisation and management of theatres and cultural institutions. This was founded in 1969 by Lubor Poživil and later led by Svetozar Vítek. Many directors or economic executives of prominent Prague and other theatres attended the programme during this time, such as Doubravka Svobodová (Na zábradlí theatre), Eva Kejkrtová Měřičková (Dejvické theatre), Bedřich Gregorini (National theatre), Jindřich Gregorini (Na Vinohradech theatre), Petr Našic (Pod Palmovkou theatre), Ladislav Zeman (Hradec Králové theatre) and many others. The young generation of alumni on the boards of theatres and renowned arts institutions include for example Lukáš Průdek (Jihočeské theatre), Michal Hrubý, (Studio DVA), Štěpán Kubišta (Jatka 78), Denisa Václavová (Festival 4+4 Days in Motion), David Kašpar (Praha 14 kulturní), Jiří Sulženko (European Capital of Culture Pilsen 2015), David Gerneš (Moravian theatre of Olomouc) or Michal Lázňovský (DISK theatre) who is currently the Head of Department at DAMU.
Since its beginnings, the Arts Management programme has relied on close connections between theory and practice. This is possible thanks to links between its curriculum and the artistic programmes at DAMU and also thanks to members of the teaching staff with often extensive practical experience in arts management, in addition to theoretical knowledge.
The Bachelor’s programme offers lectures and (predominantly) seminars in the fields of economy, law, marketing, management and of course theory and history of theatre. Students acquire knowledge in areas such as management and operations of drama institutions and projects, fundraising, marketing, PR, theory of communication, cultural politics etc., and develop communication, organisation and other skills. We focus strongly on possibilities of putting knowledge gained at the programme into practice in the context of arts management. In addition, students learn foreign languages at AMU’s department of languages.
Practical experience is largely centred in the second year, but is present throughout the whole course, by means of cooperating on artistic projects with other departments at AMU. Students gain experience mainly at DISK theatre, the university’s own stage (www.divadlodisk.cz), where they are introduced to the process of creating a show and to day-to-day operations. Students work as production managers on graduate stage projects created by students of acting, directing, dramaturgy, and set design. Since 1993 arts management students also organise the collective art school festival ZLOMVAZ (www.zlomvaz.cz) where they learn to apply their new theoretical knowledge under the supervision of their professors.
The Bachelor’s programme is followed by a Master’s programme open also to other graduates. Although its curriculum still focuses on different, including modern, forms of theatre (new circus, scenography theatre, cross-genre happenings etc.), it also introduces other types of performing arts – dance, music and other arts – unlike in the Bachelors’ programme.
Studying at DAMU offers students a very individual approach and an opportunity to regularly consult their chosen topics with their Master’s supervisor. Especially second year students can tailor their course to a large extent to their individual interests, professional or academic experience.
The programme aims to develop students’ creativity in producer or manager roles and focuses on personal growth and research in students’ chosen areas of study.
Studying includes meeting with prominent producers, artists and experts in arts management (public and private sphere) and direct contact with contemporary art via participation in professional conferences and seminars organised by various arts institutions. Since 2015 the department has held its own international Performing Arts Management Symposium.