Arts Business Research Symposium
Bidirectionality: Arts as Business as Arts

Presented by the UW-Madison Bolz Center for Arts Administration, the UW-Madison Business School Arts Business Initiative, and UW-Madison Continuing Studies

At this inaugural conference, we explored the substantive connections between arts and business and opened up a conversation about research and practice at the intersection of these disciplines.

Thank you to everyone who took part in and attended this event. We are already looking forward to 2015. In the meantime, we leave the 2014 conference information here for your reference.


At a glance

What: First Annual Arts Business Research Symposium– “Bidirectionality: Arts as Business as Arts”

When & where:
W, Mar 12, 6pm-9pm, Madison Public Library-Central
Th, Mar 13, 9am- 5pm, UW School of Business, Grainger Hall Plenary Room
F, Mar 14, 9am-1pm, UW School of Business, Grainger Hall Plenary Room

Cost: Varies. Please see the event details page for more information.

Questions? Contact Sarah Marty at smarty@dcs.wisc.edu or 608-263-2790

Research + practice = innovation

Students of arts management, creative entrepreneurship, and business management; artists and entrepreneurs of all kinds; faculty and thought leaders; and practitioners in the field of the arts and/or business gather on the beautiful UW-Madison campus to network and integrate arts business practices. Excitement meets innovation over the potential for the arts to positively impact business practices and for business to be positively impacted by the arts. This unique symposium features panelists, working groups, keynote speakers, paper presentations, and Arts Venture Challenge presentations.

We'll begin a conversation about research and practice at the intersection of arts and business to create a new field that takes seriously the contribution of both. But what does that really mean? How do we discuss the relationship between business and the arts as a set of disciplines? How do we start to speak the same language so that we can develop a set of shared values?

First of its kind

This 3-day conference may be the first of its kind, as we focus on emerging themes at the intersection of arts and business:

  • Collaborative work organizations: How organizations with a focus on the arts, entrepreneurship, and creativity join forces toward more productive ends for all;
  • Creative campuses: New models for thinking about higher education at the intersection of creativity and entrepreneurship; and
  • New funding models: Innovative ways of funding arts-based businesses.

Each of these themes reflects current research and practice at the intersection of the arts and business and is part of a larger movement toward thinking about deep connections across fields.

What to expect

This one-of-a-kind Arts Business Research Symposium features an opening reception with keynote speaker Dr Erica Halverson on the Maker Revolution, followed by networking opportunities. Join fellow artists, students, faculty, entrepreneurs, and business professionals again the following 2 days for a series of panelists, keynote speakers, and paper presentations.

The UW-Madison campus serves as conference headquarters. The $150 standard symposium fee includes instruction, multiple handouts, administrative support, conference leadership, Wednesday evening reception, Thursday boxed lunch, and incidental conference expenses. Student rates also available.

Presenting partners

The Bolz Center for Arts Administration
Founded in 1969 as the first multidisciplinary business degree program to address the special needs of this emerging field. Built on the foundation of the nationally ranked and respected Wisconsin School of Business, the Bolz Center program blends intensive business study, hands-on experience, and extensive professional networking opportunities for its students and alumni. Because arts administration is a relatively young profession, the Bolz Center also serves as a center of discussion, research, and analysis—continually redefining and refining our collective understanding of what it means to manage and lead in this challenging field.

Arts Business Initiative
A growing awareness exists among educators and business professionals that creativity can be taught and that beauty, design, and aesthetics are relevant to success. As part of the new Arts Business Initiative, the Wisconsin School of Business and Bolz Center will help connect arts and creative majors to business coursework and certificates, as well as further build and support a learning community in arts entrepreneurship and business. The Bolz Center offers courses like Arts Enterprise: Art As Business As Art, which offers an overview and foundation for students interested in developing, launching, or advancing innovative enterprises in arts, culture, and design.

UW-Madison Continuing Studies
The Division of Continuing Studies supports the mission of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea by providing access to educational resources to nontraditional students, lifelong learners, and the community. The division's primary role comprises leadership, administrative oversight, and marketing responsibility for UW-Madison's noncredit offerings, credit outreach, and summer session. The division also advises and admits adults seeking to enroll as University Special or Guest Students.


Get complete details about the Arts Business Research Symposium schedule, speakers, call for proposals, lodging and transportation, and event details.

Questions? Contact Sarah Marty at smarty@dcs.wisc.edu or 608-263-2790.