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Brett Ashley Crawford, PhD

Brett Ashley Crawford, PhD

Associate Teaching Professor

Dr. Brett Ashley Crawford is an Associate Teaching Professor of Arts Management at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy and the Faculty Chair of the Masters of Arts & Entertainment Management programs.

Dr. Crawford has worked extensively as a professional arts manager, primarily in theatre, and as professor in both arts management and theatre history. The highlights of her private sector work include serving as Managing Director with Imagination Stage, an arts education and professional theatre located in Bethesda, MD, the managing director / production manager of Rep Stage and the Horowitz Center for the Arts in Columbia, MD, managing director for St. Bart’s Playhouse in New York City. She is a member of AEA in stage management and has held  myriad independent management, marketing and consulting engagements in theatre, film, and arts festival work in PA, NY, GA, TN, TX, and MD. 

Her academic areas of specialization include creative theories, marketing, audience engagement, strategy and management systems, technology and the arts, and the history American theatre. Current research includes a digital history of women producers on Broadway from 1900 to present and a monograph of the networks of women linking the Art Theatre to the Regional Theatre movement.

She currently serves as the executive director for the Arts Management and Technology Laboratory, a Research Center in Heinz College. AMT Lab serves the field through active research and engagement into the technology solutions artists and institutions are utilizing  in their workdays and public programs. Recent national research studies include emerging digital fundraising pathways and Using Artifician Intelligence to Increase Engagement with Public Art.

She has presented invited lectures and workshops across the United States and internationally on marketing, audience engagement, audience development, business models and methods, technology and the arts, and production management to audiences including guests of the Department of State, Arts Presenters, the University of Helsinki, and the Center for Cultural Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Prior to coming to CMU, she served as an assistant professor and program director of the graduate Arts Management program at American University. She also taught arts management and theatre history at University of Maryland, College Park, Towson University, Georgia State University, Auburn University and LaGrange College.

She received her BS in Theatre from Northwestern University, MFA in Arts Management from Texas Tech University, with a Ph.D. in Theatre History and Criticism with a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Fellowships/Awards include:

  • Finalist, Imagination Stage, Washington Post Award for Innovative Leadership
  • Finalist, Imagination Stage, Center for Nonprofit Advancement’s Board Leadership Award
  • Distance Learning Institute, American University
  • Research Fellow, Center for Cultural Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Fellowship, International Centre for Advanced Theatre Research, Helsinki, Finland
  • University Graduate Fellowship, University of Maryland, College Park

Courses Taught

  • 90-739 - Systems Synthesis I
  • 93-703 - Arts Enterprises: Structures and Strategies
  • 93-811 - Producing a Performing Arts Season
  • 93-815 - Audience Engagement and User-Experience Design
  • 93-821 - External Relations: Arts Marketing and PR
  • 93-830 - Disruptive Technologies in Arts Enterprises
  • 94-843 - Research Studio: Arts Management and Technology

In The Media

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