Skip to main content

Say Goodbye to the Starving Artist

New master’s degree program arms artists with leadership, management skills

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Say goodbye to the starving artist. In fall 2014, Northwestern University launches an innovative one-year master’s degree program with lots of industry know-how behind it that will put artists in a place seldom associated with them: a position of power.

The Leadership for Creative Enterprises Program will help turn artists into leaders by combining coursework in finance, marketing, law and project management as they relate to creative contexts with hands-on work experiences in artistic ventures. Priority application deadline is March 15; late admit deadline is June 15; rolling admissions throughout the year.

The new master’s degree program will pair students with mentors at companies like HBO, Universal Pictures and the Lookingglass Theatre Company. It also will provide opportunities for earmarked internships in New York, Los Angeles and Silicon Valley that not only allow students to put their ideas into practice but also help launch and sustain their careers.

“Graduates of undergraduate programs in the visual, interactive and performing arts often say they are highly adept at their craft but are not always equally prepared to make the transitions that life in today’s creative world requires,” says Paul Leonardi, who will direct the new program.

Northwestern’s Pentair-Nugent Association Professor, Leonardi teaches communication studies and management courses in the School of Communication, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and Kellogg School of Management. Classes will be taught by faculty in those schools, faculty in the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications and by leaders in arts and entertainment organizations.

“If you’re already excellent at practicing your craft but want to develop leadership skills, in addition to your artistic ones, the Leadership for Creative Enterprises Program can help you do that, says Leonardi.

“We can teach you management skills geared toward creative enterprises and help you develop connections to catapult you into industry networks to source ideas, sell concepts and promote your work,” he adds. “If it’s true that art is power, then this is a degree program that puts that force squarely in the hands of those creating it.”

For more information, visit Leadership For Creative Enterprises, Master of Science at Northwestern University or email

Editor's Picks

Back to top