The Garage is launching a new MA in Performing Arts Enterprise; giving the creative community of East Anglia and beyond the vital business tools they need to help create a living from their work.

Validated by the Norwich University of the Arts (NUA), it will serve as a springboard for those looking to not just survive but thrive in the changing arts marketplace – be it as performers, producers or creative leaders.

Toni BentleyThe Garage’s Learning and Inclusion Director, said: “The idea for the MA was born out of coming into contact with a number of artists who are leaving their degree studies with fantastic artistic practice, but little idea of how to really create a sustainable career for themselves so this is filling an identified gap in the workforce.

“Nurturing and developing artists is just as important in securing the sustainability of an organisation like ours as the summer holiday programmes offering intervention activities to children and young people. They are two ends of the spectrum but play into the same picture.”

The focus is to use entrepreneurial and enterprise skills to boost employability, whether that’s creating work yourself or with others. Areas will include finance, funding patterns and how to access funding, marketing and how to build and maintain your brand and how to use your existing skills in more diverse ways.

Adam TaylorThe Garage’s Executive Director, is very pleased to offer the course as part of the venue’s accredited courses portfolio.

He said: “The fact we’ve collaborated with fantastic artists and educators to put the programme of study together is testament to the strength of the course. The complete bonus is that NUA is the validator of the programme but it is taught across the organisation where potential students will benefit from the research and academic rigour of NUA and the vocational relevance of a cultural institution working with developing artists to enhance their practice. The MA in Performing Arts Enterprise will truly enhance the cultural landscape.”

Students will be encouraged to explore the business and enterprise elements of particular areas of interest. These include art-form specialisms like dance, music or circus; delivery channels like festivals, site-specific work and small-scale venues and targeting specific audiences such as older people, rural touring or SEND work.

The course is a combination of class work, independent study and a Masters project with the chance to work within the industry on live briefs, observations and collaborative projects. It will be delivered across both sites and can be studied full or part-time.

Toni added: “This MA has been carefully designed to respond to the identified needs of the artistic community we work with, so we know the content and structure is relevant. It’s gone through a rigorous internal and external validation process.

“This is a huge step for The Garage but we’ve a track record of designing and delivering high quality, formal, accredited education programmes since launching our GCSEs and HNCs.

“Because we come at things from a different angle and because we aren’t necessarily restricted by the same limits as a school, college or university we can make really exciting programmes that answer the needs of the community.”

Other benefits include NUA services like access to its online creative jobs board and invites to events and lectures. Students can also join The Garage’s network of professional artists, with the chance to test new work at scratch nights, get help with funding applications, skills-specific training, creative classes and workshops.

Marie Brennan, Course Leader of Taught Postgraduate Awards at NUA, added: “The new MA is a unique course as it recognises performing artists have to be entrepreneurial, given that careers in the creative industries often take the form of a portfolio of different roles and freelance projects. The MA Performing Arts Enterprise will also be a welcome addition to our portfolio of postgraduate courses. This partnership between Norwich University of the Arts and The Garage will extend the Masters-level provision of creative arts education to the region.”

The MA in Performing Arts Enterprise launches in September 2020. There will be an opportunity to learn more at NUA’s Postgraduate (MA) Open Day, noon-3PM, Saturday 31 August, at the Duke Street Building, NUA campus. To express an interest in attending, email now.

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