Sherri Helwig

Sherri Helwig
Associate Professor, Teaching Stream and Program Director
Arts Management


Sherri Helwig has taught practice- and policy-related courses within the long-standing undergraduate Arts Management program at the University of Toronto Scarborough (in Toronto, Ontario, Canada) since 2003, and as of 2018 is also teaching strategic leadership and board governance in the Arts Management and Arts Leadership graduate programs at Queen’s University (in Kingston, Ontario, Canada). She also directed the UTSC Arts Management program for more than a decade, and served two terms as Associate Chair of the Department of Arts, Culture and Media (and one term with the Department of Humanities before that), coordinating curriculum and experiential education efforts across multiple programs.

Sherri has previously served as Scholar-in-Residence for the graduate Arts Management program at American University in Washington D.C. and Senior Research Fellow with the Canadian Conference of the Arts in Ottawa; she has taught Arts Management courses for York University, Humber College, and the Harris Institute in Toronto, and lectured extensively across Canada and within the United States, Italy, Finland, Spain, China, and The Netherlands.

Sherri also continues her work as an independent arts consultant, with a broad-based practice and a wide-ranging client list of local, provincial, national and international cultural organizations, government departments, and arts funders. She is a Founding Member of Arts Consultants Canada / Consultants canadiens en arts (ACCA).

Her teaching, research, and consulting work is informed by many years of progressively responsible cultural management experience. In years past, Sherri directed national arts service organizations where she was responsible for delivering a wide range of membership, advocacy, and project initiatives, managing collective bargaining negotiations, leading presentations to federal and provincial tribunals, overseeing partnership development plans, and securing record heights of public and private sector support. More recently, she spent a portion of a sabbatical from the University of Toronto in the role of Interim Executive Director/Curator of the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington, a public gallery dedicated to arts education and the exhibition of contemporary art.

Sherri has served as a member of several boards (including for the international Association of Arts Administration Educators, the City of Toronto’s Museum Collections and Conservation Management, the Necessary Angel Theatre Company, and the editorial board of the American Journal of Arts Management), and on national advisory committees for the Department of Canadian Heritage and Industry Canada. She has also acted in evaluation capacities as an external reviewer for academic, artistic, and arts funding programs, and as a juror on grant review panels, for visual art exhibitions (such as the Station Gallery’s 25th Anniversary Member Exhibition), and for theatre performances (including for the Musical, Opera, and Touring sections of Toronto’s Dora Awards).

Sherri holds a Master of Arts degree in the History of Art from the University of Toronto, an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Fine Art (History and Studio) and English from the University of Guelph, certificates in Museum Studies and Program Evaluation, and further studies in areas including Entrepreneurship, Management, Arts Education, and Leadership.



B.A. (Guelph), M.A. (Toronto)

Research Interests: 

Arts management; Discipline-specific pedagogy (including Experiential Education); Comparative cultural policy; Legal issues; Leadership; Arts education