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Economics for Creatives

By Claudia Encinas

There seems to be a rumour going around that creative minds and numbers don’t mix, and we are therefore afraid to even think about financial aspect of our various pursuits. Professor Cory Sandrock, however, proved to us that that isn’t always the case during his Economics of Creative Enterprises course for the MSLCE program.

As a classical musician, I have always found that the arts and numbers have a very close relationship. What is music notation if not a series of fractions that form a melody? Thankfully, Professor Sandrock’s background in theater provides him with a unique perspective that helped us feel at ease in his classroom, even though at times all the numbers could be overwhelming.

As daunting as the topic of economics might be, Professor Sandrock somehow managed to make it less intimidating by assigning case studies that related to our individual career goals. We reviewed the Mountain Musical Theater Company’s financials, we explored the options that the Wiener Staatsoper had when considering starting a streaming service, and exams contained examples that one might find when working for a non-profit artistic enterprise.

Professor Sandrock went above and beyond to ensure all of his students understood the subject matter. Thanks to his pre-recorded video lectures, that were made available to us online, he was able to spend valuable class time going over examples with us as a class, participating in discussions over our case studies, and answering our many questions both as a group and one-on-one.  

Throughout the 10 weeks of the course we moved from talking about the language of economics, to getting our hands into some accounting, to learning about forecasting, and finally valuation. All topics that were once foreign to me, and many of us in the class, but we now have some incredibly important tools that we can use to move forward in our career and start a creative enterprise of our own in the near future.

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