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A.U. Alumnus Returns as a Professor and an Advocate for Artists

Protecting the Creative Class in the Digital Age

By Jessica Joy De Jesus

photo of Bloss-Baum

Credit: Linda Bloss-Baum

Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle.

For Linda Bloss-Baum, B.S. Journalism ’91, this creed holds true. Bloss-Baum is a professor in Kogod’s Business and Entertainment program (BAE) and a proud alumni of American University. She talks about her undergraduate years at AU fondly, calling them the “best four years of her life.” Her passion for A.U. and her enthusiasm for her career makes her a special part of Kogod’s BAE program.

Seeing a Shift and Taking Action

Bloss-Baum has devoted her entire career protecting the “creative class” – artists and creators who deserve representation for rights to their work. She worked on Capitol Hill as a lawyer and communications professional when music first began to during the height of the Internet breakout when music began to digitize, and proliferate online. Music piracy was a largely contested issue, and Bloss-Baum was the monkey-in-the-middle protecting artists as a lawyer, and listening to the business-side of the industry.

She left the corporate world in 2013 because she wanted to influence how people influence the future of the entertainment industry. “I lived through this amazing time, and I wanted to help the next generation learn how to approach the future,” Bloss-Baum says.

John Simson is the program director of the BAE program and an old friend of Bloss-Baums’. He knew she’d make the perfect addition to the program. Simson recruited Bloss-Baum to develop “Protection of the Creative Class,” a course which focuses on importance of creators’ rights and how to protect the integrity of the creative class in a digital world.

Giving the Creator the Spotlight

Bloss-Baum wanted creativity to be the centerpiece of her course. Her students not only study the creative class, but are encouraged to think of themselves as creators. “I try every week to bring in an actual creator so that they can see what a musician looks like, or a photographer, or screenplay writer … they are fundamental rungs on the creative ladder,” she says.

Bloss-Baum wants her students to remember the faces of these artists and consider the importance of their roles in the entertainment industry. She hopes that by seeing professionals in their field, students can also envision themselves in these jobs. Business students are also creative individuals, and this course encourages students to break out of the stereotype of a Kogod student and think of other career opportunities in the world of business.

“I think the students that come out of American today are the best and the brightest thinkers. I’m so proud to have my degree from AU, and am excited to join the community again.”

Learn more about the BAE program here, and more on Bloss-Baum’s work on protecting the creative class here.

Interested in her class? Here is the course description for “Protecting the Creative Class”