ACC’s new programs answer festival industry demands

Students to gain skills for high-demand jobs in the local arts community

Austin Community College (ACC) is launching two new certificate programs in fall in response to regional workforce demand in the arts community.

“The entertainment industry is growing rapidly in Austin,” says Marcus McQuirter, ACC Drama Department chair. “Production and theater companies often turn to ACC when they’re looking for skilled workers.”

ACC worked with industry partners to develop targeted training programs in technical theater and sustainable production management. The sequences offer students practical skills in planning, producing, and managing performing arts events.

Drama CostumeTechnical Theater Certificate

The seven-course program introduces students to sound, lights, scenic design and set construction, costume, makeup, props, and live theater media such as video or film.

Sustainable Production Management Certificate

The 12-course program prepares students for managing the creative and technical teams, including coordinating a cast and crew, arranging space, and scheduling and budgeting a production.

Both certificate tracks include hands-on, project-based instruction and an internship with a local production company.

“The theater industry desperately needs more arts management professionals.” says Jenny Lavery, artistic director of Austin’s Theatre en Bloc. “In addition, technical theater is an art and craft that deserves its own concentration, just like acting or directing. It’s refreshing to see ACC programs dedicated to the growth and sustainability of theater.”

drama dept 2According to the CreateAustin, a community cultural planning group formed to identify Austin’s creative assets and challenges, the creative sector generates $2.2 billion in economic activity and employs approximately 44,000 permanent jobs annually.

“Creativity is the engine of our economy. The festivals here, from South by Southwest to Austin City Limits, draw in tourists worldwide,” says John Riedie, Austin Creative Alliance interim CEO. “We need partners like ACC to train the employees who will keep our industry growing.”

Learn more about the programs at Fall enrollment is underway. To register visit

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