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Rozsa Arts Management Program Enters 2nd Decade In Person And Online

by Lisa Mackay

In September 2022, the by (RAMP) will be offered both in-person at the University of Calgary’s downtown campus and online for arts managers throughout the province. This will double the enrolment of participants in the program and allow for more arts managers outside Calgary to take part.


In 2012, the Rozsa Foundation partnered with the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business Executive Education to develop and provide a unique professional development program for Alberta’s arts professionals. The Rozsa Arts Management Program (RAMP) offers arts managers with diverse backgrounds training in strategic planning, EDIA and reconciliation, marketing, board and staff relations, fundraising, financials, leadership, and more. To date 238 participants have received a RAMP certificate.


“We began the program in 2012 to fill a consistent gap we saw in the arts sector,” explains Board Chair Mary Rozsa de Coquet. “Many arts managers came from an artistic background, and while their passion was undeniable, few of them were equipped with solid managerial or business experience.”


Arts Leadership Director Geraldine Ysselstein has been managing and fine-tuning the program since 2016, in partnership with staff and faculty at the University of Calgary. As a result, the RAMP program has been revised and updated to provide arts professionals with topical, hands-on content delivered by Haskayne faculty and experienced leaders from the arts and non-profit sectors that reflects today’s challenges and the unique opportunities facing the sector.


“There are so many inspiring and knowledgeable leaders within our community, and I wanted participants to benefit from both the tools brought by Haskayne faculty and those derived from the lived experiences of professionals in the arts sector,” explains Geraldine. “Their expertise in matters unique to the arts and non-profits is invaluable and having them facilitate alongside Haskayne faculty rounds out the program perfectly.”


“I love the cross-pollination between business and arts that happens in this program,” enthuses Fred Jacques, RAMP Faculty and Capstone Project Advisor from the Haskayne School of Business. “As a professor of business, I learn a great deal from RAMP participants and the ways in which they approach projects. The thought, creativity, and preparation they bring to their Capstone Projects, which can have an enormous impact on their organizations, is exceptional.”


“I really enjoyed being part of RAMP,” says 2022 graduate Andrew Ritchie, who completed the program online. “As an artist and arts manager based in Edmonton, I was not sure if doing an online professional development program from Calgary would be helpful, but I was wrong! The program content was super relevant, I expanded my network and met new arts managers based in Calgary and across Alberta, and I challenged myself and deepened my own practice. The Capstone Project motivated me to create long term planning and reflect on the impact and role my organization Thou Art Here Theatre has." 


In 2022-2023, there will be two concurrent sessions offered for the first time. “Being online during the pandemic allowed arts managers from outside of Calgary to participate, and we didn’t want to lose that possibility,” explains Geraldine. “But we are all missing the personal networking and interaction of being in person, so we will offer both!”


Applications for the program are now open until June 27, 2022. The online and in-person programs begin in September 2022 and run until April 2023. More information can be found at rozsafoundation.org/ramp.

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