Arts Administration

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O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs: Indiana University

It takes more than passion to successfully lead an arts organization. Future arts administrators need business acumen, marketing expertise, and management skills to tackle the art world’s greatest challenges.

As a MAAA student, you’ll learn from top scholars in arts management and cultural policy. In addition to being committed educators, O’Neill faculty members are highly regarded by their peers in the arts management industry and at academic institutions across the country. Combining faculty and practical expertise with the astonishing variety of cultural offerings on campus and in Bloomington, students can look forward to an intellectually and culturally stimulating experience in the study and practice of arts management, while preparing themselves for leadership in the arts in the decades ahead.

Goals and Objectives

Arts Administrators are extraordinary individuals. As leaders in their field they must balance idealism with realism, understanding that the management of art in all its variety, from initial spark of creation to audience presentation, is a complex mixture of creativity, understanding the audience, engaging the community, and the application of multiple “hard” and “soft” skills. As one of the long-standing leaders in the field, the Indiana University Arts Administration program has been committed to the development of arts leaders in all disciplines since 1971. In addition to our core Master of Arts degree, we also offer dual Master’s degree programs in arts and public policy and in arts and folklore/ethnomusicology. In 2006 we opened a B.S. in Arts Management for undergraduates, which now includes 150 majors.

The core program, a multi-disciplinary Master of Arts in Arts Administration, is broad-based in outlook and curriculum. It strives to achieve a balance of artistic management, theory and policy concerns, alongside hands-on experience. Students complete three semesters of coursework on-campus, 150 hours in three practica, and a supervised 280-hour off-campus internship. The program seeks to serve students who are at the beginning stages of their careers as well as older students wishing to change focus. Internships are often taken in the summer after the first year of classes in the location (nationally or internationally) of the student’s choice. The program also offers opportunities for international study via intensive summer programs in Austria, France and several other locations; and through cooperative degree exchanges in Rotterdam, Australia, England, and China.

Located in Bloomington, Indiana, the program benefits from a strong relationship to the local and robust arts community. The internationally recognized IU Jacobs School of Music presents more than 1,100 concerts and events annually. A new production opens almost every other week on one of the two stages in the Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance. The IU Auditorium offers popular entertainment including touring Broadway shows and artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Twyla Tharp, The Cleveland Orchestra, Jon Stewart, Susan Graham, Blue Man Group, Itzhak Perlman, and many others. The IU Art Museum, in its unique I.M. Pei-designed building with an encyclopedic collection of over 45,000 works, offers art from nearly every period and culture. Other organizations on campus include the Mathers Museum of World Cultures; the renowned IU Cinema; Lilly Library of rare books and materials; the African American Arts Institute; and the Archives of Traditional Music. IU is also home to the nation’s most progressive and largest arts digitization initiative.

The City of Bloomington annually hosts numerous festivals such as the critically acclaimed Lotus World Music and Arts Festival, the Bloomington Early Music Festival, the Indiana Heritage Quilt Festival, and the Fourth Street Festival. A myriad of other performing and visual arts events are offered by dozens of local arts organizations including the Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District, John Waldron Arts Center, the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, the Bloomington Playwright’s Project, WonderLab Children’s Museum, the USA International Harp Competition, and the Cardinal Stage Company. Our students work in paid positions at these and other community and campus arts organizations. As a major university, IU is a favored site of prominent speakers and events including John Kerry, Madeleine Albright, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Meryl Streep, John Waters, and John Lewis.


The degree requires 45 credit hours of course work, including three 50-hour practicum projects (3 credits), and a 280-hour internship (3 credits). Recent internship sites have included Carnegie Hall, The National Repertory Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Chicago Office of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Seattle Opera, Artpace San Antonio, The Smithsonian Institution, Arena Stage, The Phillips Collection, The Manhattan Theatre Club, Stage One Family Theatre, Seattle International Film Festival, The Guggenheim Museum, Bravo Vail, and the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art. The program has standing agreements with some of these organizations. Practicum projects, which vary widely in discipline and scope, may be completed any time during the course of the program.

The MAAA degree requires a total of 45 credit hours for graduation. Of these, 30 credits are earned through core courses, 9 credits through elective courses, and 6 credits of experiential learning.

Core Classes Include:
Organizational Behavior and Intro to Arts Management
Arts Organizations in the Public and Private Sectors
Audience Development and Marketing the Arts
Arts Administration in the Cultural Sector
Fund Development for Nonprofits
Legal Issues in the Arts
Financial Management for the Arts
one course in Performing Arts Management
one course in Museum Management
one course in Cultural Policy
Capstone in Arts Administration

Elective courses may be chosen from the arts administration program or from any graduate-level program across the Indiana University campus. Elective courses offered by the arts administration program include:
Public Policy in the Arts
Programming the Performing Arts
Curating in Galleries and Museums
Cultural Planning and Urban Development
The Arts and Social Change
IT Applications for the Arts
Graphic Design for Arts Administrators
Special Topics including Education Policy, Advocacy, etc.


Students who have achieved outstanding undergraduate records in any major will be considered for admission. Many of our students have undergraduate degrees in music, visual arts, theatre and drama, dance, and business administration, among others. Approximately 35 students enter the program each year.

Student selection is based on:
Academic record as demonstrated by undergraduate transcript(s)
Two strong letters of recommendation
Evidence of the ability to work at a graduate level as scored by the GRE (in addition to TOEFL requirements for international students)
Evidence of motivation and maturity to succeed in graduate studies and to work in the profession of arts administration, as demonstrated by a resume and statement of purpose.

All letters of inquiry and requests for application information should be directed to [email protected].

Applications can be completed online at
Hard copy application materials can be sent via postal mail to:

Arts Administration Program
Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs
315 East Tenth Street, SPEA 260
Bloomington, Indiana 47405

The deadline for receipt of all materials is February 1. Students admitted to the program will be notified before April 15.

Financial Aid
A comprehensive program of merit aid is applied for most new students; levels vary. Most students have the opportunity to work with the program's support for local arts organizations on campus and in the Bloomington community.

For information on tuition, student loans and work-study, please contact the IU Office of Student Financial Assistance:
(812) 855-0321

Please visit the Arts Administration Program website for the most up-to-date information

O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs: Indiana University

Michael Rushton
Karen Gahl-Mills
Joanna Woronkowicz
Frank Lewis
Ursula Kuhar

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 812-855-0282

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