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Welcome to the Arts Management Program

Mission

Our mission is to advance the management of all aspects of the arts: commercial and not-for-profit; theatre, dance, music, visual, museum, literary, film, video and the combination of any and all of these in exciting arts centers around the country. Our graduates provide for the continuance, development and nurturing of the art form, the artist and the audience, using technology, science, best practices, relevant and vibrant communications and good practical reasoning, taught by some of this country’s most outstanding practicing arts managers.

The Master of Arts in Arts Management is an accredited program by The National Association of Schools of Arts & Design (NASAD).

The Master of Arts in Arts Management Program at George Mason University represents a unique approach in educating the next generation of Arts Managers. The following points support the claim that this degree and this program provide the critically relevant framework for this important professional career.

1. To Manage Not Administer–The Maun of Coordination and Alignment

First, the program is called the Master of Arts in Arts Management, rather than Arts Administration, the more common nomenclature. The word management derives from the Greek root maun, meaning “to coordinate” or “to bring into alignment.”
Our vision is to see arts managers bring into alignment the many resources required to birth, sustain, and further develop arts organizations. We also see management as occurring at a variety of levels:

  • those who would coordinate the people
  • engage the community
  • develop and sustain the audiences
  • influence the politics
  • foster the development
  • track the finances
  • plan artistic programming

We prepare candidates to support both internal and external alignment, in seamless fashion and at all levels of opportunity and engagement.

2. The Art and the Artist Are Central

Second, this program focuses on applicants who hold degrees in the arts and want to manage the “institution” that provides the climate and infrastructure for the artist to create, perform, and exhibit and the audience/viewer to participate, affirm, and otherwise, support this dynamic.
For those exploring other institutions, in addition to Mason, you will note that Arts Administration and Arts Management programs vary in where they are housed within academic institutions. Some can be found as MBA programs within schools of management. Other programs are housed inside schools of policy, or linked to these schools.

While there is no one right or wrong model, our program is purposefully created as a part of the College of Visual and Performing Arts—where the art and the artist are central. The Arts Management curriculum was created with artists becoming managers in mind, rather than managers learning the arts.
Our focus is very directed—the College of Visual and Performing Arts and, in particular, the Master of Arts in Arts Management program, is about the preservation, nurturing, and advancement of the art form and the artist.

3. Master of Arts in Arts Management Classes Combine Theory with Practice

Aside from New York City, the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area has the largest concentration of arts organizations. Students not only have a very rich environment to learn and intern, but they are also instructed by professional arts managers who possess extensive and diverse backgrounds invested in these very same institutions.

Professional careers advance through networking and being in the right place at the right time—the very combination that makes the Master of Arts in Arts Management degree from Mason the degree to have and the very place to obtain it.

Whether you are considering your next steps as a student, thinking about a career change, or just interested in the intersection of arts and management, welcome, and enjoy exploring our site.