[We’re pleased to welcome author Dr. Stephen Carradini of Arizona State University. He recently published an article in the Business and Professional Communication Quarterly entitled “Artist Communication: An Interdisciplinary Business and Professional Communication Course which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, Dr. Carradini briefly describes his research and its significance.
I was motivated to pursue the work behind “Artist Communication: An Interdisciplinary Business and Professional Communication Course” because I had an opportunity to design an interdisciplinary course. My professional background in arts and my current research and teaching interests in communication made a course on the professional communication of artists an easy fit. Many universities are moving toward interdisciplinary initiatives, so I thought that writing an article about the experience of developing and running this interdisciplinary course could be a strong contribution to the literature on interdisciplinary pedagogy.
The most challenging aspects of running this course and writing this article were in the interdisciplinary nature of it. I had to decide how to foreground the concepts of business communication while maintaining a focus on the artist’s work. This was not an art appreciation course, nor was it a strict business communication course. Instead, it was a course that blended the arts, business, and communication. This meant that some things I would definitely include in a more discipline-oriented course didn’t appear, such as reports. Things that I generally wouldn’t have included in a business communication course, such as press photos, became whole assignments of their own.
One good example of this interdisciplinary blend was an in-class assignment about playlists that I wasn’t able to mention in the larger article. I wanted students to understand streaming services as part of an artist’s career. To do this, I had my students create playlists on a streaming service that told a story. Students had a great deal of fun playing around with playlists and sharing them with each other. This interaction allowed students to see streaming services as a unique way to communicate (via playlists) and as a tool that musicians needed to use to distribute their music effectively. Drawing on that second point, I was then able to have a discussion about the career economics of music and the communication genres that artists engage in as part of their career-development process.
I hope this article begins to fill a gap in literature on the communication work that artists do. Not much work has been done in research or pedagogy on artist communication, and much of the research that has been done is housed in the field of Arts Entrepreneurship. Business communication does not have much in the way of literature on artist communication, despite the large amount of business and professional communication that artists must do. As a result, this article sits in a specific interdisciplinary space of artist communication. I hope that others will take up the interdisciplinary interest in the professional communication of artists.
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