Arts-Based Leadership Entrepreneurial (ABLE) Fellows Program

Course Descriptions

ARBB 1011 – Leadership Basics and Sustainable Leadership (1 Week)

As the world's population grows, so grows the need for more leaders in all disciplines and industries. It is important to understand leadership at its core before you apply it to an arts management field.

In this course, you will be introduced to the concept of "wicked problems," how leaders are made not born, and the significant difference between managers and leaders. You will also learn definitions of sustainable leadership, and explore related models and theories.

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Analyze attributes of leadership and management relevant to arts management settings.
  • Identify wicked problems verses tame problems.
  • Identify key characteristics of sustainable leadership.
  • Evaluate the merits of differing models of sustainable leadership.
  • Make comparisons between concepts of sustainable leadership and other concepts of leadership and management.

ARBB 1012 – Arts Enterprise Basics (2 Weeks)

Success in the nonprofit world lies in linking business practices to the missions and goals of the organization. In this course, you will learn to formulate a mission statement, explore how goals and objectives are logically formulated from the mission statement, and learn the difference between the mission and purpose statements.

Also learn to use key financial documents, such as budgets, to assess the health of an organization and aid in decision making. Explore how to read and create basic financial documents and how to conduct simple research to find pertinent information to complete activities and explore other nonprofits across the country.

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Formulate effective mission statement, goals, and objectives for an organization.
  • Find important information on a 990 Form and formulate documents using that information.
  • Complete basic financial documents and relate the information in them to decision making.
  • Complete an annual budget.
  • Understand the difference between an income statement and a balance sheet.
  • Compile a cash flow report.
  • Find information about an organization using GuideStar.
  • Reflect your learning through a Leadership Report.

ARBB 1021 – Decision-Making Tools for Arts Leaders (1 Week)

How are decisions made, and how can you be sure you have made the right decision? It is often better to understand how decisions go wrong rather than trying to train someone how to always get it right. This course introduces you to critical thought rooted in the field of philosophy, as well as some key decision-making heuristics identified in the field of psychology.

While this course provides only an introduction, it is a good place for you to begin honing your skills for identifying the barriers to effective decision making.

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Solve basic critical thinking and logic problems that will lead to understanding and solving more complex problems.
  • Identify common reasoning fallacies that impede effective decision making.
  • Identify common thinking heuristics that impede effective decision making.
  • Correct your own reasoning and thinking errors.
  • Apply the above skills to decision-making problems in arts leadership and management.

ARBB 1022 – Grant Writing (2 Weeks)

This course focuses on researching grant opportunities, aligning the funder with your organization, writing the grant, storytelling as a grant-writing skill, effective communication of proposal components, and successful grant writing practices for nonprofits and arts organizations.

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Research grant opportunities.
  • Begin to align your organization with funders.
  • Use research to develop grant applications.
  • Translate mission, goals, and objectives into grant applications.
  • Understand various successful practices in grant writing.
  • Use effective writing skills to complete a grant application.
  • State important ideas concisely and use effective and persuasive writing as a proposal tool.
  • Follow instructions in order to comply with grant application requirements.

ARBB 1023 – Fundraising in Not-For-Profits (2 Weeks)

Creation of a fundraising plan allows an organization to be proactive and clearly define the current and future goals in regard to strategies, person power, and initiatives surrounding any ask for funds.

This course covers the necessary steps for creating a fundraising plan. Take an in-depth look at how to create a plan of priorities for your organization, and learn how to use planning as a tool to give your staff and board members better understanding of the organization's overall funding needs.

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Learn the components of a fundraising audit.
  • Identify the six steps to creating a fundraising plan.
  • Use research to develop fundraising plans.
  • Learn various analysis tools including PEEST and SWOT.
  • Write a case statement and organizational story.
  • Learn how to set goals, create an action plan, and evaluate your plan.

ARBB 1031 – Keys to Effective Leadership (1 Week)

What is effective leadership and how does it impact arts management? In this course you will learn some keys to effective leadership including critical thinking, persuasion, and problem-solving techniques such as Sakichi Toyoda's 5 Whys technique. Your decision-making skills will be put to use as you explore practical lessons and exercises that require critical thinking of leadership strategies.

This course explores the many factors that assist in making a leader effective, and will encourage you to think critically on how effective leadership impacts arts management organizations.

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify leadership characteristics that lend to effectiveness in an organization.
  • Use the 5 Whys technique for critical evaluation of problems.
  • Articulate how concepts learned in the course apply to specific leadership situations.

