(This is only a partial list of distinctive graduate training programs, leaning toward programs that emphasize professional theatre training and LORT connections. We're indebted for this information, updated as of January 2007, to Jim Volz, Management Consultant for the Arts, University of California, Fullerton.)

Brooklyn College of the City University of New York (

Students are taught and mentored by professionals in the classroom for this MFA in Performing Arts Management. Students attend classes in professional settings such as the Roundabout Theatre, Brooklyn Academy of Music, etc.) and are required to take 60 hours of coursework, including three semester-long externships of a minimum of 200 hours each. Program Head Tobie Stein notes that "By the fourth semester, BC students are ready to assume a full-time job and to write their thesis about their job. In the nine years since taking over for Stephen Langley, almost all of my students landed full-time jobs before they graduated, and almost all are still employed in the field."

Carnegie Mellon Institute for the Management of Creative Enterprises, Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania (

This Master of Arts Management (MAM) Program is a two-year, full-time program designed for students interested in being executives in the arts and related areas. It is designed for students with significant experience in the arts. Director Dan J. Martin notes that "our programs are joint offerings of the College of Fine Arts and the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon" and "our students benefit from seeing how common challenges are addressed within other public and private sector industries." He also notes that "we infuse technology tools across the curriculum," have a strong commitment to interdisciplinarity" and encourage "entrepreneurial and forward thinking."

Columbia College Chicago

Arts, Entertainment & Media Management Graduate Program  ( )

The 37-hour program focuses on both the nonprofit and for-profit sides of cultural enterprise and offers the opportunity to specialize in Performing Arts Management and related areas. Each program combines a strong conceptual emphasis with practical professional education with a commitment to helping students learn to appreciate the value of the arts, to understand the economic, political and social climate in which the arts operate, and to anticipate future opportunities and challenges.

Columbia University Teachers College Graduate Program in Arts Administration, New York (

The Arts Administration program reflects the conviction that the management of cultural institutions and arts organizations requires strategic planning, artistic creativity and social commitment. Arts managers must possess integrated management and financial skills, knowledge of the artistic process in which they are involved and sensitivity to the dynamics and educational needs of the communities they serve. The Master of Arts degree represents an alliance of arts, education, business, and law and is designed to help professionals meet the challenges of the next decade. Joan Jeffri is the director of arts administration.

Florida State University Theatre Management Program, Tallahassee, Florida (

FSU offers MA, MS, EdD, and Ph.D degrees through its Arts Administration Center and an MFA in Theatre Management, a three-year terminal degree consisting of two years in residence on the FSU campus and a third year spent in an internship at the FSU/Asolo and Ringling Center for the Performing Arts in Sarasota, Florida or pursuing internship opportunities in other theatres. Alumni of the program are working in professional regional theatres, major orchestras, performing arts centers, and related arts and culture organization across America.

Indiana University Arts Administration Program, Bloomington, Indiana (

The program, a two-year, multi-disciplinary course of study leading to an MA in Arts Administration and strives to achieve a balance of artistic and management practices and theory and hands-on experience. Students complete three semesters of course work, on campus practicums, and a one-semester supervised internship off campus. Specialization is available in performing arts areas.

New York University Performing Arts Administration (

The NYU program is a cooperative program of both the School of Education and the School of Business and offers an MA in Arts Administration. Director Brann J. Wry notes that "NYU's arts management program's faculty has melded into a creative unit that's interested in the whole field of theatre arts, the music business, entertainment, visual arts and corporate art collection in an emerging creative fashion. We talk about over arching issues all the time," adds Wry, "and we have a great laboratory from which to draw faculty and practitioners in the field and to provide internships and experiences for our students."

North Carolina School of the Arts ( ( )

The NCSA MFA in Performing Arts Management Program emphasizes a responsible, hands-on approach to its training and expects the successful graduate of its program to be qualified to pursue theatre, dance or music careers in either a nonprofit or commercial organization. Director Robert Wildman points to "the ever-growing need for well-trained executive leadership in the arts," and hopes the program will "help fill what many in the profession consider a void in the arts industry." The program requires two academic years in residence at NCSA, with a third-year internship of flexible length.

Southern Methodist University Meadows School of the Arts (

Students are required to complete 75 hours (27 hours in the Meadows School of the Arts and 48 hours in the School of Business) over a two-year period. Students receive an MA in Arts Administration and an MBA from the School of Business. The SMU program, based in Dallas, Texas, is based on the philosophy that a successful career in arts management requires a thorough knowledge of contemporary business practices coupled with a deep appreciation for the arts. Course work continues for six terms and the sixth term is spent fulfilling an internship requirement.

