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 online 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 nationally ranked and respected Wisconsin School of Business, the Bolz Center program blends intensive business study, hands-on experience, and extensive professional networking opportunities for its students and alumni. The Bolz Center for Arts Administration is named in recognition of the generous support of Robert and John Bolz, and the Eugenie Mayer Bolz Family Foundation.

The primary activity of the Bolz Center is the MBA degree with a major in arts administration. This two-year, full-time degree program blends graduate coursework in business and arts administration, distinguished guest speakers, and real-world work experience. The unique combination of coursework, networking, and hands-on experience is designed to prepare graduates for the special challenges of working in arts and culture. The Bolz Center is closely connected to the arts on campus and off, providing students with exceptional opportunities to learn, to experience, and to contribute their talents. 

Because arts administration is a relatively 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.

Apply to the MBA in Arts Administration

Applicants to the MBA in Arts Administration apply through the Full-Time Wisconsin MBA Program. Click 'Apply Now' for details.