Arts Emergency Management

Degrees Available
Graduate Certificate
Protect Your Passion: Safeguarding the Arts

Arts Emergency Management is designed to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and strategies necessary to effectively manage a range of crises within the context of the arts and cultural sectors. This interdisciplinary program combines principles in emergency management, arts administration, risk assessment, and crisis communication to prepare students for leadership roles in ensuring the safety, preservation, and continuity of artistic and cultural operations during times of emergencies or disasters.

The certificate provides a human-centered, all-hazards approach through all stages of the emergency management cycle—mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Interwoven through this approach is a focus on social and environmental justice, which are considered key components in building resilient arts and culture organizations.


AEM 585: Arts Emergency Management: Creating a Resilient Organization (3 credit hours)

The frequency of natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and data breaches across the globe and the dramatic retelling of them on various media outlets has created an expectation that emergency plans be developed and routinely updated for areas of public assembly, including arts and culture venues. This course provides a sociological overview of community actions and reactions to disasters as well as a customized planning approach for arts managers and artists in preparing for emergencies.

AEM 588: Event Safety and Security (3 credit hours)

This course provides students with a comprehensive understanding of event safety and security in the context of mass-gathering events. Students will explore areas of safety, sustainability, accessibility, and community engagement to learn how to create secure and optimized environments for event attendees. The course considers how arts & cultural professionals can serve in a multiplicity of unpredictable situations by honing their craft in creating gatherings more prepared for climate and socio-economic emergencies. Through engaging activities, students will develop the skills necessary to address the unique challenges of event safety and security in today's dynamic event landscape. 

AEM 590: Crisis Communication Planning and Management (3 credit hours)

Crisis communications is a crucial aspect of managing arts organizations in order to maintain trust, manage reputation, and mitigate damage in an emergency or disaster event. Students will learn about the work of national relief and response agencies to broaden arts organizational communication networks and survey various communication tools available for sharing information in an inclusive and accessible manner. Building on the skills and knowledge gained from AAD 585 Arts Emergency Management, students will assess and identify internal and external potential risks to arts organizations and develop a robust crisis communications plan to help mitigate those risks and minimize damage. Students will leave the course with a crisis communications portfolio and experience handling crises via mock scenarios.

AAD 510: Advanced Emotional Intelligence & Professional Communications (3 credit hours)

Emotional intelligence (EI) is arguably the most important key to success in one's career and personal life. In AAD 510, Advanced Emotional Intelligence and Professional Communications, students will apply actionable strategies for deepening one’s own emotional intelligence, improving personal and professional relationships, and employing sound decision-making strategies in the field of arts administration. Students will assess their own awareness and management of emotional responses; practice authentic and active empathy; collaborate in teams; and explore the practice of making (and taking accountability for) impactful decisions. 

Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted for the Graduate Certificate on a rolling basis for fall, spring, and summer semesters. Applicants will receive a decision letter within two weeks of the submission of all application materials. The final deadlines for admission are as follows:

  • Fall: July 15
  • Spring: December 1
  • Summer: April 1


Applications for Fall 2024 Admissions will open on July 1.

Application Requirements

The Graduate Certificate in Arts Emergency Management is open to qualified applicants who have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in the United States or abroad.

The GRE is not required for admission to this program. Standard graduate applications requirements apply.

Applications must include:

  • CV or Resume. Please include a resume which notes your education, professional and volunteer experience, accomplishments, and qualifications for graduate study.
  • Statement of Purpose. Compose a statement of purpose which explains why you wish to pursue your Certificate in Arts Emergency Management.
  • Writing sample (optional). If you are not currently enrolled in a degree program at the University of Kentucky, please submit a writing sample (3-6 pages). Writing samples may include researched essays, marketing or fundraising materials, planning documents or journalistic work.


arden barnes

“As a working photojournalist, I have covered several emergency situations that affected arts organizations, giving me firsthand experience in the importance of effective emergency preparedness. I knew that participating in Arts Emergency Management coursework would undoubtedly give me a skillset that would prepare me and my organization for the future. I was able to create a much-needed emergency plan for Boyd’s Station, a small arts and journalism nonprofit in my hometown, providing the organization an invaluable resource to prepare themselves for and respond to any upcoming emergency.”  - ARDEN BARNES



Certificate Director
Course Developers
janet Newcomb
Janet Newcomb

Executive Director, National Coalition for Arts' Preparedness and Emergency Response (NCAPER); Professor, Volunteer Title Series

Matthew kowal
Matthew Kowal

Co-Founder and President, Majestic Collaborations and The Art of Mass Gatherings; Consultant - Performing Arts Readiness Project

Created 02/09/2024
Last Updated 07/15/2024