Professional Communication for Arts Entrepreneurs

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
CMNS 1276
Professional Communication for Arts Entrepreneurs
Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

The course will include lecture, lab and seminar components, with frequent guest speakers to enhance networking and learning opportunities. In the seminar, students will be expected to share their findings, experiences and writing. Students will also be expected to attend and report on arts and cultural activities during the term. At least one one-on-one interview with the instructor will be required, with discussion focused on career development accomplishments and plans.

Course Description
This course helps students to develop the communication skills required by arts entrepreneurs, including building their online professional portfolio, enhancing their online presence through social media and other promotional tools, writing grant applications and proposals, and building relationships through networking.
Course Content

1. Professional Readiness Review

Students will review

  • career and income streams for arts entrepreneurs
  • market analysis for arts entrepreneurs
  • job-hunting/freelancing strategies
  • cover letters and resume-writing
  • how to set up a professional office/studio
  • basic recordkeeping requirements for self-employed arts entrepreneurs
  • business plan components of particular importance for self-employed arts entrepreneurs

2. Building an Online Professional Portfolio

Students will

  • examine the criteria for a successful online portfolio
  • identify the type of content required
  • inventory their work to date and assess its readiness for online publication
  • develop a preliminary plan for their online portfolio
  • identify any gaps in content and develop/identify additional components
  • working within a website content management system, build and usability-test the portfolio
  • using analytics, begin to assess its promotional effectiveness

3. Enhancing an Online Presence

Students will

  • be introduced to the broader range of print, web and social media tools available
  • review trends in social media-based promotion
  • write, revise and distribute promotional material, with an emphasis on using current social media tools including a blogging platform
  • identify their current brand and desired brand
  • identify strategies for developing, maintaining or changing a brand/online presence

4. Writing Grant Applications and Proposals

Students will

  • gain an overview of sources of grant funding
  • learn the rhetorical principles and strategies used in writing grant applications
  • write and revise a basic grant application
  • review a sample proposal and identify its components
  • identify the factors involved in costing a job and requirements for an invoice
  • review a sample artist's statement/biographical note and write one

5. Building Relationships Through Networking

Students will

  • participate in discussions with guest speakers throughout the course
  • be expected to attend at least one industry event during the term
  • prepare and present a brief oral report on the industry event


Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will

  1. acquire further knowledge of current and emerging opportunities for arts entrepreneurs
  2. enhance their skills in job search and work creation
  3. build their online professional portfolio of exemplary work
  4. use social media and other online tools to enhance their online presence
  5. strengthen their writing process and revising skills
Means of Assessment

Students will demonstrate their mastery of course material through assignments, involvement in group work, and participation in a public event (e.g., portfolio show, presentation) at the end of term.

Students write "statements of commitments" to help them identify specific professional goals and report on their progress toward those goals.

Students are expected to be self-motivated and to demonstrate professionalism, which includes active participation, good attendance, punctuality, effective collaboration, ability to meet deadlines, presentation skills, and accurate self-evaluation.

Evaluation will be based on this general format:

Individual/group projects (3) 30%
Statements of commitment (i.e., contracts) (3)           30%
Portfolio development and presentation     30%
Professionalism/participation (as defined above) 10%
Textbook Materials

Coursepack of industry readings from arts, music and professional communication magazines and journals.

Career development publications from industry associations such as the Vancouver Cultural Alliance and Cultural Human Resources Canada as well as practitioners. For example,

Cultural Human Resources Canada. (n.d.). The art of managing your career. (Discipline enhancements include film, music and theatre.) CHRC.

D'Eith, B. (2014). A career in music: The other 12 step program. Adagio Music.


Admission to the Diploma Program in Music Technology or the Bachelor of Performing Arts or instructor permission.





Which Prerequisite