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Arts Leadership and Cultural Management M.A.L.C.M.

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Degree Overview Open Accordion

Learn how this online master’s program helps you gain the practical skills necessary to become a successful manager or entrepreneur in the arts industry.

Earn your arts management degree online

If you are passionate about arts and culture and would like to build a meaningful career while enriching the lives of others, this arts management degree offers the courses, faculty, community, and internship opportunities to help you succeed.

Become a visionary leader in community arts and culture

The Master of Arts Leadership and Cultural Management degree is an award-winning program, recognized in the Top 10 for leadership excellence in the U.S. by The curriculum trains individuals to be true experts in their field. Students learn, not only what professionals need to know today, but, what it will take to thrive as arts leaders in the future.

A master's degree for creative entrepreneurs and professionals

A master's in arts management can help you gain the foundational skills you need to operate your own business or take on leadership roles that effect meaningful change in an organization. With an emphasis on engaging communities through creative partnerships, students learn how to direct their passion in a sustainable manner that will help maximize their work's reach and impact with audiences.

Topics of study include:

  • Leadership concepts and practices
  • Finance management
  • Media communication
  • Arts policy
  • Project planning and evaluation
  • Community engagement
  • Events management
  • Culturally sustainable entrepreneurship

Courses are designed to be immediately applicable and offer valuable insight to help you make informed decisions throughout your arts administration career.

Study with faculty passionate about arts leadership and cultural management

CSU faculty believe the arts provide a highly practical value in society and look to work with creatives passionate about impacting positive change through the arts in the communities they serve.

Faculty are academic practitioners who, in addition to being highly published scholars and researchers, have also worked for, led, and consulted with many arts agencies. Blending academic and industry knowledge allows students to see how theory can be applied to real-world issues faced by professionals in the industry today.

Faculty strive to help students meet their educational goals through community, creativity, and collaborative strategies that are complemented by a strong mentoring pedagogy throughout the arts management master's program.

Curriculum Open Accordion

The Master of Arts Leadership and Cultural Management is a 32-credit program of study that includes a core curriculum focusing on arts leadership, community engagement, policy, and advocacy fundamentals. Students also take a minimum of 9 credits of approved electives that will customize their academic track to focus on their desired field of study.

Additionally, students must have two separate semester-long internships to round out their practical training. Academic advisors can help students identify an appropriate internship opportunity at a local, regional, national, or international arts organization in their area of specialization.

Core Curriculum Courses

Selected Elective Courses

Students may also choose electives in other departments. The first step in this process is meeting with Arts Management’s program coordinator, Brigid McAuliffe who will help select appropriate courses and assist with gaining approval from outside departments.

Faculty Open Accordion
Michael Seman

Michael Seman - Director of Program

Dr. Michael Seman is an assistant professor of arts management at Colorado State University where he is also the director of the Arts Management program. Michael’s work examines issues in the creative economy, most recently the economic, cultural, and social impacts of music venues. The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, CNN, and regional media outlets often seek Michael’s perspective and insights. His work is published in various academic journals, edited volumes, CityLab, and most recently by the Brookings Institution; he has also co-authored music and film strategies and creative economy reports for the City of Denver and the State of Colorado. Michael also created the Music Venue Economic Impact Calculator for the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA). He previously managed daytime programming for two music festivals in Denton, Texas and spent several years as an internal marketing executive at Creative Artists Agency in Beverly Hills, California. He is represented by the Creative Class Group for speaking engagements.