Texas Tech University (

The primary focus of the Texas Tech program is to train leaders and advocates in the field of theatre administration/arts management. The program offers an MFA in Theatre/Arts Management as well as a Ph.D. in Fine Arts. "Our program at Texas Tech University is unique, not because we have an MFA in Arts Administration, but because we have a doctoral program--a PhD in Fine Arts, with major courses in Theatre, Art or Music," explains Arts Administration Head Linda Donahue. Within the doctoral program, a student can concentrate in the area of arts administration.

Southern Utah University (

SUU's relatively new, two year, year round program allows students to work alongside arts management professionals in the MFA affiliates: the Utah Shakespearean Festival, the Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery and the College of Performing and Visual Arts. According to MFA director, Matt Neves: SUU's 60-hour MFA program is different because "it relies heavily on mentored, supervised practice as well as rigorous educational standards." Every student that is accepted is given a full tuition waiver and an assistantship.

University of Alabama/Alabama Shakespeare Festival (

The Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Management/Arts Administration is a two-year program where students spend nine months on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa and fifteen months at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery. "On both ends, students are given intense academic and practical opportunities," explains program head Thomas Adkins. They are also awarded assistantships/living stipends and full tuition waivers.

University of Cincinnati , College-Conservatory of Music (

The UC/CCM Graduate Arts Administration Program exists to prepare and train students to become successful CEOs and senior managers of nonprofit arts and cultural institutions. Students may earn both the MA in Arts Administration and the MBA degrees in two full academic years. "Strong business training, excellent practicum experiences and a knowledgeable, tough-minded faculty" are at the heart of all good programs, notes director Alan Yaffe and associate director Steven Morrison adds that "our program engages students to use their decision-making skills not only in the classroom, but in the practical real-world environment of arts organizations."

University of Wisconsin (

The Bolz Center for Arts Administration is one of North America's oldest graduate business degrees in arts and cultural management. The two-year intensive MBA degree program balances professional practice with high-level business thinking and includes extensive networking and close interaction with MBA classmates. Director Andrew Taylor notes that "our students take a full-on MBA degree, side-by-side in their classes with students heading toward the commercial world, adapted and enhanced by specialized coursework, hands-on work experience, and research in nonprofit and public cultural enterprise."

Virginia Tech (

The MFA in Arts Administration program in Blacksburg, Virginia. is designed for students who desire a rigorous self-directed approach to building core leadership competencies in pursuit of careers in the professional arts and cultural arena. "At our Institute for Cultural Policy and Practice, we have now designed more than 50 learning environments, all of which are highly experiential, non-didactic opportunities for those who have the primary executive, trustee, and/or artistic responsibilities to examine and refine their practice," notes Virginia Tech MFA director John M. McCann."

Wayne State University (

Preparing graduates for advanced careers in theatre management is the primary focus of WSU's 3-year MFA in theatre with an emphasis in Theatre Management program in Detroit, Michigan. Students participate in the management of WSU's three producing theatres and graduate students may elect to teach an undergraduate course in theatre management in their third year. "We have a 100% placement rate into arts administration jobs--most go into mid-level management, and some start at salaries higher than their professors," notes MFA head Anthony Rhine.

Yale University (

Yale has offered an MFA through the Theater Management Department in the Yale School of Drama since 1965. The three-year program combines a full sequence of courses, a case study writing requirement, professional involvement in the management of Yale Repertory Theatre, collaboration in a full schedule of productions in the School of Drama and Yale Cabaret, and the option of a one-semester fellowship in a professional setting away from campus. Edward A. Martenson is the Chair. The Theater Management Department also offers a joint MFA/MBA degree program with the Yale School of Management. "The most distinguishing aspect of YSD training is the collaboration between all disciplines," notes Deputy Dean Victoria Nolan.

Notable non-degree pathways and ARTS


Allen Lee Hughes Fellows and Intern Program

Arena Theatre, Washington D.C. (

The Allen Lee Hughes Fellowship Program was established to increase participation of people of color in professional theater. One of the first theater-run apprenticeships in the country dedicated exclusively to providing the highest standard of training to minorities, it is an attempt to break the cycle of exclusion and disengagement that has created a severe shortage of trained minority arts administrators, artisans and technicians. "We have been proud to see Fellows and Interns go on to leadership positions around the country," notes the Arena's Stephen Richard.

