Managers and administrative leaders of arts organizations provide a bridge between art, artists, and audiences. They combine the tools of business—management, marketing, financial accounting, operations, negotiation—with the tools of community-building—fundraising, development, education, outreach, volunteerism, partnership—to make thriving and vital spaces for arts and culture.
While businesses in arts, entertainment, and culture come in many forms, "Arts Administration" usually refers specifically to organizations formed as nonprofit or public organizations. These organizations make only a portion of their total revenues from earned income (such as ticket sales or gate fees), often relying on contributed income to cover the true costs of their work. As a group, nonprofit arts and culture organizations foster a vast array of cultural experiences in small towns, big cities, and through many media—from symphonies to jazz bands, theaters to sculpture gardens, museums to community arts centers, public radio to on-line ventures.
The Bolz Center for Arts Administration was founded in 1969 as the first multidisciplinary business degree program to address the special needs of this emerging field. Built on the foundation of a nationally-ranked and respected School of Business, the Bolz Center program blends intensive business study, hands-on experience, and extensive professional networking opportunities for its students and alumni.
Because Arts Administration is such a young profession, the Bolz Center also serves as a center of discussion, research, and analysis—continually redefining and refining our collective understanding of what it means to manage and lead in this challenging field.
For more specific examples of what arts administrators do, take a look at our various Alumni Profiles.