Is Higher Education Necessary for a Career (although a weird word) in the Arts? Catherine Fowles, 26 January 2014 York Hall, 25 January 2014 Question raised: -What would higher education need to be in terms of willingness to pay, design of the educational programme, and usefulness of the programme? -Uni-route: Does reading/thinking too much kill creativity? -The arts need to prove their intrinsic value constantly; is a degree money well spent? -What is the definition of ‘career’? -Who can choose higher education? Is it accessible and/or affordable? Observations: -There is a disconnection between what you want and what you get at times. -There are 2 routes: to dive in to the industry or through universities -Higher education is not necessary, but going to university provides the opportunity to think, encounter ideas and people, experiment, investigate with less consequence, instill discipline. Many times it's viewed as a rite of passage. -Higher education can impart useful tools, but is not necessary. -There are two types of courses/training: practical experience or academic study. Modules should be written that speak to practicality. -Higher education is expensive, but the benefits can be long-term and even after you graduate, e.g. usage of space, endorsements, mentorship, support -There is a large volume of postgraduates. -Can encounter ‘you must have official training’ from employers -Many people still consider (drama) degrees/universities to be ‘proper’ (formal/traditional) education when many institutions have changed their approach, moved to being more practice-based and take risks. -University is the only place you can face epic failures and have tangible development. -The course needs to have a balance between academic development (research) and its teaching/delivery by practitioners -Postgraduate studies (higher education) is for academic progress MA-Ph.D. -You should compare fees spent by the student and the amount spent on each student. -Universities are there for the foreseeable future to help graduates (references, connections, space), and therefore the student/graduate is paid back. -It is harder to dive in to the industry and to know what ‘career’ options are available. -Higher education (university) is not a complete system until you do it in practice. -Higher education hones you craft and allows specialization (in admin/as an artist/hybrid) -Stage One has surgeries and workshops that are taster courses and supplemental to practice. They give the impression of an arbitrary producer. -MFA is a terminal degree which allows graduates to teach in the U.S. -Higher education can be viewed as a form of investment in yourself/you future. -The beauty of higher education is that it is self-led. There should be a change in mindset from receiving education to claiming education. -Higher education should be developed to have openness and dialogue to suit different needs. -Higher education can buy some time to reflect and can be used as a jumpstart. Individual thoughts and experiences: -In 1989 higher education was viewed as “selling out” -'Education' or ‘training’ is an individual journey. It would be beneficial to work with artists during the courses, and often it becomes more about academia than artists. -Universities want artists to be able to graduate and call themselves ‘artists’ because they have a life/career in the arts. -Degrees are a form of social currency. -Arts are generally not viable. They require funds, subsidy, investment. Good business begets good art. All companies should be businesses, but they are less creative in the operation of the business. -Archaic thought: If an MA in Creative Producing were on a CV, the employer would not hire the person because you can't teach the necessary qualities involved in ‘producing.’ -Teaching bullshit: Those who can't do, teach. Many professors are also creating work and are in fact ‘doing.’ -Methods of recruitment: Factor in the costs for one year of work vs. tuition, and then compare the advantages of a support system and education. -Study provides the ability to discover different niches of work and techniques. -Education in the form of workshopping allows the attendees and leaders to share and learn with each other. An element of exposure is provided. -In terms of producing, an element of personality is required as well as technical skill.