Creative Arts in Practice major

Successful arts organizations don’t run on creativity alone — they also rely on business savvy to fill seats and grow their audience. This major will help you become a versatile, interdisciplinary artist and creative thinker with the entrepreneurial skills needed to thrive in today’s competitive artistic landscape, whether you’re on staff for an established arts organization or launching your own creative project.
You’ll customize the major to your interests by choosing two different concentrations from the following: Creative Studies in Writing, Media Design, Visual Arts, Film, Music and Theatre/Dance. Because of this major’s interdisciplinary nature, you won’t need to complete a separate minor.

The skills you need to succeed
Thanks to Alverno’s unique abilities-based curriculum, our Creative Arts in Practice majors graduate with stellar communication, leadership and problem-solving skills. You’ll be that much further ahead when you interview for a job, lecture at an exhibition, facilitate a workshop or lead other projects. In addition to mastering the technical aspects of your chosen art forms, you’ll also learn about funding, business models, branding and other nuts-and-bolts elements of making a living as an artist.

An inspiring environment
Alverno’s recent campus renovation included a new Art and Cultures Gallery, state-of-the-art dance studio, and other light-filled art classrooms and studios. Other campus resources include the beautiful Pitman Theatre for performing arts and the Mac lab for film studies. Most of Alverno’s art classes have a maximum of 15 students — compared with 20-25 at other colleges — so you’ll have easy access to your instructors and equipment.

Internships for the Creative Arts in Practice major
Milwaukee’s dynamic and active arts culture makes it easy to get in-the-field experiences. Our students have interned at the Marcus Center, Shakespeare in the Park, Milwaukee Rep, Milwaukee Art Museum, RedLine Milwaukee, Wisconsin Visual Artists, the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts, the Milwaukee Film Festival and the Wisconsin Book Bindery, among other sites.

Show your work
At Alverno, you don’t have to wait to start producing creative work. You can participate in our annual juried art competition, learn gallery and theatre management skills, apply for work-study job opportunities to learn behind-the-scenes aspects of managing art exhibition spaces, and get involved with the student organizations Artourage and Not So Starving Artists. Your studies will culminate in a group performance, production or publication that showcases your creative and professional skills. Our well-connected faculty can also help you network and explore ways to practice your artistic talents off campus, including the opportunity to spend summers working as a performer or crew for Optimist Theatre’s Free Shakespeare in the Park series.

How you can use your degree
Scan arts-related job boards and it’s easy to see that business know-how is in demand, and you’ll stand out because of your unique and diversified blend of artistic and practical skills. That might lead you to the business side of an arts organization (in marketing, fundraising or management), or you might focus on producing your own creative work through writing, theatre, film, music, dance, design or other visual arts. You might work for a theatre, gallery, museum, production company, design firm or arts-related nonprofit organization. Your background in two different artistic disciplines will also give you expanded career options.


Have questions about studying Creative Arts in Practice at Alverno? We invite you to connect with faculty to learn more.

Thomas ReedThomas Reed
Program Director