Arts And Culture Program For SMU
So, my dream has been always, and some of my fellows from the 1999 batch of appointees, they think that I'm sentimental. And they said that you should stop being sentimental, times have changed. But I tell them, I say, no, so long as I've got life in my body and some strength in my brain, I'm going to just carry on thinking of new programs. So that's how the Arts and Culture Management program came about. I scanned the universities around the world. Firstly, there was no arts management program at the undergraduate level again. And then, at the master's level, it seemed to be like a terminal degree, like the MFA [Master of Fine Arts]. And then it seemed to be always arts management.
And so I was looking around and I thought because they have got these arts management programs and all that, the one thing that I found that was missing in this arts management thing was the cultural component. So I thought if we could offer a program called Arts and Culture Management at the undergraduate as a degree program, it'd be really super. So I shared that vision with Arnoud, he said, good. He appointed me to chair a task force and the task force, I put the members together, so we went around the world looking and setting up collaboration and all that. But somebody had cold feet, just when we're about to push forward.
But now I'm glad to say this idea of the degree program for Arts And Culture Management is back on the board again. Because they have now realised that maybe we should have actually begun that way and just got it through. Just as we were bold enough to get new programs going in. So that has been a very, very interesting journey. I think the arts and culture management is something that most people think still should be at the graduate level. But I've got probably one of the best persons in the whole world dealing with this. It was the guy in charge of the Chicago Art Institute [School of the Art Institute of Chicago]. And today he's an older man, the chancellor of the Chicago Art institute, Anthony Jones, very distinguished scholar-professor. And he was advisor to the Singapore's ministry many years ago when NAFA was being formed, LASALLE was being formed, SOTA was being formed. So he's the guru. So I thought I'd better get the guru onside. And he was so excited, in fact he has just written a letter of disappointment to say, what's happening? This is like four years now, things should move, that kind of thing. So he's getting old, too, he's 74. So he wants to see this really come in.