The Master’s program in Arts Management offered in Los Angeles equips you with the tools to create, facilitate, and evaluate work in the visual and performing arts.

With applied skills in administration, finance, and programming, graduates of the Arts Management program emerge prepared for fulfilling careers in nonprofits and social enterprise, public agencies and foundations, arts collectives, and creative communities.

The MA in Arts Management program provides you unparalleled access to diverse leaders and institutions in LA’s thriving arts and cultural scene. Faculty from LA’s professional arts community complement the expertise of scholars from the School of Arts & Humanities, and the Museum Leadership Institute.

Program Highlights
  • Core courses provide a foundation in business and management skills essential to careers in the creative industries.
  • The personalized, seminar-style learning environment begins with coursework in art management dynamics, public policy, evaluation, marketing and communications, fundraising, and strategic planning. The core is fortified by elective courses and extracurricular programs that speak to your passions and career goals.
  • You also benefit from access to the full curriculum of the MA in Art Business.

Program At a Glance

48 units

3 semesters

Fall | Spring

MA in Arts Management

Featured Courses

Intro to Arts Management Dynamics

Introduces students to careers supporting the creation, delivery, presentation, and preservation of the arts and culture across diverse social, cultural, and economic settings. Provides a broad overview of the discipline while immersing students in the arts ecosystem of Los Angeles, a global city. Includes critical reading and writing, group discussion, presentations, guest speakers, and site visits.

Theory & Practice of Institutional Leadership

Explores the theories, processes, and practices behind strategic planning and decision making in arts organizations, including management strategies, business plans, fundraising, human resources, facilities, and program development.

Performing Arts Producing and Presenting

Prepares students to pursue careers in the performing arts today by exploring the various individual roles and organizational structures within the performing arts landscape including: 1) artist representation, administration, producing entities, and presenting models; 2) shifting paradigms between artists, performances spaces, and communities, and 3) the touring of work via formal and informal support systems.

Creative Industries Colloquium

Provides students with an introduction to the curriculum concentrations offered in the program that may be pursued in subsequent semesters. 

Arts & Cultural Policy

Provides an understanding of the importance of cultural policy and how it influences cultural production, consumption, and other forms of participation in the arts in the U.S., with an emphasis
on how cultural policy is developed and implemented at the local government level.

Curatorial Practice

Learn the function and role of the contemporary curator through a year-long cycle of the hands-on planning, mounting, and managing of a contemporary art exhibition in Los Angeles.

View All Courses

Field Study

Field study travel introduces students to emerging and established art markets, and provides behind the scenes access to artists, art businesses, arts organizations, and leaders in the field. The trips are designed to accelerate the formation of international networks and ensure familiarity with the complexity of the international arts landscape.

View recent international itineraries:


Mexico City

Past global destinations include:

  • Singapore
  • Hong Kong
  • Shanghai
  • Beijing
  • Seoul
  • Tokyo
  • Mexico City

Past destinations within LA include:

  • Institute of Contemporary Art, LA
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, LA
  • The Broad

Program Features

Arts Management On Site
Learn from arts professionals and practitioners outside of Los Angeles in other global centers, such as Mexico City, Cape Town, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.

Curatorial Training
During a series of three courses called “Curatorial Practices,” co-taught by Alma Ruiz and Irene Tsatsos, you will experience each stage of planning for, creating, and executing an exhibition.

An excerpt from the Foundations of Curating course syllabus:
What is a curator? What does a curator do? A broadly defined figure, the curator has become a selector and interpreter of the art in an exhibition. In museums, the curator conceives of the exhibition thesis; plays the role of producer, manager, educator, and organizer; and is responsible for wall text and labels, catalog essays, and other exhibition support content. The curator may be called upon to help with fundraising, to interact with the public and the press, and to lecture and conduct seminars. As the curator’s role expands so do the skills required to meet new challenges. This course takes students through the full life cycle of mounting and managing an exhibition, using as a textbook Adrian George’s The Curator’s Handbook, slide presentations by faculty of relevant exhibitions, and visits to and from professionals at area museums.

Arts Management Practicum
The capstone of the program, the Arts Management Practicum puts you in the field. You work as a consultant with local and regional cultural institutions in positions that are often paid. You will analyze an institution’s workings and missions and report on your findings and recommendations. Recent consultations include:

The Master’s Project
Students in the Arts Management degree program may choose to complete their degrees with a Master’s Project rather than the consulting practicum. As is the Master’s Project for the Art Business degree, this is a project of your own design, and it is often directly related to your intended career path upon graduation. It can be completed individually or in small teams.

This course covers the principles of entrepreneurship (e.g. managing process, value creation, teams, and growth) as well as various different entrepreneurial models (e.g. the lean startup, the “non nonprofit,” the “innovator’s dilemma”), all with an eye towards generating ideas for new ventures. Following a research-based approach, you are asked to identify opportunities, customers, and markets for new products, services, businesses, organizations, and initiatives.


Alumni Spotlight

Learn the ins and outs of the museum world in our interview with Victoria Gerard ’15, the Vice President of Collections and Special Exhibitions at the Bowers Museum.

Faculty & Research

  • Jonathan T.D. Neil profile image

    Jonathan T.D. Neil

    Director, Center for Business & Management of the Arts

    Research Interests

    Modern and contemporary art, Architectural history, International art market, Critical writing/theory, History of photography

  • Amy Shimshon-Santo profile image

    Amy Shimshon-Santo

    Associate Professor of Practice in Arts Management
    2020 Cohort Academic Lead

    Research Interests

    Arts Management, Entrepreneurship, Social and Cultural Enterprise, The Arts and Community Development, Urbanism, Arts Education, Dance, Creative Writing

  • Kibum Kim profile image

    Kibum Kim

    Program Director, Art Business

    Research Interests

    Art Market Dynamics, Comparative Art Markets

  • Laura Zucker profile image

    Laura Zucker

    Interim Head of Arts Management
    Associate Director, Center for Business & Management of the Arts

    Research Interests

    Arts management, Nonprofits

  • Alma Ruiz profile image

    Alma Ruiz

    Senior Fellow, Center for Business & Management of the Arts

    Research Interests

    Contemporary Latin American Art, Exhibition Making & Managing​

  • Melody Kanschat profile image

    Melody Kanschat

    Executive Director, Museum Leadership Institute

Where You Can Find Our Alumni

Request information about the Arts Management program

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Margo Cash

Assistant Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-1186 (Direct)
T: 909-607-7811 (Central Admissions)