Richard Andrews

Richard Andrews - Instructor

Richard S. Andrews is an author (Arts Entrepreneurship: Creating a New Venture in the Arts. Routledge, 2020) and an instructor at Colorado State University and UC Berkeley. From 1996 through 2021, he was Associate Director of the UC Berkeley Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT), a leading research and training laboratory focused on the creative interaction between music and science. He was also Executive Director of the Eco Ensemble, UC Berkeley’s professional new music chamber group dedicated to contemporary music by emerging and established composers. Richard has over 20 years of experience in arts management and specializes in fundraising, project management, marketing and organizational development. His research and teaching interests include arts entrepreneurship principles and practices in the U.S. and abroad, the creation of modern cultural policies in the U.S. and France, the intersection of government arts policy and arts management/arts practice, and the impact of public/private support for the arts. He has developed and taught courses at UC Berkeley, Colorado State University, the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), the UC Paris Study Center, and the American University of Paris (AUP). He has presented workshops and lectures at the Savannah College of Art and Design, the Institute for American Universities, Parsons Paris, Arcadia University, San Francisco State University (SFSU), the University of San Francisco (USF), the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, SKEMA Business School, BESIGN/The Sustainable Design School, and the Université Côte d'Azur (UCA).

Emelie Borello

Emelie Borello - Instructor

Emelie Borello is an instructor at Colorado State University for the LEAP Institute for the Arts, as well as a recent graduate from LEAP Master’s program. She has a strong background in management, human resources, and project planning as well as a decade of experience as a director and designer in the local Fort Collins community theatre. In addition to teaching, Emelie is working to create collaborative arts projects within the community, and looking toward pursing a doctoral program in sociology of arts and celebration in the near future.

Zhanna Gurvich

Zhanna Gurvich - Instructor of Theater

Zhanna Gurvich is an award-winning designer and painter who has designed for theatre, dance, opera, and film at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Joyce Theatre, Chautauqua Opera, and the Juilliard Theatre. Ms. Gurvich’s favorite designs include Radiance for Axial Theatre Co., Hello and Goodbye for Rattlestick Theatre, Ladies in Retirement and Chaos Theory for Pulse Ensemble Theatre, The Most Dangerous Room in the House for The Susan Marshall Dance Company, Tears for Violetta and Tierra del Nadie for Ballet Hispanico, The Seagull, Man and Superman, and Three Sisters for Juilliard, In the Air and La Llorona for Stageplays Theatre, Hansel and Gretel for Chautauqua Opera, Ping Pong Diplomacy, Havana Bourgeoisie, and Billboard for Reverie Productions, and Luck for Epic Rep. Ms. Gurvich received an HOLA Award for Outstanding Set Design for her work on La Llorona. She has painted for Scenic Art Studios, Goodspeed Opera House, Virginia Opera, Dallas Theatre Center, Mannes Opera, and The Mint Theatre Company, including critically acclaimed portraits for Mary Broome and a mural for Black Snow. Ms Gurvich is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829 and holds a B.F.A. in Studio Art from Clark University, as well as an M.F.A. in Stage Design from Southern Methodist University, with a concentration in scenery and lighting design.

David Pyle

David Pyle - Instructor

David's 35-year career in the arts and business has been fueled by his education in music, painting, and chemistry. He's managed consumer brands in the artist's products category, serving as Director of Marketing for Winsor+Newton and then Brand Director for Liquitex. In 2000, his book, What Every Artist Needs to Know About Paints and Colors, was published by Krause. Over the last 15 years, he’s served as Publisher for the largest media brands in the fine art-making and crafting categories, most recently as Senior Vice President/Group Publisher with F+W Media managingThe Artist’s Magazine, American Artist, Watercolor Artist, Interweave Knits, Love of Quilting and, online,, ArtistsNetwork.TV, and and more.

Through it all he's continued to paint and he just finished a project with the Central City Opera as "Painter in Residence" for their 2021 season. In 2020, he left the corporate media world and launched a number of art-making initiatives, a new marketing services group called Pyle Creative Studio, and a series of educational resources for the art and science community.

