Covid has increased the pressure on arts institutions, and raised the importance of business, finance and management skills to the sector’s survival. In response, some business schools have teamed up with art schools to launch MBA programs, and others have launched arts-focused MBAs.
The programs provide a solid grounding in the management of the arts and performing arts sectors alongside providing broader business acumen. Taught by leading practitioners from the industry, these degrees also often include hands-on experience.
Some business schools offer electives in the wider creative sector, which includes arts organizations, and give students a solid grounding in the commercial side of these important cultural institutions. Other schools offer not MBA degrees per-say but related programs such as executive PhDs or masters programs that mirror MBA courses.
Many business schools draw on their locations in historically significant cultural and arts centers across the US and Europe, though some are joint degree programs in China. Indeed, often business schools will combine forces with arts schools to deliver joint degree programs that confer both an MBA and an MA in Arts Management.
The Schulich School of Business, together with the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design at York University in Toronto offer a joint MBA and Master of Fine Art degree, one of the most respected of its kind in Canada. The curriculum covers the visual arts, theatre, film and dance along with the management issues and practices facing arts organizations.View School Profile
Students pursing the highly ranked MBA from Cambridge can opt to purse the program’s concentration in Culture, Arts, and Media Management, which examines the overlap between these artistic fields and business. Although the program is notable for placements in the less artsy consulting and finance fields, around 10 percent of recent classes have gone into firms in the arts or media management spaces.View School Profile
The SMU Cox School of Business and the Meadows School of the Arts offer a joint degree program combining an MBA and an MA in Arts Management based in Dallas, Texas. The program is heavily subsidized with 90 percent of students typically receiving a scholarship. It combines courses in both business and the arts, along with internships and experiential projects at arts institutions solving their particular challenges.View School Profile
Wisconsin School of Business has offered the MBA in Arts Administration for more than four decades. The degree offers intensive training in business and strategic and innovative thinking along with broad knowledge of nonprofit cultural management. The degree is taught by leading arts industry practitioners and includes hands-on work experiences.View School Profile
The NYU Stern School of Business runs an Entertainment, Media and Technology program that covers related artistic industries including film, video and music. The program which is open to MBA and undergraduate students at the top ranked business school, focuses on the economic issues facing cultural, entertainment and media companies along with marketing, finance, management, accounting and legal issues.View School Profile
PSB - Paris School of Business, which is accredited by AACSB, offers an MBA in Arts and Cultural Management based in France, in partnership with the Institut d’Études Supérieures des Arts (IESA) arts school. The degree develops students’ understanding of the arts and performing arts sectors, while developing skills in art management and business more broadly.View School Profile
Queen’s Management School, which is accredited by EQUIS, offers a master’s degree in arts management that mirrors an MBA. Based in Belfast, Ireland, it’s for experienced professionals and it lasts for one or two years and covers strategic planning, financial management along with providing an advanced knowledge and understanding of the arts management and cultural policy and practice.View School Profile
Europe’s ESCP Business School runs an MBA-like course, the Executive PhD in Art Business Management, in partnership with the Tsinghua University Academy of Art and Design in Beijing. Students need a minimum of five years’ professional experience and they take business classes at ESCP’s campuses across Europe before studying the art world at Tsinghua in China.View School Profile
SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan, a center for the arts, runs the Arts and Culture Knowledge Center where MBA students can learn about the arts and culture sector and undertake professional and educational projects. The business school also runs a one-year master’s program in the arts jointly with several other business schools.View School Profile
USC Marshall School of Business in California offers an elective in the Business of Creative Industries that seeks to develop students who are both managerially proficient and artistically savvy. The elective gives MBA students the chance to gain an advanced understanding of the commercial side of the creative business.View School Profile