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Executive Program
in Arts & Culture Strategy

Upcoming Opportunities

Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy

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The Chief Executive Program

University of Michigan
Ross School of Business

May 3-7, 2015
Ann Arbor, MI
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The Executive Program for Arts and Culture Strategy

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The fee for this eight-month program is only $4,950.

Our Partner

This program was designed and will be presented in partnership with University of Pennsylvania.

Contact us

To learn more about this amazing opportunity, contact Fielding Grasty.



National Arts Strategies has worked with thousands of successful leaders of arts and cultural organizations, all of whom care about the future of our field. We have also met hundreds of younger people who would make extraordinary future leaders – and who are looking for training, practice, recognition and legitimacy in our field.

Without meaning to, our field is keeping these younger leaders from joining organizations or forming their own. The cost of a graduate degree is high, often resulting in graduates emerging from the programs with debt that prohibits them from taking jobs in the organizations they admire. For many mid-career professionals, stopping work and relocating for a year or two of graduate study is not feasible. The commitment of time in the classroom makes a “legitimizing” degree out of reach for too many. We think it’s time to truly democratize high quality education in our field.

Working with the University of Pennsylvania, NAS has developed The Executive Program in Arts and Culture Strategy – an eight-month online and in-person program that costs only $4,950. The program will prepare and equip you to lead arts and culture organizations of all types. It will give you the foundational knowledge and business frameworks to take the next step in your career – to think more strategically, to position an organization, to create maximum value around mission, to manage resources – people and money – and to work well with a board of directors. It will build your professional networks with lifelong connections and will help you cultivate your own view of the role of arts and culture in society and the value we create.

The Executive Program in Arts and Culture Strategy provides the unique combination of a world-class university and an organization with a deep understanding of the intricacies of leading and managing nonprofits and of the field. University of Pennsylvania faculty, the NAS team and some of the best and brightest leaders working in the field are all contributing to a curriculum grounded in real-world experience that will help you put what you learn to work.

Apply to the program beginning October 6.


Who Should Apply

The Executive Program in Arts and Culture Strategy is targeted at early to mid-career managers in the nonprofit arts and culture sector - and those seeking to enter the sector.

What to Expect

  • A three-day, in-person convening at the University of Pennsylvania March 4-7, 2015 that will include classes, workshops and exercises led by University of Pennsylvania faculty, NAS senior staff and leading practitioners in the field
  • Two core classes and four short, skills–based electives, spread out over the course of eight months;
  • The flexibility of a self-guided program with the benefits of peer to peer learning across a global network;
  • A strong understanding of the critical skillsets relevant to high-potential nonprofit arts & culture leaders, including:
    • Thinking strategically
    • Positioning your organization to create maximum value
    • Managing resources – people and budgets
    • Raising money
    • Working with a board of directors
  • Cultivating and articulating a personal view of the way arts and culture fit into society and the value they create
  • Personal feedback and advice from a team of faculty and advisors at National Arts Strategies and the University of Pennsylvania;
  • A network of global leaders across the nonprofit arts & culture sector
  • A concluding two-day convening at the University of Pennsylvania for final capstone presentations to synthesize the learning of participants.


The Learning Experience

The Executive Program in Arts and Culture Strategy includes participation in two in-person convenings (one at the start of the program and one at the end) and the completion of six online courses. Students will attend an in-person program at the University of Pennsylvania for three days to meet fellow students, receive an overview of the program and learn about key concepts such as customer-centered design. Students return home and complete the online courses. Working with peers, they learn and apply the tools and frameworks studied online. The online components include both core and elective classes so student can customize their learning process. At the conclusion of the program, students come back to campus to share with capstone programs. International students may opt to present their work online if traveling to Penn a second time is not feasible. The teaching team will guide students throughout the entire experience.

Program Timeline

  • January 5, 2015: Arts & Culture Strategy course begins online (six weeks)
  • Mar 4-7, 2015: First on-campus convening, University of Pennsylvania
  • April 6, 2015 – Arts & Culture Finance course begins online (six weeks)
  • May – August 2015: Four three-week electives
  • August 2015: Final convening, capstone presentations and completion ceremony


Courses Offered


Required, each course is six weeks long.

  • Arts & Culture Strategy
  • Arts & Culture Finance



Select any four; each elective is three weeks long.

  • Governance
  • Fundraising
  • Community Engagement
  • Social Media
  • Strategic Marketing
  • Evaluation & Performance Measurement



The cost of the program is $4,950. The fee includes all instruction but does not include travel or accommodations for the in-person convenings.



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The complex issues involved in leading a cultural nonprofit today can challenge even the most skilled management team. Using our first-hand experience in the arts and working with faculty from leading business and graduate schools, we deliver executive-level programs that help you find new opportunities, manage your resources and lead your organization toward its mission.


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