Orange Alert

SU launches Janklow Arts Leadership Program

Barbara Walters headlines star-studded event at New York's Lincoln Center

Jan. 19, 2012, by Rob Enslin and Erin Kane

Barbara Walters moderates a panel discussion with Mark Nerenhausen and Morton Janklow. (Photo by Eric Weiss)
Barbara Walters moderates a panel discussion with Mark Nerenhausen and Morton Janklow. (Photo by Eric Weiss)

On January 17 at New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Syracuse University announced the launch of the Janklow Arts Leadership Program, a new M.A. program named for the great literary agent and College of Arts and Sciences alumnus Morton L. Janklow. Anchored in the University’s College of Arts and Sciences, the program will provide students with core competencies in leadership and administration, marketing and public relations, law and public policy, and financial management, specifically targeted at arts institutions. The program will provide a focused, rigorous experience training students to lead effectively and manage efficiently. It will launch in the summer of 2012.

Emerging from SU's vision of Scholarship in Action and commitment to cultural stewardship, students will undertake interdisciplinary coursework, benefit from professional mentorship and engage in internships as well as seminars in both London and New York.

The University unveiled the program with a special announcement and panel discussion at New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts featuring broadcast journalist and author Barbara Walters as moderator. Kate D. Levin, commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; Glenn D. Lowry, director of the Museum of Modern Art; and André Bishop, artistic director of Lincoln Center Theater, also participated on the panel.

Additional guests attending included Janklow; Chancellor Nancy Cantor; Arts and Sciences Dean George M. Langford; and Mark Nerenhausen, the Janklow Program’s founding director and professor of practice.

Janklow says the idea for the program grew out of conversations with Chancellor Cantor, shortly after her arrival at SU in 2004. "I feared then, as I fear now, that major arts institutions might be crippled or even disappear, in part because of inadequate managerial skills and foresight," he says. "It is important for arts leaders to know how to integrate their organizations into the communities they serve; to deal with governmental agencies that have jurisdiction of their activities; to take advantage of federal, state and city programs that provide ongoing support; and to engage with creative people who can help them achieve their goals."

"The Janklow Program epitomizes curricular innovation in arts leadership," says Chancellor Cantor. "Its interdisciplinary depth and breadth embrace both the complexities and the tremendous opportunities embedded in the power of the arts, not only as cultural expression, but as engines for community rejuvenation and economic development. We're profoundly grateful to Mort for his broad vision in launching this cutting-edge program that prepares arts leaders to be entrepreneurial, collaborative catalysts for today and tomorrow."

Langford echoes these sentiments, saying that the Janklow Program operates at the intersection of arts leadership and social entrepreneurship. “This kind of program speaks to the interdisciplinarity of the college and of the liberal arts in general,” he says. “By providing students with core skills, practical experience and positive leadership traits, we are preparing them to lead effectively and to manage efficiently.”

The Janklow Program comes at a time when many arts organizations are at a managerial crossroads. Nerenhausen, who has more than 20 years of professional leadership experience, attributes the current need to changing demographics, sector expansion and a lack of leadership succession planning. "It’s important for us to offer leadership training and professional development to not only artists, but also people who understand and appreciate the arts in context of their broad social role. These people will run organizations that are sustainable, relevant and accessible," he says.

Comprehensive and interdisciplinary, the Janklow Program is a 15-month, 39-credit-hour program that prepares students for success in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. "This way, Janklow students can pursue any number of career paths, from those in music, art, dance and drama to ones in social service, education and government,” Nerenhausen adds.

In addition to The College of Arts and Sciences, Janklow students will take courses in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, the College of Law, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the Whitman School of Management.

The Janklow Program is also developing affiliations with local, regional and national arts organizations for the purposes of professional mentorships, competitive internships and immersion opportunities.

The Janklow Program is one of four signature arts programs at SU. Others are the Goldring Arts Journalism Program, the Bandier Program for Music and the Entertainment Industries and the Museum Studies Program. All four are highly competitive and interdisciplinary, placing strong emphasis on peer-to-peer interaction and immersion opportunities.

The application deadline for summer admission to the Janklow Program is Feb. 1. For more information, contact Nerenhausen at 315-443-1796 or

Janklow greets guests at Lincoln Center. (Photo by Eric Weiss)
Janklow greets guests at Lincoln Center. (Photo by Eric Weiss)

Morton L. Janklow
In the world of publishing, Janklow is a legend. Since the 1970s, he has been one of the country’s most powerful literary agents, representing best-selling authors, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winners, celebrities, scholars, scientists, journalists, presidents, poets, pundits and even a pope. Some of the prominent authors Janklow has represented are: David McCullough, Barbara Walters, Ronald Reagan, Nancy Reagan, Danielle Steele, Richard Nixon, Al Gore, Sidney Sheldon, Thomas Harris, Colleen McCullough, Richard Rhodes and Michael Moore.

A specialist in corporate and finance law, Janklow launched his career as a literary agent in 1972, when he represented his friend William Safire ’51, H’78, who was writing a book about President Nixon. When the original publisher tried to back out of the contract, Janklow took the case to arbitration, won back Safire’s advance and rights to the book, and struck a deal with another publisher. The book in question, “Before the Fall: An Inside View of the Pre-Watergate White House,” became a national best seller. Janklow eventually founded his own literary agency in 1989, Janklow & Nesbit Associates, of which he is a senior partner.

In addition to being a presence in New York literary circles, Janklow has served on numerous corporate boards and philanthropic organizations. Most notably, he has maintained a strong commitment to the arts and to education. At Columbia University, he founded the Morton L. Janklow Program for Advocacy in the Arts, and established the Morton L. Janklow Professorship of Literary and Artistic Property Law. At SU, he serves on The College of Arts and Sciences’ Board of Visitors.

Nerenhausen previously served as president and CEO of the $354 million AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, where he secured AT&T as a naming sponsor, raised more than $4 million in the first year of operations, created a governing board, and instituted an integrated business information platform. He also brokered strategic partnerships with regional and national organizations, several of which were devoted to minority arts, and initiated the Jazz Roots series.

From 1998-2009, Nerenhausen played a similar role at the multi-venue Broward Center, fashioning it into a catalyst for tourism, economic development, education, industry innovations and cross-cultural exchange. Under Nerenhausen’s tenure, the center’s main concert hall consistently ranked in the world’s top 10 venues for ticket sales, according to Pollstar and Venues Today magazines.

Nerenhausen has held other major positions at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului, Hawaii (1993-98); the Oshkosh Grand Opera House in Wisconsin (1990-93); the Bijou Theater Center in Knoxville, Tenn. (1987-89); the Milwaukee Performing Arts Center in Wisconsin (1985-87); and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville (1983-85).

His academic experience includes faculty positions at Florida International University in Miami; Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Fla.; and Florida Atlantic University in Fort Lauderdale.

A sought-after keynote speaker and consultant, he serves on the board of the Bluegreen Corp. in Boca Raton, Fla., and is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Business, from which he earned an M.A. in arts administration.

Housed in Arts and Sciences, the Department of Art and Music Histories is one of the oldest of its kind in the country dedicated to the study of the arts in an interdisciplinary setting. The department was established in 1947 by cultural historian William Fleming, whose publications, including the landmark book “Arts and Ideas,” have served as the model for SU’s approach to the arts in relation to their cultural, social, economic, and political contexts. The Janklow Program continues SU’s commitment to arts teaching, policy work, research, service and enterprise.

Click here for more Janklow Program images by Eric Weiss.

Media Contact

Rob Enslin