Graduate Management Practicum

David Rue (MFA '17) at his practicum at the Seattle Art Museum.

A key aspect of the MFA Arts Leadership program is development of a portfolio of practice in the field. The Graduate Management Practicum integrates and applies the arts leadership theories learned in the classroom with the realities of arts leadership. Practicums are real opportunities meant to help build a career through hands on, interactive experience.  

Practicum Options

There are four (4) distinct practicum options:  

Organization- Work with an arts organization. Find your own opportunity or work with vetted arts organizations.  

Interview- Interview 4-5 arts leaders in a specific field/area of interest. Choose from a curated list or find your own networks. 

Project- Create a tangible project like a podcast, petition, educational tool, etc., to further an arts leadership idea. 

Research- Study a chosen arts leadership need/issue.  

Through consultation with program advisors, students can choose to do the same option each quarter or switch throughout the program to suit their professional goals. No matter the chosen option, it is expected that each student will spend 40-50 hours on practicum work each quarter.

Practicum Courses

Year One 
  • Fall Quarter: ARTL 5949 (1 credit)- Seminar course that covers the requirements for successful practicum work including preparing a professional resume/cover letter, conducting interviews, and developing a process for academic research/writing.  
  • Winter Quarter: ARTL 5950 (1 Credit)- All students are required to start with an organization option practicum to get connected to the arts sector 
  • Spring Quarter: ARTL 5950 (1 Credit)- Any practicum option  
  • Summer Quarter: ARTL 5950 (1 Credit)- Any practicum option 
Year Two 
  • Fall Quarter: ARTL 5950 (1 Credit)- Any practicum option 
  • Winter Quarter: ARTL 5950 (1 Credit)- Any practicum option (consider connection to Summary Project) 
  • Spring Quarter: ARTL 5951 (3 Credits)- The practicum expands to three credits and forms half of the Summary Project experience along with ARTL 5990 Summary Project. The expectation is that students will spend a concerted amount of time (120-150 hours) conducting the hand-ons methods required for their Summary Project during their final quarter. Building upon their practicum experiences, this summary work could take the form of interviewing, surveying, creating, researching, teaching, etc.   

The following is a sampling of organizations our students have worked with within their practicums, from major institutions to grassroots, experimental, and community-based entities:  

If your organization is interested in partnering with one of our MFA Arts Leadership graduate students, please contact Kevin Maifeld, Arts Leadership Program Director. 

Nina Yarbrough, MFA alumna
Nina Yarbrough, MFA '16

Arts Program Director

Charly McCreary, MFA alumna
Charly McCreary, MFA '15

Founding Member
The Cabiri

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Kevin Maifeld, MFA
Arts Leadership Programs Director
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