Globalization has created booming markets for a wide range of
American industries -- including entertainment.
"American entertainment is going to be, basically, an export,"
said John Bedford, dean of the School of American Dance and Arts
Management at Oklahoma City University. "We just don't think of it
as an export."
While most people realize that American films dominate the box
office worldwide, other forms of entertainment are also becoming
popular overseas. At the same time, the number of entertainment
venues in the United States is growing. That situation is creating
jobs -- especially for managers.
That's a niche Oklahoma City University officials hope to fill
with graduates of their entertainment business program.
"The entertainment business degree offers an opportunity -- for
people who are interested in being in the management side of
entertainment -- the opportunity to do that without them having to
necessarily be a singer or an actor or a dancer or a musician,"
Bedford said. "It recognizes that there are many opportunities in
the entertainment industry that are open for people who simply love
entertainment and want to be a player or part of it."
The degree includes a liberal arts foundation combined with a
business core that includes classes on accounting, management,
economics, marketing, business law, and business research and
"We do something which other schools generally don't do at the
undergraduate level: We make a bridge between business and arts and
entertainment," Bedford said.
The classes combine those two worlds in various ways. For
example, students may study how tours are put together, from premise
to marketing to implementation. Other classes focus on technical
theater, with an emphasis on its relation to production costs.
"We look at it from the standpoint of a manager who has to
understand how to read the technical writer that would come through
in advance of an entertainment organization, how to understand what
they're saying," Bedford said. "And you need to have some basic idea
of whether it's needed, how much it's going to cost, where you go
get it, how to put it together in a budget before you sign that
Other courses focus on nonprofit organizations, management/labor
issues (many theater work forces are unionized), contract law, and
workers compensation issues in the performing arts.
That training can open the door to a wide range of opportunities,
according to Rachel Jacquemain, assistant professor of arts
management and director of the Entertainment Business Program at
"There are so many different fields that actually come together
to make entertainment happen," she said. "And students and parents
and the general public don't ever take note of it because it's
always behind the scenes. …