Jack Rogers

Jack Rogers - Instructor

Jack has worked in the performing arts for over 24 years. During that time he has been an artist, and advocate, a tour manager, a festival producer, a venue director, and worn countless other hats. Jack received his BFA in Acting with a minor in dance and a concentration in music from Long Island University at CW Post. Jack has received multiple awards for his performance work both professionally and academically. He received his MPA in Nonprofit Management from Georgia State University. As an advocate, Jack served as Vice President of Programming for the Georgia Arts Network, the state’s official arts advocacy organization. Jack has served as a juror on programming committees for the City of Atlanta’s Office of Cultural Affairs, the Georgia Assembly of Community Arts Agencies, Georgia Presenters, and the Southern Arts Federation’s Performing Arts Exchange. Jack’s interests include multi-disciplinary collaboration, event management-safety and security, advocacy, and performing arts programming. Jack is a member of Actor’s Equity of America, Americans for the Arts, the International Association of Venue Managers, and the Western Arts Alliance. Jack currently provides administrative, artistic, and operational leadership to The Lincoln Center, a multi-venue events facility and Northern Colorado’s largest performing arts presenter.

Mike Solo

Mike Solo - Instructor

Mike Solo is the Creative Director in the marketing office of The School of Music, Theatre and Dance at Colorado State University. His degrees are in Design and Digital Media and he currently teaches Technology in the Arts and Creating your Arts Career for the Arts Management program.

Jill Stilwell

Jill Stilwell - Instructor

Jill has 25 years of experience in the public arts and culture sector. From 2003 to 2016, Jill was the Director of Cultural Services for the City of Fort Collins. In this role, she spearheaded Fort Collins’ first Cultural Plan and nominated the City for the 2011 Governor’s Arts Award, which the community received. She was proud to direct the Department’s two largest capital projects: the $8.4 million renovation of the Lincoln Center and the $27 million public/private partnership that is the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.

Jill has facilitated large vision-oriented projects, like master plans and community cultural plans, but also enjoys the personal aspects of team building and board development. Jill shares her experience with others as an adjunct faculty member at the LEAP Institute for the Arts at Colorado State University and at Front Range Community College. She teaches courses in arts management and museum studies and learns as much from her students as they do from her. Jill also engages with her local community through activities like presenting at Start-Up Week.

Jill has a bachelor’s degree in fine art from Colorado State University and a master’s degree in art history and museum studies from the University of Denver. She is certified through the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) in planning effective public participation processes.

Frequently Asked Questions Open Accordion

Curious about how to choose an elective course for your arts management degree?Elective courses offered by Arts Management will provide you with the skills needed in the areas of cultural management, arts leadership, arts entrepreneurship, arts policy, arts advocacy, and public engagement. However, in some cases, you may want to explore elective options outside of the Arts Management program. The first step in selecting any elective is meeting with Arts Management’s program coordinator, Brigid McAuliffe who will help you choose the appropriate courses and assist with gaining approval from outside departments if needed.

Suggested topic areas for M.A.L.C.M. electives

  • Communications
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Research Methods
  • Human Resources
  • Working with Multicultural Populations
  • Tourism

Other topic areas may also be useful. Given that you are earning a degree that will prepare you for leadership positions, think creatively about what skills and knowledge you may need.

Why Choose CSU? Open Accordion

As a student in CSU's online Master of Arts Leadership and Cultural Management program, you will receive the same education, learn from the same faculty, and earn the same regionally accredited degree as students on campus. Additionally, you can expect a program with:

  • An Award-Winning Program: Recognized as a Top 10 leadership program in the U.S. by, the Master of Arts Leadership and Cultural Management degree received a 2016 Leadership Excellence Award for exceptional leadership development.
    • A Community Focus: We emphasize relationship building between artists and the public to foster passion and appreciation for the arts in our communities, and to ensure investment in arts creation and preservation.
    • A Broad Application: Courses supplement the practical training most arts professionals receive by teaching analytical thinking skills that help you apply what you learn to a broad range of organizations and circumstances.
    • A Customizable Curriculum: You can choose from a wide range of course options and take elective credits specific to your desired career path or personal interests.
    • Practical Training Opportunities: Required internships allow for well-rounded practical training, enabling you to apply what you learn in the classroom to real-world scenarios.

