Arts Administration & Policy Department

The Arts Administration and Policy department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is structured around the values of collaboration, creativity, experimentation, inclusion, critical thinking, care, activism, advocacy, and reflection, all of which we believe are central to building the future of cultural leadership. 

Systems. Cultures. Futures. Strategies.

Building Creative Leadership

We embrace the interdisciplinary, experimental core of SAIC through integrated curriculum design; merging theory and practice; constantly developing new partnerships and ways of working collaboratively across sectors; and combining inventiveness and aspirational values with solid grounding in practical skills.

A natural laboratory located in a thriving, progressive arts community made up of students and faculty from an array of creative practices, SAIC is a place where various currents of artistic, design, cultural production, and scholarly practice meet, intertwine, and recombine; where disciplines exceed their own limits; and where real-life, emergent environments encourage an ever-evolving, adaptive, shared space of dialogue, problem-solving, world building, and narrative change.

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Core Commitments

  • Thinking and working at the systems and policy level to recognize, acknowledge, and reimagine complex power structures towards the courageous and continuous building of an equitable, inclusive cultural ecosystem
  • Working closely, intentionally, empathetically, and intensively with artists, arts & cultural organizations, and beyond
  • Actively promoting ethical, environmentally sustainable practice
  • Advocating for the centrality of the arts and culture to the wellbeing of individuals and communities in everyday life
  • Developing new individual and collaborative approaches to learning
  • Thinking experientially, critically, and politically about complex challenges facing the cultural ecosystem
  • Building collective intelligence within and across cohorts and alumni
  • Elevating creativity in arts administration by leveraging the potential in ambiguity, reframing constraints as opportunity, and refusing scarcity and zero-sum narratives
  • Creating a socially just and inclusive  impact through work in arts and culture

Contact Us

Department of Arts Administration and Policy

MacLean Center 

112 S Michigan Ave., suite 605

Chicago, IL 60603


Adelheid Mers

Graduate Program Director

Kate Dumbleton

Senior Administrative Director

Aaron Kissman

Administrative Director

Kaitlyn Albrecht

Administrative Assistant

Jennie Bukowski