Welcome to the Arts Management Program
Where the art and the artist are central
The George Mason University Arts Management Program seeks to advance the management of all aspects of the arts. Our graduates, taught by some of this country’s most outstanding practicing managers, provide for the development and nurturing of artists, audiences, and communities. Mason offers a Master of Arts in arts management, an undergraduate minor in arts management, and in partnership with the School of Theater, an accelerated Master of Arts in arts management/Bachelor of Arts in theater.
The Master of Arts in Arts Management is an accredited program by The National Association of Schools of Arts & Design (NASAD).
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 visual and performing arts managers who possess extensive and diverse backgrounds invested in these very same institutions.
The Arts Management Program at George Mason University represents a unique approach in educating the next generation of visual and performing arts managers. This program focuses on applicants who 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.
The program is called 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.