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What is Arts Administration?

| Rachel Mueller, Theatre Arts & English, '22

Have you ever wondered how a play gets to the stage? How a painting gets hung in a museum or gallery? How an orchestra gets the funds to perform? 

Arts administration (also referred to as “arts management”) is a growing field that manages and plans for arts organizations. Whether for Broadway theatres, record labels, orchestras, or governmental organizations, arts administrators are everywhere. Arts managers support the work of artists of all disciplines, but are still creatives themselves - the field is vast, with plenty of artistic collaboration to be found.

In order to prepare students for this broad career field, the UW-Eau Claire Music and Theatre Arts Department established the Arts Administration certificate program over two decades ago. Coursework covers arts areas, such as music, theatre, dance, and art history, as well as business areas such as management and marketing. Students are required to take the Fine Arts Administration Seminar capstone and must complete three credits of internship work with an arts organization.

Since 2003, the Arts Administration certificate program has graduated 35 students and is growing every year - 25 are currently enrolled. Students have completed internships with local organizations such as Pablo Center, Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild, Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra, the Heyde Center, Foster Gallery, and more. These experiences lay the groundwork for future leaders to effectively manage arts organizations nationwide.

What Arts Administrators Do:

  • Fundraising/Development
  • Programming
  • Grant Writing
  • Marketing/PR
  • Community Outreach/Engagement
  • Education
  • Producing
  • Curating
  • Event Management
  • Company Management
  • Front of House Management
  • Box Office/Ticketing
  • Operations

Where Arts Administrators Work:

  • Arts Councils
  • Arts Foundations
  • Consulting Services
  • Dance Companies
  • Film & TV
  • Museums & & galleries
  • Music (popular and classical)
  • Recording Studios
  • Opera Companies
  • Theatre Companies
  • Festivals
  • Fashion Industry
  • Schools/Universities