Americans for the Arts, New York and Washington D.C. (

An "Emerging Leaders in the Arts" program is central to Americans for the Arts' efforts to identify and cultivate the next generation of arts leaders in America. The program includes conference discounts, creative conversations, peer groups, interviews with leaders in the arts and an emerging leader council to assist in developing resources to promote the growth, development, and sustenance of emerging arts professionals nationwide.


Federal/State/County/City Arts Councils & Foundations

Many theatre leaders have benefited from wide-ranging career development and arts support programs that come and go based on the politics and budgets of their local arts councils. A few examples are listed below.

New York Foundation for the Arts ( )

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) offers an extensive national directory of awards, services, and publications for artists with listings that include over 4,200 arts organizations, 2,900 award programs, 4,200 service programs, and 900 publications for individual artists across the country including resources for immigrants and refugees and Leaders Circles® (peer-coaching groups of up to seven arts executives who meet to discuss leadership issues).

Grants for Individuals: Arts ( )

Grants for individuals in the arts may be found in a handy compilation of books and web pages through "Grants for Individuals: Arts" and many of these opportunities are for theatre leadership development. The Joyce Awards are a prime example.

Joyce Awards to Support Creation of Works by Minority Artists (

One goal of the "Joyce Awards to Support Creation of Works by Minority Artists" is to strengthen the infrastructure and leadership of culturally specific and community-based arts organizations, primarily in Chicago.

National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (

Starting very early on is the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts whose mission includes identifying emerging artists and assisting them at critical junctures in their educational and professional development.

Princess Grace Foundation (

Also aimed at the aspiring young artist, the Princess Grace Foundation has awarded over $4 million to over 400 individuals since 1984 through fellowships and scholarships in nonprofit theatres.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (

and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (

One objective of New Generations, a joint program of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is to cultivate and strengthen a new generation of theatre leaders through mentorships with accomplished theatre practitioners, both within the United States and abroad. It is administered by Theatre Communications Group and detailed below.

The Fund Raising School, Indianapolis, Indiana ( )

A background in fundraising is music to the ears of Boards of Trustees who hire most of America's key nonprofit arts leaders. Although it is true that this program is based at The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, the "Certificate in Fund Raising Management" recognizes and rewards a commitment to fundraising leadership through successful completion of only four key courses offered by the School in the Principles & Techniques of Fundraising, Planned Giving, Developing Major Gifts and Interpersonal Communication for Fundraising.

Kennedy Center Arts Management Programs, Washington D.C. ( )

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) is a triumphant network of over 600 academic institutions involving 18,000 students. For many students, it is their first experience with theatre outside their home state and many theatre leaders consider it to be an early driving force in creating leaders for America's theatres. It is just one of the many Kennedy Center programs. Certainly, the most focused for managers would be the fellowship and internship programs in arts management. The Fellowship Program provides up to ten "highly motivated, disciplined, and creative artists and arts managers the instruction and experience they need to succeed." Fellowships are 10-month, full-time, September through June experiences. The Internship Program offers semester long, full-time, on-the-job experiences for college juniors, seniors, graduate students, and recent graduates who are interested in beginning careers in arts management or arts education. Internships include advertising, development, education (local and national programs), National Symphony Orchestra, press relations, production, programming, technology, volunteer management, and finance.

National Arts Strategies, Washington D. C. (

NAS has been around for over two decades providing leadership education for arts and culture, including executive education programs and residential programs studying cultural leadership in partnership with Stanford's Center for Social Innovation. Customized programs are created for individual communities or institutions and many of America's theatres have sent representatives to NAS for programs on strategic marketing, leading innovation, managing people, creative alliances, governance and financing the future. 2007 sessions are currently scheduled in Atlanta, Phoenix, Seattle, Chicago, New York and Stanford.

TCG (Theatre Communications Group, New York (

Certainly, TCG's Conversations in the Field, Managers Teleconferences, travel grants, and human resources training programs (including the TARGET co-sponsored Expanding the Theatre Manager's Repertoire program) have addressed timely leadership and professional development needs in the field. Perhaps, most importantly, the New Generations Program provides opportunities for "Future Leaders" with mentorships, stipends, and grants and " Future Collaborations" (TCG/ ITI International Fellowships) for theatre professionals to travel internationally and share ideas and techniques and/or collaborate. In addition, the Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowships supports both emerging and established actors and the Alan Schneider Directing Award goes to mid-career freelance directors who have established local or regional reputations. All of these programs have the potential to bolster the number of producers, producing directors, managers and other theatre professionals needed to lead America's theatres through the 21st century.

Page last modified September 19, 2018