Arts Administration Celebrates 15 Years

Published: December 05, 2016 | Author: Ashley Pollock | Read Time: 3 minutes

SUU Arts Admin Students and AlumniThe Arts Administration master’s program at Southern Utah University is celebrating its 15th anniversary. This program consists of a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) two-year program that is done on campus as well as a Master of Arts (MA) that is completed online taking from one to six years to complete. While the MFA has been in full swing for 15 years, the MA started only three years ago in 2013.

Over the last five years, the Arts Administration program has seen substantial growth in enrollment. With the fastest growing graduate program at SUU, Arts Administration has increased enrollment consecutively more each year since 2013.

Melinda Pfundstein Vaughn, Assistant Professor of Theatre at SUU and graduate of the Master of Arts in Arts Administration in 2015, said, “As an artist, I have never been short on ideas and dreams, but SUU's Arts Administration program taught me the skills of analysis and strategy that has helped turn those dreams into vision.”

Current Director of Arts Administration and graduate of the Master of Fine Arts in Arts Administration in 2006, Rachel Parker, said, “The mission of the Arts Administration program focuses on the development of graduates who balance administrative systems with the creative process in an effort to ensure the artistic integrity and economic sustainability of arts organizations. Students receive expert training and gain the skills, knowledge, and experiences essential to advocate for the arts.”

The MA degree courses consist of financial management, development, fundraising, marketing, legal issues, leadership, arts advocacy, cultural policy, and board development. The MFA degree includes the same coursework combined with work opportunities through the program’s professional affiliates: artsFUSION, Garth and Jerri Frehner Museum of Natural History, the Southern Utah Museum of Art, SUU’s College of Performing and Visual Arts, and the Utah Shakespeare Festival.

Sara M. K. Neal, Associate Director of Marketing at Ballet West and graduate of the Master of Fine Arts in Arts Administration in 2008, said, “Attending the Arts Administration program at SUU was the best decision I made for my career. The coursework gave me insight into all areas of non-profit administration, while my work with Cedar City area arts organizations gave me the practical experience and a venue to apply my knowledge. The network of accomplished alumni and faculty has proved to be a valuable tool for brainstorming and sharing case studies with colleagues across the nation.”

Justin Jorgensen, Utah Shakespeare Festival Sponsorships and Special Events Coordinator, graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Arts Administration in 2013. He said, “The Arts Administration program at Southern Utah University inspired me to turn my passion for the arts into a career as an ‘arts maker’—allowing me to still be a part of the creative process by working behind the scenes to give the audience the best experience possible. The Arts Administration program at SUU allowed me to pursue a career of passion, education, administration and love for the arts!”

Andra Thorne has been a Theatre educator for years. She completed her Master of Arts in Arts Administration in 2016 while working full time at Davis High School. She said, “For 16 years, I ran a theatre program. For the last two years, I’ve run an arts organization. Once I learned what an arts organization was, and treated mine as such, it became one.”

If you are interested in learning more about the Arts Administration master’s program at SUU, please visit

Tags: Arts Administration

Contact Information:

Contact the Office of Marketing Communication

This article was published more than 5 years ago and might contain outdated information or broken links. As a result, its accuracy cannot be guaranteed.