Starting in the fall of 2014, Virginia Tech graduate students may pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in arts leadership--the study and practice of arts management and advocacy. 

The new degree program is offered through Virginia Tech's School of Performing Arts and offers full tuition waivers and three-year fellowships to all students accepted into the program.

“Grounded in the premise that leadership emerges at the intersection of challenge and possibility, the new arts leadership program is designed to foster the development of leaders who both challenge themselves and inspire others through critical thinking, creative problem solving, and bold experimentation,” said Patty Raun, director of the School for Performing Arts in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

The program combines coursework with hands-on learning to provide both a theoretical framework and practical experience to prepare students for the demands of today’s leadership roles in the arts. 

During the three-year program, each student will work closely with an advisor to develop a personalized plan of study specifically tailored to each student’s own experience, needs, and goals.

At the core of the program is the connection of theory to practice. Students may develop skills in business writing and communication, fiscal management, and marketing; and study theory and practice in the areas of leadership, advocacy, strategic planning, and artistic management. Individual interests in such areas as technology and the arts; development; community engagement; arts advocacy; arts education; and law and ethics in the arts, may also be pursued. 

Participating students must complete a full semester internship designed to provide professional practice and strong positioning for career advancement upon graduation.

The opening of the new Center for the Arts together with the formation of the School of Performing Arts, which merged the departments of theater and cinema with music to foster collaboration, has created multiple opportunities. The arts leadership program has been a collaborative effort involving both the College of Liberal Arts and Human Science and the university's Center for the Arts.

“Virginia Tech is experiencing an arts renaissance,” said Sue Ott Rowlands, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. “The Master of Fine Arts degree in arts leadership is a natural outcome of this renaissance. Students will have the opportunity to work with and alongside the award-winning faculty and seasoned professionals of the School of Performing Arts and the new Center for the Arts.”

The graduate degree program in theatre in arts leadership is currently accepting applications for fall of 2014.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.