Cultural Entrepreneurship, Graduate Certificate

Cultural entrepreneurs combine creative, cultural, social and entrepreneurial spirit to forward innovation goals that invest in culture while solving problems with market-based approaches for the greater good. Cultural entrepreneurship is closely related to social entrepreneurship in that both aim to bring about social change by devising a solution – be that a roving theater company or a smartphone app for artistic collaboration – that generates a positive impact on communities. Cultural entrepreneurs may seek to shift attitudes and change behavior but always to influence culture.

The cultural tools now at an entrepreneur’s disposal are myriad and a cultural entrepreneur must possess a skill set rooted in several disciplines. In addition to critical, creative perspective, administrative acumen, organizational and analytical skills and deep cultural awareness, a cultural entrepreneur must understand how arts, design and media can forward community goals. A cultural entrepreneur must also be savvy with the digital tools and new media techniques that can be leveraged to attract attention and achieve those cultural innovation goals.

The Graduate Certificate in Cultural Entrepreneurship empowers students with the tools and competency to create diverse, viable and sustainable projects and organizations to address social and cultural issues. The goal of the certificate program is to prepare creative practitioners and culturally-minded innovators to become valuable contributors to the fields of arts, culture, and community at large. The curriculum offers students the opportunity to identify shortcomings and opportunities for evolution in the arts and cultural sectors, to develop or hone critical, creative practices, leadership acumen, arts administrative and analytical skills, to conceive of and implement programming for community engagement and positive impact, and to bring these skills and frameworks to bear on cultural challenges. Graduates will be introduced to and have opportunities to demonstrate knowledge relative to formulating arts and culture-based strategies, organization, initiatives and technologies that build both economic and cultural capital.

The program learning objectives provide students with opportunities to:

  • Develop an understanding of methods and tools used to conceptualize, scope, pilot, evaluate, iterate and launch cultural entrepreneurship projects;

  • Align creative practice and arts enterprise strategies with opportunities, challenges and resources to achieve varied forms of impact;

  • Apply communication, engagement and evaluation techniques to develop and sustain diverse audiences and stake holders;

  • Engage in critical analysis of the work of peers and industry leaders by analyzing and contextualizing the quality, viability and sustainability of culturally-driven entrepreneurship.

    The required curriculum includes three core courses and one directed elective for a total of 12 credit hours. All core and in-program elective courses are available online.


  • Core Courses (9 credit hours) – AACE 6200, AACE 6220 and AACE 6210 (the latter course will be submitted in the fall for approval)

  • Elective (3 credit hours)

  • 12 credit hours and minimum 3.0 GPA required for the certificate

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated.


Required Courses
AACE 6200Programming and Community Engagement for Cultural Entrepreneurs3
AACE 6210
AACE 6220
Elective Course
Complete one of the following:3
Arts and Culture Organizational Leadership
Planning for Arts and Cultural Organizations
Information Technology for Arts and Cultural Organizations
Business Planning for New Ventures

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

12 total semester hours required
Minimum 3.000 GPA required