Empowering a new wave of socially responsible arts professionals

Arts Leadership alumni and studentsThe Master of Fine Arts in Arts Leadership - the first program of its kind on the West Coast - brings together our nationally-renowned faculty in arts leadership with the essential business and management skills necessary for you to lead various arts organizations. With our low student-to-faculty ratio and the program’s cohort approach, you will benefit from direct access to faculty and develop lifelong relationships and support networks. In the thriving arts center of Seattle, you will gain the theoretical and practical experience necessary to successfully compete for arts leadership positions in Seattle and around the world.

Months to Complete Your Degree
Evening & Saturday Classes

Designed for the working professional

credits including your graduate practicum
Video thumbnail

Professors Jasmine Mahmoud & Roxy Hornbeck discuss the focus of the MFA program.

Ready to Learn More?

horizontal rule

“I enjoyed the MFA program so much because I wanted to be a better leader.”

Sharon Williams, MFA 2009"As both a working artist and an organizational leader, my education equipped me with an invaluable bag of tools."

Sharon Nyree Williams, MFA '09
Executive Director, Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas
Co-Chair, Seattle Arts Commission

What Makes Our Program Unique

Commitment to social justice and professional development complemented by a deep foundation of academic rigor and applied research

  • Designed for working professionals
  • Integrated into the world-class Seattle arts community
  • Classroom theory applied to real-world challenges

"In the beginning, I didn’t realize how important it is to understand the different aspects of running a non-profit arts organization. Now, as an executive director, I don’t have to know everything about every area, but I do need to know enough about each of them to build the right team."

Want to Explore on Your Own?
Individualized Practicum Experience

Apply classroom learning in real-time with regional arts and cultural organizations tailored to your goals.

"My education provided me the confidence to walk into non-artistic spaces. Combining my experience as an artist and the leadership skills I earned makes me more comfortable – and effective – at the table in my role as co-chair for the Seattle Arts Commission where I am working with City entities like Seattle Department of Transportation."

A wide and active network

Mix of Seattle U faculty and practitioner instructors and connections to area arts leaders

"On top of that, I also never feel alone in the industry. I always have someone from Seattle U to support me, from fellow alums to faculty to colleagues I met through the program."


Start Making a Difference

Right From Your Classroom

Students in the 2019 summer course “Public Policy and the Arts” created the Seattle Arts Voter Guide, a nonpartisan guide with arts platforms from City Council and Seattle School Board candidates. Read more about the guide here.

Graphic for Seattle Arts Voter Guide



Kevin Maifeld, MFA
Director, Arts Leadership Programs

Victoria Olive, MA
Graduate Admission Counselor