Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management (MAM)
The Fall 2024 application is now open! We review applications on a rolling basis, and we encourage you to apply as soon as you have gathered your application materials to be considered for the widest array of potential funding opportunities.
Time to degree: two years (48 credits)
Part-time options available
Columbia College Chicago's two-year Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management (MAM) program is specifically designed for arts and entertainment professionals who know their professional success requires them to refine or enhance their knowledge of for-profit and nonprofit management. Students will bolster their financial, legal, and organizational skills, as well as their ability to develop strategic concepts within an arts and entertainment context. Graduates of the program go on to lead organizations in live performance, music business, theatre, marketing, visual arts, public engagement, and community service.
In this selective arts administration graduate program, you'll study in a team environment with colleagues from around the world, building relationships that will set the foundation for your professional network. You'll receive individual attention from our renowned faculty of successful arts administrators and working artists. You'll gain real-life experience in project-based classes centering on artistic disciplines including: gallery management; music recording, publishing, and distribution; media production; live events management; fundraising; and artist management.
In the Classroom
- Immerse yourself in business theory your first year, with courses like accounting, economics, financial management, leadership, law, and marketing. All business administration courses are taught within the context of creative industries.
- You can choose to work on a graduate thesis or an independent project under the guidance of a faculty mentor.
- Outside of your core coursework, you can choose to focus on different areas of arts management through your electives. Overall, you will take eight elective courses, and you may tailor your degree to focus on certain creative industries. Example electives include:
- AEMMP Record Label: Practicum
- AEMMP Music Publishing: Practicum
- Artist Management: Practicum
- Club Management: Practicum
VISUAL ARTS MANAGEMENT
- Curatorial Practicum
- Gallery Management: Practicum
- Cultural Policy and Planning
- International Cultural Heritage Management: Rome
PERFORMING ARTS MANAGEMENT
- Events Management: Practicum
- Box Office and Revenue Management
- Creative Agency: Practicum
- Executive Producing for Film and TV: Practicum
- AEMMP Digital Distribution and Promotion Agency: Practicum
- Managing and Licensing Intellectual Property
If you’re interested in launching your own business or organization, we offer a course dedicated to new business creation in the context of the arts, with a special focus on arts consulting as a potential entrepreneurial pursuit. If you’re specifically interested in launching an entrepreneurial endeavor, we encourage you to look at our Entrepreneurship for Creatives MA.
Take on leadership roles in one of several practicum courses. These courses give you opportunities to launch real-world projects. Our student-run record labels sign artists and promote their work, and our gallery management practicum launches exhibitions and programming in downtown Chicago. We also offer practicum courses that allow you to manage a nightclub, plan and execute events, and manage design and marketing projects for actual clients.
All practicum courses are taught by faculty members who have extensive experience in their fields. For example, the hip-hop label course is run by one of Chicago’s leading label owners, and the curatorial practicum is led by a professional with a years-long background in the New York and Chicago art communities.
Visit the Business and Entrepreneurship blog to read more about the current work of our students, faculty, and recent alumni.
Business and Entrepreneurship Blog
AEMMP Record Label
Students interested in Music Business can take practicum courses that contribute to running the AEMMP Record Label. AEMMP was founded in 1982, and is the country’s longest standing, student-run record label. The student staff work with musicians to provide recording and product production, develop marketing materials, and assist with distribution.
Arts Management and South by Southwest
Each year, students in select practicum classes attend the South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. SXSW offers a host of opportunities to Columbia College Chicago students in music business, artist management, and marketing.
For more than a decade, Columbia students have come to SXSW to produce and host a musical showcase on behalf of the student-led record label AEMMP Records, with students taking a Talent Management course also now attending to represent some of the performing artists. Watch the video below to learn more about the networking and professional experience our students gain during this unique oppotunity.
Assistantships and Scholarships
Through assistantships, graduate students have many opportunities to gain experience in administration and leadership. For example, Arts Management graduate students can plan and coordinate the department’s spring trip to the South by Southwest (SXSW) Music, Film, and Interactive Conference in Austin, Texas, conduct research in collaboration with a faculty member for academic publication, or serve as a teaching assistant for our undergraduate courses.
