2013-14 Catalog

Decorative graphic

Offering Description

The Business of Art: Earning a Living as an Artist


Fall 2013 and Winter 2014 quarters

Andrew Buchman music composition , Doreen Swetkis public and nonprofit administration, public policy, urban studies , Zoe Van Schyndel finance
Fields of Study
business and management, economics, field studies, music, theater and visual arts
Preparatory for studies or careers in
business, finance, economics, non-profit management, performing arts, visual arts and arts management.

This program is a tour of social forces that shape our arts communities, including cultural, organizational, managerial, financial and historical. By examining art, music and theatre worlds, we will discover structures that help foster vibrant artistic communities. We will meet business and nonprofit leaders (often artists themselves) who bring artists and art lovers together. Artistic entrepreneurs with business savvy, as we will see, often make the art world go 'round.

The program is designed for students with a strong interest in making a living as an artist, musician or performer, operating in the nonprofit art world, or making a career in creative industries, and bridging the conventional gaps between creativity, business sense and social engagement. Each quarter's work will include an optional week of travel and study an art center in the United States: to New York City during the fall and Los Angeles during the winter. Students unable to travel to these cities can pursue related studies in Seattle and Portland.

The program will combine studies of the arts, business and nonprofit administration and management through a rich mix of critical and creative projects, such as analyzing a local arts business or nonprofit organization. An artist who understands the principles of a well-run business and can deal effectively with contracts, grants and negotiations, we'll find, is likely to gain more artistic and professional freedom. Business people who understand and care about the arts, we'll discover, can build careers that include doing good as well as doing well. Organizations built around art forms can help support local cultures and create sustainable manufacturing ventures, too.

The nonprofit arts community encompasses a broad range of artistic endeavors such as summer arts camps and festivals, art and music therapy, community theaters, arts foundations and after-school arts programs. For-profit and nonprofit organizations are different, and we want to make sure students gain knowledge of the vast range of ways they can make a living in and around the arts.

By the end of the program we expect you to be able to think creatively about ways to connect your own artistic and wage earning work, have an impact on organizations in communities you care about, acquire first-hand knowledge of a diversity of successful arts initiatives, and communicate effectively in the language of business and nonprofit administration.

Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Required Fees
$1,700 in fall and winter quarters for travel to New York City (fall) and Los Angeles (winter) for a total of $3,400 for both trips.  The trip may be optional upon consultation with faculty.
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
January 11th, 2013 Class level changed.