Connecting Business and Art

What do Steve Jobs, Cindy Crawford, and Edgar Degas all have in common? They are all entrepreneurs who look to principles of beauty as a measure of quality. A growing awareness exists among educators and business professionals that creativity can be taught and that beauty, design, and aesthetics are relevant to success. 

The Bolz Center for Arts Administration at the Wisconsin School of Business has long understood the valuable role of beauty and art in businesses and communities. Starting in 1969, the center first focused on training leaders of arts organizations including symphonies, museums, and theaters. The school’s alumni, often artists themselves, have enjoyed careers providing an environment for artists to flourish. 

University of Wisconsin-Madison student artists have taken notice of the training offered at the Wisconsin School of Business. As the ultimate entrepreneurs, they are keen to learn the critical business skills that will allow them to fund their passion and thrive. Today, the school is proud to partner with every art department on campus to open new training opportunities for our budding artists within the new Arts Business Initiative. As part of this initiative, the Bolz Center is offering the new course with the support of our alumni and friends. Art students will learn and practice business skills, including principles of entrepreneurship finance, risk management, legal, copyright, and tax matters. Students will learn from and network with artists and creative professionals, as well as participate in hands-on projects to secure grants, find donors, negotiate contracts, and price their work. 

Artists bring a diversity of perspectives to our business students. These perspectives, along with creative thinking and communication skills, generate valuable exchanges for all students. The next step is to build on the strength and experience of the campus arts departments to help business students understand and master the creative and entrepreneurial mindset of the artist. 

The Arts Initiative is:

  1. Connecting arts and creative majors to current business coursework and certificates
  2. Building and supporting a learning community in arts entrepreneurship and business
  3. Supporting and sharing emerging research and scholarship related to arts enterprise