Colorado State University recognizes that success in the arts is being redefined in the 21st century, and that the skills needed to be a successful artist extend beyond the studio, stage, and performance hall. An innovative mind, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a passion for the arts are all essential for success. These principles are not just exclusive to artists, but serve all students well, no matter where their career leads them.
CSU not only provides students the professional resources they need to become more marketable, but will let students and professionals explore other career opportunities in the creative sector, including arts administration, jobs in mainstream entertainment, and opportunities in creative industries and beyond. The LEAP (Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Arts Advocacy, and the Public) curriculum provides leadership and advocacy training that will allow students to be informed of issues in the arts and make a difference in their community. Our courses will launch artists into the community, thereby building an even stronger arts community in Fort Collins, Northern Colo. and nationwide.
Colorado State University has formed a unique partnership with the Arts Incubator of the Rockies (AIR). The AIR Mission is to create a culture and a sense of creative place that values and sustains artists and community and appreciates creativity of all expressions. AIR serves as the hub of the arts community in the Intermountain Western United States and provides the education, resources, and support to elevate artistic careers and organizations. To learn more about AIR and to browse their extensive resources, please visit the AIR website.
This innovative and unique collaboration between AIR, the City of Fort Collins, and CSU has unlimited possibilities. It delivers high quality training from a world-class University, provides practical, hands-on experience in the field of the arts, enhances the quality of life in the community, and opens vistas to new ideas and collaborations that have yet to be discovered.
LEAP courses at CSU will help arts students survive in the 21st century job market, discover new job opportunities, become career arts advocates, and create a playground for new ideas.
LEAP courses at CSU have the following missions:
- ~ To provide students with leadership, business, and entrepreneurial skills that will enhance their ability to be competitive in the creative arts industry
- ~ To provide students with the arts leadership and advocacy skills that will cultivate an audience for the present and future paradigms of the arts
- ~ To provide students with real-world experience in partnership with local, regional, and national arts organizations and creative industries
- ~ To provide an environment that allows for creative thinking and entrepreneurial efforts that may lead to new collaborations, cross-disciplinary projects or businesses in the arts and entertainment industries
LEAP curriculum is based on a set of core values that guide our decision making in all areas. We are committed to Creativity as an indispensable, marketable asset for our futures. We will cultivate Leadership so that we may lead others with the skill set and confidence to achieve our goals. We will embrace the spirit of Adaptation to changing technologies and marketplaces. We exhibit Passion for our creative abilities and seek to inspire others to achieve their goals. We are dedicated to Collaboration so that we may engage as a community to create a better cultural environment.
‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.’ Albert Einstein
The need for creative people with administrative skills has been on the rise. Businesses in a broad spectrum of disciplines are looking for Creatives who can think differently; people who can integrate knowledge across disciplines, who can spot and solve problems and people who can create new ideas (Lichtenberg, et al. 2008). Robert A. Lutz, G.M.’s vice chairman and product development chief, said at a shareholder meeting “What we’ve got at G.M. now is a general comprehension that you can’t run this business by the left, intellectual, analytical side of your brain. You have to have a lot of right side, creative input. We are in the arts and entertainment business, and we’re putting a huge emphasis on world-class design.” (Hakim and Peters, 2005) In the Conference board study Are They Really Ready To Work?, Annette Byrd (Manager, Healthy Work Environment, GlaxoSmithKline) was quoted as saying, “We need people who think with the creative side of their brains, people who have played in a band, who have painted, been involved in the community as volunteers. It enhances symbiotic thinking capabilities, not always thinking in the same paradigm, learning how to kick-start a new idea, or how to get a job done better, less expensively.”
In Daniel Pink’s bestselling book, A Whole New Mind, he explains why Creatives will have an edge in the future: “The last few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind – computer programmers who could crank code, lawyers who could craft contracts, MBAs who could crunch numbers. But the keys to the kingdom are changing hands. The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind – creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers and meaning makers. These people – artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers – will now reap society’s richest rewards and share its greatest joys.” (Pink, 2006).
LEAP courses seek to enhance the skill sets that Creatives have, that employers are looking for: Creativity, Innovative Thinking, Leadership, Adaptation, Collaboration and Team-work, and Passion. These skill sets will translate to a wide variety of career paths in the creative sector, non-profit organizations and beyond. Some possible career options to consider may be:
• Executive Director
• Artistic Director
• Program and Project Directors
• Development Director
• Special Events Coordinator
• Exhibition Planner
• Financial Manager
• Volunteer Coordinator
• Box Office Manager
• Education Coordinator
• Community and Corporate Relations Manager
• Manager of Artistic Outreach
• Donor Relations Manager
• Grants Manager
• Director of Patron Services
• Facility Manager
Lichtenberg, James, Chistopher Woock, and Mary Wright. Ready to Innovate: Are Educators and Executive Aligned on the Creative Readiness of the U.S. Workforce? Rep. no. R-1424-08-RR. N.p.: Confernce Board, 2008
Hakim, Danny and Peters, Jeremy W. (2005). Despite G.M.’s Talk of Bold Plans, Analysts Ask if More Needs to Be Done. Retrieved 15 October 2012 from New York Times.com: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/09/business/09auto.html?_r=0
Casner-Lotto, Jill. Are They Really Ready to Work?: Employers’ Perspectives on the Basic Knowledge and Applied Skills of New Entrants to the 21st Century U.S. Workforce. [United States]: Conference Board, 2006
Pink, Daniel H. A Whole New Mind: Why Right-brainers Will Rule the Future. New York: Riverhead, 2006