A Brief History of Arts Management at the University of Oregon


A long time ago, in a school called A&AA: 1960s - 1990

Arts and Cultural Leadership is rooted in a long history at the University of Oregon. The program originally began as the Department of Arts Education (ARE). ARE was primarily a graduate program, home to 67 masters and 18 doctoral students. Although oriented toward education, the department had a strong focus on community arts and cultural services. This can be attributed to the direction of several well-known faculty members, including June King McFee and Vincent Lanier, who focused heavily on topics of cultural pluralism and the role of art in society.


A force awakens: 1991 - 1996

In 1991, dedicated faculty including Doug Blandy, Rogena Degge, Linda Ettinger, Beverly Jones, and Maitland-Gholson, began transitioning the Department of Arts Education to the Department of Arts Administration (AAd). By the fall of 1993, the new program was ready to greet its first students. During this same time, Doug Blandy reinvigorated the UO Institute for Community Arts Studies (ICAS), a research organization of School of Architecture and Allied Arts (now College of Design). ICAS engaged in community arts and cultural policy research and houses work done by AAd alumni. ICAS later became the Center for Community Arts & Cultural Policy (CCACP).


A new hope: 1997 - 2016

The late 1990s and early 2000s were a time of much growth within the program. In 1997, CultureWork: A Periodic Broadside for Arts and Culture Workers, a platform through the CCACP, began publication. Shortly after, in 1998, Doug Blandy began his tenure as AAd Program Director. During this time, a focus on mentorship, as well as digital communication and curricula, presented new opportunities and areas of interest. Several additions to faculty including Janice Rutherford (2002), Patricia Dewey (2003), and Lori Hager (2005), brought diverse backgrounds developing the performing arts and community arts concentrations. Adjunct faculty, including Eric Schiff, Julie Voelker-Morris, and Kassia Dellabough, offered expertise in technology, cultural programming, and career development, respectively.

Julie Voelker-Morris worked to develop a robust and burgeoning undergraduate program at this time while taking over as Director for the CCACP. Kassia Dellabough accepted a position as the Director of Student Services while Patricia Lambert went on to become Program Director and Doug Blandy took on the position of Vice Provost.


Bureaucracy strikes back: 2016 - 2017

In 2016-2017, massive restructuring took place within UO School of Architecture and Allied Arts, which became the new UO College of Design effective fall 2017. The Arts and Administration Program was merged with the Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management to form the new School of Planning, Public Policy and Management. As such, this academic field its affiliated research center (the former Center for Community Arts and Cultural Policy) are now embedded within the School of Planning, Public Policy and Management.

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