The Washington Post
March 14, 2019
After years of working in the arts, Karen C. Garrett knew a master’s degree in arts administration would help advance her career. But she wound up seeing the impact of her graduate degree before she’d even finished it.
During the three years she spent earning her M.A. in arts administration through a limited-residency online program at Baltimore’s Goucher College, she received a promotion at her job at the Smithsonian Institution’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Education and Access — from program manager to senior program officer — and was seen by her colleagues in a new light.
“Just the fact that I had entered into a master’s program had an impact on the way that people perceived me,” says Garrett, 53. “There was a level of respect there, if you will.”
Garrett started her degree in 2015 during a period when interest has been growing in master’s degree programs in arts management and administration. These programs include specialized training in nonprofit policy, arts marketing, fundraising and other topics critical to the business of art. They’re filling the need among arts businesses for greater efficiency and for leaders who understand both the arts and how to run an institution. Like in plenty of business fields, there’s a push toward transparency (thanks to things like Enron and other scandals of recent years) that requires an understanding of complex financial, legal and regulatory subject matter.