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Master of Fine Arts in Arts Leadership

Arts Leadership

Empowering a New Wave of Arts Professionals

The Master of Fine Arts degree (MFA) in Arts Leadership provides future arts leaders with an opportunity to merge the latest management theories of nonprofit organizations with the specific skills necessary to lead complex arts organizations.

Operating in a broad range of creative disciplines and approaches, MFA students work alongside arts management professionals in local organizations with the intent of applying their classroom their classroom learning to their practicum experiences. This blend of classroom instruction and hands-on practical experience prepares students for challenging arts leadership positions.

Students build a portfolio of practice in the arts sector, strengthened by academic rigor and applied research. Seattle's vibrant cultural community serves as a laboratory while students develop professional skills and strategic insight informed by a commitment to social justice.

Coursework includes strategic planning, marketing, fundraising, budgeting/finance, and advocacy. With evening course offerings, students can work while enrolled in the program.

The MFA in Arts Leadership is a full member program in the Association of Arts Administration Educators

Are you interested in being an Arts Leader?


Attend an info session to learn more about our program!

RSVP via the links below

all virtual info sessions are held from 5:00-5:45pm PST using a free video conferencing tool called Zoom.
Tuesday, September 26
Thursday, October 26
Thursday, November 16
Monday, December 4

all on campus info sessions are held from 6:30-7:30pm in the Jefferson Building on campus, at 1401 E Jefferson Street, Suite 401.
Monday, October 16
Thursday, November 9

Seattle and the Arts

Seattle has a thriving performing and visual arts scene including nationally honored Benaroya Hall, home to one of the most recorded symphonies in the world, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and the critically acclaimed McCaw Hall, home to the world class Pacific Northwest Ballet, and the Seattle Opera. With several major art museums including the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Olympic Sculpture Park, Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), the Museum of Glass, the Frye Art Museum, the Henry Art Gallery, the Seattle Children's Museum, many smaller museums, over 100 commercial art galleries and internationally renowned glass artists, Seattle's visual artists are a presence both nationally and internationally. In short, the city of Seattle has a lot to offer and has been an important factor for many of our students. Seattle University's MFA in Arts Leadership program is part of this thriving arts community.

NY Times Video - 36 Hours in Seattle

Alumni @ Work

Nina Yarbrough (MFA ’16)
Capital Campaign Associate, Seattle Opera

Ben McCarthy (MFA ‘14)
Director of Individual Giving, Seattle International Film Festival

Meini Li (MFA ‘14)
Advancement Manager, Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra

Faculty @ Work

Jessica Howard
Director of Sales, ACT Theatre

Joe McIalwain
Executive Director, Edmonds Center for the Arts

Roxanne Hornbeck
Co-Founder & Managing Director, quiet