UW-Madison Arts Institute

March 16, 2018

The Arts Institute (AI) began as a consortium in the late 1970s. It later evolved into a center, and as of 2014 is a division of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Its director is a full member of the Deans’ Council and together with other deans he or she reports to the Provost. Apart from working with the Provost on overall matters related to the arts across the university, the Director’s role is to make sure that through the AI, all the arts on campus have a collective visibility, presence, and significant role for the sake of the university, city, state, and beyond.

The Arts Institute is founded on the Wisconsin Idea, which is key to its inclusive and emancipatory vision of the arts. It is there for all who actively engage in the arts—from arts majors who spend hours in their studios, to the arts-maker majoring in other fields. The division serves the designer who works with a variety of clients, the technology specialist who conjures up new ways of connecting, the historian who spends hours in archives and museums, and those engaged in creativity and innovation where there are no visible boundaries between the arts and sciences, business, medicine, or any other field of human endeavor.

The Arts Institute’s vision is best explained through 5 nodes which bring together a network of communities. These are: arts research, integrated arts, arts enterprise, global arts, and arts in the community. By sustaining and facilitating a wider network whose intersections are characterized by these nodes, the arts continue to play a central role within the university and its wider communities. Through this network, the Arts Institute encourages and supports UW–Madison’s communities of practice to continue to innovate, connect, open opportunities, promote diversity, and sustain democracy.