Arts Leadership


“I am a leader. Leaders always get heat. They’re always going against the grain. Jimi Hendrix got heat; Bob Marley got heat; Miles Davis got heat. Every great artist got heat. Heat means you’re doing something right.”

– Ziggy Marley


A contemporary vision.

Our world is at a critical moment – a moment in which the extraordinary changes in demographics, economics, technology, globalization, environmentalism, and social practice are converging with incredible speed to rock our world like we have never known before. It’s a time that demands creativity and a time to take action, or to be left behind.


Faculty – some of the best and the brightest of today’s arts leaders, drawn from the remarkably rich world of the arts in Los Angeles – and the world.

Students – artists from multiple disciplines, working professionals, graduate students, international students, activists – an incredibly diverse group of people with the creativity, the courage and the drive to be part of rethinking how we do the work of the arts in the 21st century.

Los Angeles – the infinite city. The unparalleled Pacific Rim international city unlike any other in this country – rich in culture and cultures – chaotic, vibrant, tumultuous, passionate – without question the city of the present and the future.

USC – a respected, rigorous institution of higher education and unquestionably the west coast’s most important university of the arts – with world renowned schools of theater, music, dance, cinema, fine arts, communications and a comprehensive college of arts and sciences. A degree or certificate from USC actually means something in the real world.

Leadership – ARTL Director Kenneth Foster, with more than thirty years of real world experience creating innovative arts organizations

Curriculum – A powerful combination of theory – yes, you will have to think – and practice – yes, you will put that theory into practice in real world situations that matter to you.

Artist-centric – We’re driven by the creative/artistic process that is rapidly taking its place as THE way of thinking, innovating and working in the 21st century.

“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.”
― John Cage

At USC we’re not just unafraid of new ideas. We create them.

Want to know more?

Contact program director Kenneth Foster at to get your questions answered and find out whether this groundbreaking new program is right for you.

Currently accepting applications for Fall 2014. Deadline is June 1.

ARTL is available as a one year Graduate Certificate or a two year Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree. Additional MA options are forthcoming.