Arts Management – Starting the Journey

Hello all,

My name is Kayla Nadalin and I am the 2012-2013 Student Ambassador of the Arts Management post-degree diploma program offered by Continuing Studies at Western. This means that throughout the program, I will be blogging biweekly about everything ranging from courses, instructors, opportunities, challenges, successes, (successful) failures, and much, much more. It is my hope to give a glimpse into what the program has to offer for anyone with an interest in pursuing arts management.

To give a bit of context about myself before I dive into talking about the program, I have always been someone with an interest in the arts. I completed my B.A. at the University of Guelph, with a major in Studio Art and a minor in French Studies (despite my miserable French capabilities), and was frequently involved in productions by the Drama Student Federation (despite not being a theatre student).

During my undergrad, I took advantage on an experiential learning opportunity to intern at an artist-run centre in Toronto, and always tried my best to procure summer jobs that were (in some way) related to the arts. It was through a combination of these experiences that I had my first, albeit unknowing, exposure to the world of arts management. Seeing the diverse work – fundraising, curating, planning events, developing programming, creating community partnerships, and more – that my superiors were doing, I became hooked and knew that I wanted to carry on in this field when I completed my degree.

But doing so was not as easy as simply applying to positions with my fine arts degree and being welcomed into an arts organization with open arms. Through my self-proclaimed ‘job-search-junkie’ habit, I found out that the market was tough, and that organizations were more and more often looking for candidates with specific skills and expertise – grant writing, communications planning, program evaluation, and other areas – for which my undergrad did not prepare me. With that in mind, I wondered how was I supposed to gain the required experience if I was unable to get a job?

This (finally) brings me back to the Arts Management post-degree diploma program. Continuing Studies at Western recognizes the vicious cycle of ‘How do you get a job without experience? How do you get experience without a job?’ and has created a program that allows students to develop the theoretical knowledge and practical competencies necessary for a management career in the arts, and then to exercise and hone these skills through real world experience.

In short, this was why I chose the Arts Management program at Continuing Studies at Western – because I was confident that by the end of the program, I would be equipped with the knowledge and know-how to have a successful career in the arts, and I knew that this was the right path to get me there. With this program, the journey is just as important as the destination (cliché alert)!

If you have any questions about the Arts Management post-degree program, or suggestions about what you would like to read, please email me at with ‘Arts Management’ in the subject line.

In other news, applications for the 2013-2014 programs are available November 1st! Go to to start the application process.

Next post: Breaking down the program, a little ditty on ‘Introduction’…


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