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

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.

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

  • marketing and 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.

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.

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
  • B.S. Dance-Arts Administration
  • B.S. Arts Administration – Art
  • B.S. Arts Administration – Art History
  • 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

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

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

To apply to Butler and 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 and Music, a portfolio for Art, an audition or portfolio presentation for Theatre or a personal interview for Art History or 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.

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.

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

Arts Administration graduates have over a 90% placement success and many of the jobs come about as a result of the required 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

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

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.

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

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.

Not at this time.

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

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

  • 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.