How Online MBAs Apply to the Arts


Do you have an arts and humanities degree and want to pursue an Online MBA? Have you ever thought about using your degree to work for an arts organization? While researching Online MBA programs, candidates think about careers in finance, entrepreneurship, and working for large corporations. Not many think about how Online MBAs apply to the arts. Those who pursue an arts and humanities degree in undergrad often have a career shift and want to get an MBA.


You might not want to showcase your talent center stage, but there are many areas in the professional and dance world where you can use your passion for the arts in a more administrative way. Upon completing an Online MBA program, you will be well equipped to run any business. Some executives might get a start at Bergdorf’s and then venture out to work in the peaceful world of silicon valley with Google. Graduates realize that learning the ins and outs of the business world makes your resume shine amidst the many candidates vying for the same positions. Remember, the more one knows, the more one can grow. This means that combining an advanced degree like an Online MBA with an arts background is an added incentive when steering into the world of arts management and leadership. 


No matter your stage in your educational journey, you can use your artistic knowledge/passion and pursue an Online MBA. We must remember that all of the necessary departments in everyday business are also used in the art world. There are two different types of artistic entities to look into and the different jobs needed for them to function: governmental arts agencies and independent foundations and organizations.

Many large arts organizations across the country receive funding from government arts agencies. A government arts agency is supported by public funding, and artists are awarded federally funded grants. One of the most popular entities is the NEA National Endowment for the Arts. Along with the NEA, state/city agencies such as the Society for the Performing Arts fit into this category. Many Broadway and regional theatres receive funding from nationally funded grants. Along with those theatres, many museums and art galleries receive that funding as well. 

Independent foundations/organizations – many independent foundations are set up to support artists and arts initiatives. Some support includes fiscal sponsorship, peer-to-peer workshops, and networking. 


As we have learned about the two different types of arts agencies, we can now look deeper into these organizations and how they function fundamentally and artistically. At the helm of every arts organization, there is either a mission statement or an artistic statement that centers on the organization’s type of art. Often these mission statements help with federal funding, primarily centered on community outreach and development. Arts Organizations can greatly benefit from strategically minded leaders to help craft and leverage a good mission.

executive search

Many organizations operate with a board of directors. This is one crucial area where Online MBAs apply to the arts. Because within this board, the Artistic Director and Executive Director sit. The Artistic Director is the creative manager solely responsible for creating programming for the company’s patrons and developing innovative ideas to share the company’s artistic vision. The Executive Director manages the day-to-day business functions of the theatre company. They are responsible for maintaining the board’s vision and producing the theatre season. Here is where having a great business management background comes in handy. The Executive Director manages the budget, the staff, works with the finance manager and the marketing and PR department.

Along with overseeing those particular areas, the Executive Director helps seek funding for the season. A seasoned leader who works well under pressure and deadlines would be great in this position. Having an Online MBA would be significant due to the curriculum and experience you will receive working on business management concepts. 


Understanding finance can be universal, but one must do strategic planning and research when marketing a play and forecasting a financial breakdown for a theatre season. While operating in a pandemic, many companies have formulated strategic marketing plans to accommodate their patrons and new leads. This is proof positive why you need someone with an online MBA and finance specification who has an in-depth understanding of budgeting and financial forensics. From the Manhattan Theatre Center to The Theatre Under the Stars, these well-known theatre entities have large financial departments.


When receiving an Online MBA, you have learned your leadership style and have become very trained in planning and task development/mastering. If you have a knack for managing people, team building, and human resources, you would be great working as a company manager.  

What are the primary responsibilities of a Company Manager?

  • Facilitate phone calls, emails, and texts promptly and pass on messages to the relevant people
  • Oversee day-to-day functions with the cast
  • Ensure the cast, crew, and all staff know who is in and who will be performing if a member is ill or on holiday
  • Organizes rehearsals and schedules 
  • Deal with health and safety issues
  • Negotiate contracts
business woman


What next? Now that you know how Online MBAs apply to the arts, the possibilities are endless. With an arts and humanities background, your unique point of view is needed in the arts management and leadership world. Now you need to know what area you want to work in. How are your leadership skills? Can you deal with the stress of corporate America and temperamental and wild artists? If yes, you are well on your way to a bright career in the arts management world. You need to start looking into what Online MBA Program you want to apply to, but before you do that, you need to make sure that you have prepared for the GMAT and or the GRE. These two tests are imperative to your next step to the graduate school of your choice. The theatre world needs someone like you, and we hope that you take your passion for the arts and bring that into the world of business management.

Related Resources:

Top Online MBA Programs
Best Marketing MBA Jobs