    Learn more about CSU's rankings and accolades.

    ”I wanted something that intersected business, administration, arts, and leadership. I also wanted an element of service, of giving back. CSU offered the perfect program. I apply a lot of what I learned about leadership and organization in my career, especially budget and timeline creation, law, and goal setting. The ability for artists to advocate for themselves and others is priceless. That was my biggest takeaway.“

    – L. Young, Master of Arts Leadership and Cultural Management Graduate

How to Apply Open Accordion

Application Deadlines

Fall semester July 1
Spring semester December 1
Summer semester April 1*
*Online program only; residential students start in the fall semester

Start your application online and upload materials directly into the online system. You can save your progress and return any time.

Apply Now

1Review Admission Requirements

Applicants should possess an undergraduate degree, as well as potential for advanced study as evidenced by academic achievement. In cases where an applicant is deficient in background, faculty may consider applicants with significant work history in the field of arts administration. In addition, student selection is based on an individual student's maturity and motivation to succeed in graduate study and in the profession of arts administration.

Minimum admission requirements include:

  • An undergraduate degree in the arts is not required. However, students should have a strong interest in the arts, broadly.
  • Standard CSU graduate school requirements apply.
  • Standard TOEFL or PTE scores are required for international students.
  • No GRE required

2 Prepare Application Materials

Prepare the materials below and upload when you apply online.

  • Two letters of recommendation
    Applicants should provide letters of recommendation from faculty members or individuals who have first-hand knowledge of the applicant's academic or professional capabilities. Two professional recommendations are required. You will provide information about your recommenders in the online application. CSU will contact them with instructions and a link to a secure form they will submit on your behalf.
  • Statement of purpose
    A personal statement of professional goals that addresses the question: What will you anticipate doing with your degree? Your written statement should be approximately 500 words.
  • Resume
  • Financial aid application

3 Complete Online Application

Complete the online graduate application and pay the nonrefundable application processing fee (payable online). As soon as you have completed the required information, please submit your application. Your application will not be reviewed until it is complete and all required materials have been received.

  • Select "Arts Leadership and Cultural Management (M.A.L.C.M.) - Distance" when choosing the Program of Study.

4 Request Transcripts

Request one official transcript of all collegiate work completed from all institutions attended. Transcripts from Colorado State University are not required. Transcripts must be received directly from the originating institution to be considered official.

Please Note: Students may be unconditionally admitted and registered in their first semester of courses with an unofficial transcript. Official transcripts must be submitted, prior to or during your first semester, before you can register for your second semester of graduate work. Failure to meet this condition will result in your dismissal from the Graduate School.

Electronic (preferred):
Digital Transcripts must be submitted by the originating institution using a secure service such as parchment, eScrip-Safe, the National Student Clearinghouse, or e-Quals. Transcripts received via emails are considered unofficial.

Use institution code 4075 for Colorado State University or if the secure service requires an email address.

Mail (if necessary)
Graduate Admissions
Colorado State University – Office of Admissions
1062 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062

Check Your Application Status

View your application status at any time to ensure your application checklist is complete or to check on updates.

Once your complete application, including supporting materials, is received, the department admission committee will review your application and notify you of their decision.

For International Applicants

Proof of English language proficiency is required for applicants from countries or United States territories where there are official languages other than (or in addition to) English. This includes the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about English language proficiency requirements.


We love learning about your goals and answering any questions you have.

Alex Broz
Prospective Student Support Coach
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Program Details

$661 per credit
Same in-state tuition for all.
Learn more about financial aid and scholarships Tuition/fees are just part of the cost to attend CSU. Learn more about the full Cost of Attendance
Degree Awarded
Master of Arts Leadership and Cultural Management (M.A.L.C.M.)
Time Frame
Can be completed in 2 years

Application Dates

Fall semester
July 1
Spring semester
December 1

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