Scholarships are also available to incoming and current students. For a full list, visit our scholarships page.
Chicago: An Arts Hub
At Columbia, Chicago is our campus. We expect you to explore all the city has to offer: iconic museums and concert venues, artist collectives, prominent theatres, a booming tech industry, and more. You’ll have the opportunity to interact with Columbia’s collaborative organizations, such as TEDx and Google for Entrepreneurs as well as many local theaters, music venues, and museums. Our faculty members will help you foster connections in Chicago’s creative industries in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations.
Internships and Networking
Working closely with a faculty mentor, many students find internship opportunities in their chosen field.
Our students have interned at venues like Lookingglass Theatre and The Metro, media companies like MTV and Pitchfork, record labels like Warner Music Group, galleries and museums like the Museum of Contemporary Art and Hyde Park Art Center, and events companies like Riot Fest and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
Columbia faculty members bring their experience into the classroom every day. They not only study how management works, they lead teams and execute projects on the ground. Many are active entrepreneurs, producers, agents, lawyers, board members, and administrators. They know what you need to learn to get ahead and will shape your understanding of what’s next in the creative industries.
Arts Management alum Alissa Klaus uses the skills gained at Columbia on a day to day basis as Director of the Meadows Museum of Art at Centenary College of Louisiana.
Our Arts Management alumni are on the forefront of rapidly changing creative industries. They work at marketing firms and talent agencies as well as world-class museums, galleries, and concert venues. They produce music festivals and curate theatre productions. They’re shaping not only the future of their fields but the very role of art in society. And they’re always looking for Columbia grads to join their teams.
Alumni Success Stories
Tyler Bradley MAM ‘18, Senior Analyst Corporate Brand Management, Walt Disney Company
Tyler Bradley MAM ‘18 serves as an internal DEI consultant for all creatives lines at Disney, and collaborates on Disney brand management. Her role focuses on inclusive storytelling and training content creators on the importance of inclusive content. The MAM program helped her prepare for her role at Disney in many ways, Bradley says, by giving her basic knowledge of the creative industries, connecting her to organizations that helped grow her skillset, independent studies that helped her start her own production company, and developing mentor/mentee relationships.
Justin Kamps MAM ’09, Owner / Music Supervisor, Monster Sector
Justin Kamps MAM ’09 spends a lot of his day watching TV and listening to music. But being a music supervisor is about way more than binge-watching or binge-listening. “For me, it’s the perfect combination of left-brain/right-brain skills,” Kamps says. He gets to use his creativity to find the perfect song to make a scene, but also has to negotiate licensing of the music. “I’ve been lucky to work with several great artists … for film and TV projects like Lucifer, Mad Men, Grey’s Anatomy, Supernatural, and more,” he says. “My favorite part is getting to tell an independent artist I love that their song is going to be airing on TV in the coming weeks.”
Crispin Torres MAM ‘20, Founder, Better World Collaborative
“If there's something that excites you, go find it, or set up appointments and talk to people. Use office hours and just drop in and have conversations with folks, because it's just like that–no one is going to wait for you.” Crispin Torres, MAM ‘20, says of his time at Columbia. “To me–the individual connections–that was worth its weight in gold in my program.” Torres’ consultancy work through Better World Collaborative has led him to work with clients like Estee Lauder and Tom Ford.
Crissy Nordin, MAM ‘20, Director of Education and Outreach, STAGES St Louis
Of her role at STAGES, Crissy Nordin, MAM ‘20, says “There is great opportunity to grow programming, enhance the quality of the academy’s productions, and create new partnerships with the many phenomenal non-profits, arts organizations, and academic institutions that exist in the St. Louis-area so that together, we can bring musical theater into underutilized spaces in neighborhoods that are ready and waiting for improved access to the arts.” Nordin notes that the hands-on “learning by doing” approach was the most useful in building the next steps of her career.