ARBB 1032 – Art Leadership Competency and Theory (1 Week)

What makes a competent leader? Increasingly scholars, researchers, and practitioners in arts leadership and management recognize the important links between effective day-to-day practice, visionary thinking, and the theory underlying both.

Explore some of the common ideas about leadership in history and the development of ideas about what leadership means. The knowledge gained in this course will strengthen your ability to discuss leadership using theoretical perspectives to support your ideas.

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify characteristics of different leadership theories and identify the names of those theories.
  • Connect management theories to leadership styles, especially in examining your own leadership capacities.
  • Articulate key features of important theories.
  • Apply theoretical perspectives to your own writing.
  • Engage in peer discussion about these theories and their relevance to everyday practice and how they relate to arts management.

ARBB 1033 – Pop Culture's Influence on Creative Careers (1 Week)

How does popular society influence our ideas of leadership today? By closely considering and studying popular culture ideas on leadership, you will begin to understand the influence different mediums have over people's thinking and attitudes. You may not be able to change other people’s ideas, but being aware of some of the sources behind their ideas could work to your advantage in arts leadership.

This course will also explore the impact of popular culture on creative careers through the job search process. You will read recommendations on how to construct a resume for a creative professional, see examples of creative interpretations of today's resume for artists, and begin to construct your own resume by first conducting an analysis of skills of a popular fictional character.

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Become familiar with some popular culture conceptions of leadership.
  • Analyze popular culture’s conceptions of leadership and their potential influence and impact, including their relevance to your own leadership ideas and style.
  • Learn resume tips for creative professionals.
  • Analyze your own skills relative to the leadership influences of popular culture.
  • Construct a creative professional resume.

ARBB 1041 – Project Planning for Arts Management (1 Week)

Project planning is an essential skill for anyone in business, whether you are involved in the arts or any other kind of enterprise. The difference between success and failure in management is often the difference between planning and not planning.

This course provides an introduction to project planning to familiarize you with the steps needed to conceptualize and implement a project. You will learn about developing a project schedule, funding your project, and the basic elements of a business plan.

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify the steps of creating a project plan.
  • Better understand the scope of projects in arts management and identify the potential challenges of projects.
  • Conceptualize a project from problem statement to implementation.
  • Write an effective project plan that is clear and comprehensive enough for others to follow.

ARBB 1042 – Evaluation Skills for Arts Leaders (1 Week)

How do you measure success? What is the difference between a good leader and an ineffective one? Which management and leadership practices translate into winning strategies and accomplishments, and which lead to failure? How can we identify successful practices so that we can repeat them to ensure success in the future?

The key to answering the above questions is "evaluation." In this course, you will encounter methods for measuring success and identifying the source of failure. You will have the opportunity to test your knowledge and come to a better understanding of the many ways to evaluate success, as well as the many uses for evaluation methods.

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Articulate how and why evaluation takes place.
  • Identify useful methods for evaluation.
  • Identify the merits of particular evaluation methods in comparison to others.
  • Learn key terms associated with evaluation in the arts.

ARBB 1051 – Future of Arts Leadership (1 Week)

Explore the future of arts management for both the overarching field and for your individual career. Learn about a cross-role term for leaders where influence on processes and people take center stage, and dive into current research on the key five factors that present the arts leadership field with challenges and opportunities. Be part of the industry discussion: What will the future look like for the arts sector? How will this industry evolution impact your leadership and role in the organization?

This course also focuses leadership lessons from the arts, including innovation, and how leadership skills are fostered in arts education. You will have the opportunity to gauge your views and leadership habits, as well as take a leadership survey and share your results and insights with your class peers.

In this course you will:

  • Learn about the current state of arts management.
  • Identify the five key factors impacting the arts sector today.
  • Evaluate your current leadership accomplishments.
  • Recognize your views on leadership and your own leadership capacities.
  • Articulate your perspectives on leadership in the arts.

ARBB 1052 – Arts Leadership and Management (1 Week)

In this final course of the ABLE Fellows Program, you will make connections to what you’ve learned in all the other courses, and prepare for the submission of your completed portfolio requirements to earn the Mastery Badge. You will explore arts management in a greater context of cultural manager as global citizen and considering your place in the larger conversation of arts organizations.

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Successfully compile and submit individual components of the ABLE Fellows Mastery Badge portfolio requirement.
  • Make connections between issues in arts management and leadership and the development of effective practices.
  • Assess your skills in arts management.

Note: The Arts Leadership and Management course is designed to be taken last in the entire ABLE Fellows Program. There are no course sequence restrictions built into the process of registration for this course. Please be mindful of this highly encouraged course sequence recommendation.

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