When [Armenia’s] higher education system became three-level (bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degree), arts universities gave prominence to the skill to use media as a tool.
Of course, media literacy is important for experts in all fields, but its need is particularly great in arts universities, since media is everywhere, and art professionals anyhow during their work will be constantly engaged in and use the media, to present their works.
I think, the introduction of a media literacy subject or module in the educational system will contribute to the training of more educated and competent MAs.
In any case, they currently don’t have the opportunity to acquire media knowledge.
In a great sense, art itself is media, but for art world professionals, the media is also a competency to make their performances more effective.
Art professionals are not only creators, but also consumers. It’s preferable for them to know who the consumers of their creative works are and be able to work more purposefully with the audience. Say, an actor gets skills in singing, dancing, speaking on stage, and so on, and the media is the necessary ring in this chain that helps to understand what, how, and for whom a work can be performed. Unfortunately, these skills are not taught in any university to date.
I’m now not talking about social media, since it’s a necessity for anyone, a means to quickly receive and quickly impart information. But in the traditional sense, performance artists are not represented in the media; it seems they’re totally absent.
If before, one could find out about a film or performance from posters around the city, now we get the main news from social networking sites —in a more accessible way, in greater detail, and quickly.
The media has multi-functional significance for art. First, it helps in terms of project promotion and then, it allows to understand social changes. That’s more than simply contact between the performer and the audience.
A master’s degree is an educational platform to develop management skills. And media literacy simply helps to ensure feedback, giving excellent results.
It’s encouraging that the Media Initiatives Center [responsible for this site] has begun a series of media literacy classes in high schools. And if these classes seriously enter the educational system, the students will be more literate media producers and consumers.
Education is a system where changes constantly take place and new approaches arrive. And it’s necessary to have a good idea of how the news is created, constructed, and spread. Ultimately, performances are also news — as are films, shows, concerts.
And this news must be skillfully shaped. Voice, light, speech, and movement are those elements that must be combined, synthesized and presented on media platforms. Mastering this synthesizing tool only helps art professionals, increases their competencies by a few levels.
I’m glad that we introduced this experience at the theatre and film academy [Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinematography]. I don’t know how it is at the [Yerevan State] Academy of Fine Arts or the [Komitas State] Conservatory [of Yerevan]. But if the universities develop joint programs, that would be great. Now almost all of the universities teach elements of media literacy, but it’s not mixed with professional skills.
You understand, the performing arts professional, reaching the master’s degree level, has already acquired their main knowledge and now they need to recruit, gather different skills, understand how to implement their ideas and achieve the best outcome.
In short, add ‘how to deliver’ to doing what, and calculate the expected impact.
Lecturer, Faculty of Art Management
The views expressed in the column are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Media.am.