Frequently Asked Questions

 What is Arts Administration?

 Arts Administration is the business of creating, developing and managing nonprofit arts organizations.  These include:

  • orchestras
  • dance companies
  • theatres
  • local arts agencies
  • choirs
  • museums
  • arts centers
  • arts festivals
  • operas

 What is a nonprofit organization?

It is a mission-based organization that seeks to benefit the "greater good" of the community.  Typically, nonprofits earn only a portion of their total revenues (from ticket sales or gate fees, for example) and rely on contributed income to cover the true costs of their work.  Any profits earned must be invested in the organization's programs and services.

 What do Arts Administrators do?

They run and work for nonprofit arts organizations.  Their duties can include:

  • marketing & advertising
  • audience development
  • season selection
  • community outreach
  • special events
  • management
  • arts education
  • ticket sales
  • fundraising
  • public relations

Arts administrators are the bridge between art, artists and audiences.

What is unique about Butler's Department of Arts Administration?

The Butler program is fully integrated into the University's core and liberal arts curriculum as well as the arts disciplines.  Students are encouraged to be personally involved in a variety of art forms.   Ours is one of the first comprehensive undergraduate Arts Administration programs in the country.

 What kind of job can I get with an Arts Administration degree?

 There are a variety of professional positions that are associated with managing arts organizations.  These include:

  • Executive Director
  • Artistic Director
  • Program and Project Directors
  • Development Director
  • Special Events Coordinator
  • Exhibition Planner
  • Financial Manager
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Box Office Manager
  • Education Coordinator
  • Community and Corporate Relations Manager
  • Manager of Artistic Outreach
  • Donor Relations Manager
  • Grants Manager
  • Director of Patron Services
  • Facility Manager

 What degrees are available?

  • B.S. Dance-Arts Administration
  • B.S. Arts Administration - Music
  • B.S. Arts Administration - Theatre
  • B.S. Arts Administration

The Bachelor of Science (BS) program at Butler University (BU) focuses on:

  • a combination of skills and education in the arts
  • a strong concentration in business and journalism
  • courses in arts management, including fundraising, audience development, organizational structure and planning
  • experiential learning, including a required 6-credit internship 

 What courses do I have to take?                

Each degree requires 128 credit hours, including:

  • University required Core Curriculum
  • Courses in the Arts (these differ depending on the specific art focus of the Arts Administration degree)
  • Courses in Business (Economics, Accounting, Marketing and Management)
  • Courses in Journalism (Writing for Print Media, Advertising and Public Relations)
  • Courses in Arts Administration
  • Experiential learning (internship/independent study/experiential learning possibilities)
  • General Electives or a minor

 How do I get into the Arts Administration Department?

To enroll, you need to apply and be accepted into Butler University (BU) and the Jordan College of the Arts (JCA). 

To apply to BU and the JCA, you'll need to complete:

  • A Butler application and all the general materials required for it (including application form, transcripts, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, etc. See the Admission web site for more details.)
  • A supplemental JCA departmental application for the department in which you intend to enroll.
  • An audition for Dance & Music, an audition or portfolio presentation for Theatre or a personal interview for Arts Administration.

If you are already a Butler student in another degree or exploratory program, you will need to interview with the department chair for admission to the Arts Administration Department.

  Can I have a double major?  Minor?

Double majors and minors are definite possibilities for any Butler student.  The student must meet the requirements of both departments to be granted the double major or minor.

 Can I go on study abroad?

Butler offers many opportunities to study abroad regardless of your major.    Butler also offers a semester of study in Washington D.C.

 How many students get jobs right away? 

Arts Administration graduates have over a 90% placement success and many of the jobs come about as a result of the required arts administration internship.  Some examples of jobs our graduates have been offered:

  • Actor's Theatre of Louisville
  • Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp
  • Boston Lyric Opera
  • Chicago Shakespeare Theater
  • Smithsonian Associates
  • Washington Ballet
  • Houston Ballet
  • Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
  • Young Audiences of Indiana
  • United Way of Central Indiana
  • Arts Council of Indianapolis
  • Indiana Arts Commission
  • Kentucky Center for the Arts
  • Alabama Symphony Orchestra
  • IPS Key Learning Community

   How much money will I make?

This is dependent on the size and location of the organization.

  How do I get an internship?

After attending an Arts Administration Internship meeting, the student may begin his or her own internship search. 

  • There is an application process with most organizations in order to be placed in an internship.
  • Students must communicate with the Arts Administration Department to verify the quality of the internship before applying or accepting any internship.
  • We recommend applying for several internships to ensure placement.
  • Once the student has been offered the internship and all details and requirements are settled, the Arts Administration Department will send a confirmation letter to the organization. 

 Will what I learn in the Arts Administration Department also apply to a for-profit organization? 

Yes.  Business, leadership, writing & communication skills as well as teamwork & planning are all desirable skills in the for-profit world.

  Will classes required for Arts Administration, translate into other professions? 

Absolutely! Because the Arts Administration degree requires classes in many disciplines (business, journalism, and the University's Core Curriculum), students who spend time in the Arts Administration department are well prepared to move into most any other field of study.

Is there a minor in arts admin?

Not at this time.  

How many students are in the department, professors? 

Currently, there are approximately 90 students in the department with 2 full-time professors and adjunct professors joining the faculty on a regular basis.

What happens if I decide this should not be my major when I am a Junior?

Because of Butler's Core Curriculum requirements (where every undergraduate student takes the same Core courses), changing your major is possible.

What are the strengths of the Butler Arts Administration program?

  • Bringing together diverse areas of study.
  • Providing educational opportunities and training for students seeking to manage the arts.
  • Providing comprehensive undergraduate liberal arts education which integrates the arts with business skills.
  • Preparing students for a career working with a wide variety of artists and nonprofit arts organizations.
  • Offering opportunities for students to learn and develop skills through experiential learning experiences, including internships, practicum and special projects with small and large arts organizations.