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Julian Wiles, Founder and Producing Artistic Director
Marybeth Clark, Associate Artistic Director

April 23, 2009

Building Participation in the Arts

Filed under: Back Stage Blog — julianw @ 6:00 pm

by George McLeer, Charleston Stage Administrative Assistant 

            Back in December, I registered for my classes like every other student at the College of Charleston.  I signed up for a class called “Building Participation in the Arts”, the marketing class for my major – Arts Management.  I took it because Beth Curley, Communications Manager here at Charleston Stage, told me she was going to be involved with the class and that it would be another great opportunity for me to work a little more in depth with the organization than with what I do currently.

            The class was split into two groups, one assigned to the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, and the other half (my half) was assigned to Charleston Stage Company.  The point of the class was to allow Arts Management students to have hands on experience in marketing for arts organizations.  Throughout the progress of the Arts Management major, the students get to come up with ideas for marketing, but can never really implement them.  This class gives us real world experience since we are dealing with a real organization and a real event.  My group was put in charge of marketing the current success The Producers for CSC. 

This large project has proven to be an amazing experience for all of the students involved.  Not only were we able to come up with ideas for marketing this show, but also our ideas were allowed to come to fruition and translated into tangible results.  Everything from a marketing plan, to press releases, to posters were brainstormed, produced, and executed through our group of 12 students.  There were lots of challenges associated with this real-life homework assignment.  Making sure the press release was exactly what Charleston Stage wanted printed, designing posters and flyers, and finding as many websites as possible to post information about The Producers were just some of them.  But the project overall was a great way to give me and my classmates a real-world experience in marketing and a deeper look into the process and mindset Beth and the rest of the employees at the organization have to be in constantly.  At the same time, from my point of view as an employee, this was a great way for CSC to reach out to another market of young professionals and continue our mission as an organization to educate the youth of the Lowcountry, no matter how “young” they might be; not to mention the work of the class came free, so it gave Beth a chance to work more intensely on other projects and came at a smaller cost to her.

If you read about this show in the City Paper, Post and Courier, or if you heard about on TV, the radio, the internet, or you saw a poster somewhere near your home – you have seen the product of this wonderful class and the collaboration of this great organization and the College’s Arts Management department.  I have to put a plug in for my fellow students who worked so hard with me to get the word out about this production, so congrats to all of us; and a huge thanks to the Arts Management department, Marla Loftus (our professor), Beth Curley, and the whole company of Charleston Stage for giving me and my classmates this opportunity.  


(George McLeer, Charleston Stage Administrative Assitant) 

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