Getting to Know AEMM: Philippe Ravanas, AEMM Chair

Getting to Know AEMM: Philippe Ravanas, AEMM Chair

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Just in time for the holidays comes the fourth installment of the “Getting to Know AEMM” series. This week, I interviewed Philippe Ravanas, Chairman of and Associate Professor in the Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management Department. This interview has been one I really wanted to get in the can for a while, but Prof. Ravanas is a very busy man! I have just finished his Revenue Generation Strategies for Live Entertainment class, and I have to say it has been one of my best educational experiences at Columbia. The sheer volume of knowledge he has on the topic is amazing. I highly recommend the class to all current and future AEMM students! Enough with the preliminaries. Read on to get to know Philippe and find out about what he considers to be some of Chicago’s finest hidden gems.

Hello Professor Ravanas. Please introduce yourself to the Marginalia readers.

I currently chair the Arts, Entertainment & Media Management Department of Columbia College Chicago. It is the largest cultural management training center in the world, with close to 1,000 students and more than 100 faculty members. I teach several classes in the department: Revenue Generation Strategies for Live Entertainment, Comparative Cultural Policy, Entertainment Marketing, and Sponsorship. I previously worked for Euro Disney in Paris and Christie’s in London.

What does the future hold for the AEMM program?

The program is as strong as it’s ever been. Over the past few years, we have completely reassessed, reviewed, and reinvented our curriculum. It is now easy to use and offers a lot of flexibility for our students. We have launched a series of practicum classes in which students are learning by doing. They have the opportunity to run one of our two labels, our nightclub, our gallery, our talent agency, our online distribution platform, our publishing house… Columbia has signed exchange agreements with 12 leading universities across the world. We plan to facilitate access for our graduate students.

What albums, artists, shows, and museums have you checked out recently?

• Most recent performance: Deeply Rooted. It’s an amazing dance company based in Chicago. Very athletic and graceful. They make modern dance exiting and fun to watch.

• Most recent album: Reign of Terror by Sleigh Bells. I saw them twice over the past year (once at South by Southwest in Austin and then at Pitchfork in Chicago). I just love the mix of an aggressive industrial sound with this ethereal voice.

• Most recent museum visited: the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago, designed by Renzo Piano. The building and the collections are amazing. One of the very best arts museums in the world.

• Most recent club visited: Up, the new comedy club at Second City. It was hilarious. What can I say? I have never had a bad night at Second City. Our Theatre Department is working on a BA in Comedy Studies with Second City, so we will bring the fun on campus!

Chicago is a vibrant arts city. Have you discovered any hidden gems in the city that you would like to share? 

Chicago is an amazing city indeed. There’s no end to discovering it. A few things off the beaten track:

• The Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the largest and most stunning glass house conservatories in the nation. It is great to visit in winter—a quick trip to a tropical heaven!

• The Totem Room at the Field Museum: an amazing collection of American Indian art. Very inspiring and mysterious.

• A great store is Chicago Comics at 3244 N. Clark Street.  They have a huge collection of comics, with many collector items.

For more information about Philippe and the courses he teaches, visit the Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management website. If you want to learn even more about Professor Ravanas, check out his AEMM profile HERE.