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While the Bolz Center’s primary focus is the one-year Master of Arts-Business: Arts and Creative Enterprise Leadership program, we actively engage in projects and initiatives of national significance that inform our curriculum, unite our students and alumni, and extend our efforts to redefine the field of arts administration.

In a field as young and evolutionary as arts administration, leadership training and preparation must be integrated with exploration and discovery. The Bolz Center for Arts Administration is committed not only to training leaders with a constant hunger for learning, but also to serving as a model for exploration through involvement in national initiatives, consulting projects, and experiences that engage the insights of our alumni and colleagues around the world.

This page offers a sample of current and recent initiatives and links to others that might be of interest to students, scholars, or practitioners of arts administration.

Our Current and Past Initiatives

Arts Business Initiative (ABI)

The Arts Business Initiative was launched in 2012 in response to an identified need on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Our artistic and creative communities were in need of business skills, which would allow them to thrive in creative industries once they left campus. Through the initial spark and funding of a Kauffman Foundation Grant, led by Stephanie Jutt of the School of Music, the Bolz Center for Arts Administration partnered with Jutt to fund and deliver a suite of arts and business coursework, under the heading of Arts Enterprise, which became both a course and a franchised club on campus.

Arts Enterprise curriculum marked the beginning of a partnership with the School of Business in the drive to offer business skills and foundational coursework in business and entrepreneurship to artists and other creatives on campus. Arts Enterprise has been followed up by the development of additional coursework, an entrepreneurship competition called the New Arts Venture Challenge (founded by Jutt and now funded and supported by the Arts Institute), the connection of coursework and internship credit to the Certificate of Entrepreneurship, which is available to any student on campus, and coursework and training for undergraduate students in aesthetic development for leadership training.

ABI was funded for a three-year period from 2012- 2015, through the School of Business Innovation Fund and the Provost’s office of the UW-Madison campus. During this period of growth, the ABI oversaw the expansion of the Arts Enterprise class and the introduction of the Department of Continuing Studies as a partner in the AE class.

Read more about ABI

The Dawson Research Initiative

Since 2005, the Bolz Center for Arts Administration has been working in partnership with the Association of Performing Arts Presenters to connect our students and performing arts professionals to emerging research relevant to the field. The initiative honors and celebrates the life and work of former Arts Presenters president and arts management pioneer Bill Dawson.

Past topics have included ’’How We Make Meaning,’’ an exploration of emerging insights in consumer behavior, brain science, audience research, and sociology, and ’’Professional Presenters and the Amateur Arts,’’ defining the promise and challenge of engaging non-professionals in the life and work of professional presenting organizations.