College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Fine Arts in Arts Leadership


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    Thom Mayes

    Thom Mayes (MFA ’10)

    Executive Director, Whatcom Symphony Orchestra

    “I believe the MFA program perfectly prepared me to step into an executive role of an arts organization. The perspective offered by faculty and visiting arts leaders was invaluable, and the coursework provided a strong base of knowledge about best practices and emerging issues in the field. I would recommend the program to anyone seeking to deepen their network and further their career in nonprofit arts administration.”

    Whatcom Symphony Orchestra

    Anne Basham Shukla

    Anne Basham Shukla (MFA ’10)

    Associate Consultant, MEMconsultants

    “I would not have my current job if I had not participated in the MFA program! I started working with MEMconsultants for my first practicum project and have been there ever since. The MFA program provides a comprehensive overview of all of the topics needed to be an arts leader, while the practicum offers the opportunity for real world experience. I would recommend this program to anyone who is looking to work with arts organizations in a leadership role.”

    Amanda Carrubba

    Amanda Carrubba (MFA ’11)

    Finance & Operations Director, Seattle Arts & Lectures

    “The MFA in Arts Leadership program has been critical in advancing my leadership at Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL). I started as SAL’s Box Office Manager, progressed through a series of other titles, and—aided by the knowledge, experience, and degree I earned through the MFA program—I have recently been promoted to Finance & Operations Director. The MFA program helped me solidify my career goals and obtain an important credential to help realize them. The program was an invaluable investment in my career, and the connections and friends I made will continue to be a support network for years to come. I would highly recommend the program to anyone interested in pursuing a career supporting the arts!”

    Seattle Arts & Lectures  

    Roxy and Matt Hornbeck

    Roxy Hornbeck (MFA ’11)

    co-founder & Managing Director of quiet, English/Art/Humanities Instructor

    Matt Hornbeck (MFA ’11)

    co-founder & Executive Director of quiet, Sociology/Global Studies Instructor

    “SU's MFA program in Arts Leadership created a strong foundation for both of us to launch our organization called quiet, an arts community that produces art for social change. Intentional classes, relevant practicums, and applicable projects - all of these parts of the program contributed to an education that not only talked about how to lead in the arts, but has proven to provide strong opportunities and connections to actually be a leader in the arts. For our final project, we wrote our 3-year strategic plan for quiet. After graduation, we put that plan into action - for real. Now, we are in the process of writing our next strategic plan and we have all the tools to do it well. We simply would not be where we are today without this degree.”

    Line Sandsmark (MFA '12)

    Line Sandsmark (MFA '12)

    Managing Director, Northwest Film Forum

    “In addition to a strong curriculum and access to experts in the regional arts community, the MFA in Arts Leadership at Seattle University offers students the unique opportunity to establish a strong professional network, quickly. When I returned to Seattle after having lived and worked abroad for almost two decades, the cohort model and practicums helped me hit the ground running, and pick up where I left off – career-wise – even before graduation. The program helped me ‘translate’ my European experience to an American setting, which was extremely helpful in my work as first Development Director, and now Managing Director of Northwest Film Forum. Most importantly, the program has given me a supportive network, and an academic anchor.”
    Northwest Film Forum

    Laura Hammarlund

    Laura Hammarlund (MFA ’12)

    Development Director, Pratt Fine Arts Center

    “Seattle U's MFA in Arts Leadership program sets a path for success because the classes are taught by top notch instructors coupled with hands on practicum experience. After graduation, I felt confident and prepared to launch a career in arts administration and I continue to feel supported by the camaraderie of my fellow alums.”
    Pratt Fine Arts Center

    Samantha DeLuna_225x300

    Samantha DeLuna (MFA '13)

    Special Events Manager, Seattle Symphony

    “The classroom learning was certainly beneficial, and I had many opportunities to put our lessons into practice. However, what stands out to me the most about this program is the comradery of the cohort model. We share experiences, best practices, and connections that you simply can’t get in a classroom alone. In my few years as a Seattle resident, I already feel deeply connected to the arts and cultural community largely because of my cohort network.”
    Seattle Symphony

    April Heding

    April Heding (MFA ’14)

    Education Programs Coordinator, Milwaukee Film
    Development & Exhibitions Coordinator, RedLine Milwaukee

    “Seattle University’s Master of Fine Arts in Arts Leadership program took my career to the next level. I entered the program with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, a collection of teaching and volunteer experiences, and a vague idea of where I wanted to take my career. Through project-based coursework and stimulating practicums, I gained real world experience and landed a full-time job with one of Seattle’s largest nonprofit arts organizations. I now work for two dynamic arts organizations in Milwaukee, WI, RedLine Milwaukee and Milwaukee Film, and continue to utilize what I learned at Seattle University in my day-to-day operations.”
    Milwaukee Film | RedLine Milwaukee