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News arts-management curriculum

Eric Jenks photo  

The first Zankel director of arts administration has arrived at Skidmore. David Howson, formerly a faculty member and arts-center director at the University of Richmond, will launch an interdisciplinary course of study drawing on Skidmore’s art program and management and business department as well as its Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery and new Arthur Zankel Music Center. The program will serve students who wish to blend “a passion for the arts with an academic background in business and the opportunity for practical applications through internships,” according to Muriel Poston, dean of the faculty.

The new offerings will begin in 2011, starting with a minor in arts administration. Howson will teach foundation courses, develop student internship opportunities, and arrange campus residencies for arts-management professionals.

At Richmond’s performing arts center, Howson created programs to bridge academic and extracurricular life. Before that, he helped manage the Yale Repertory Theatre. He is a Richmond alumnus with an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.

Funding for the arts-administration program comes from the estate of New York City financier and patron of the arts Arthur Zankel, who was a Skidmore trustee and parent of two alumni. Zankel’s bequest to Skidmore of $46 million also helped fund the new Arthur Zankel Music Center as well as student scholarships and other initiatives. —BK, SR