Arts Business Competition Seeks Proposals from UW–Madison Student Arts Entrepreneurs

The University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Arts Business Competition is currently accepting proposals through Thursday, December 21, 2023 until 11:59 p.m. CST. The competition was created in 2009 to encourage UW–Madison students to develop and present a thorough proposal for an arts event, exhibition, performance, series, commercial venture or other artistic project.

The Competition is open to students from any major, as well as projects featuring any arts disciplines. “This competition is for every student. This isn’t just for students that are committing their lives to the arts. This isn’t just for students who were raised in entrepreneurial households. This isn’t just for students that have had access and proximity to resources and encouragement. This is for any student with a cool artistic idea. We want students to feel empowered to submit a proposal, no matter what!” says Kayla McGhee, Arts Outreach and Engagement Coordinator. Entries may be from individuals or from teams of up to three. Only the team lead must be a full-time UW–Madison student; other members can be part-time students, students from other colleges or community members.

The top scored finalists advance to compete for the first-place prize of $2,000. Second place is $1,000 and third place is $500. Emerging Artist Awards for a proposal led by an undergraduate student (up to $500) is also available. Each year, a panel of judges reviews proposals for creativity, innovation, potential success and added value to the arts. Judges this year include Dr. Roxie Hentz, Founding Executive Director of CEOs of Tomorrow, Inc., booking agent and founder of Revel Talent Alliance Brandon Hughes and Associate Professor Helen Lee, Head of the Art Department Glass Lab, Faculty Director of The Studio and Impact 2030 Helen Burish Faculty Fellow.

Experts from the Bolz Center for Arts Administration offer a virtual mentorship meeting with finalists ahead of the finals event on Wednesday, February 28, 2024. Finalists will present their proposals on campus in front of the judges and an audience, and have until May 2025 to implement their ideas.

The Arts Business Competition is presented by the UW–Madison Division of the Arts in partnership with the Wisconsin School of Business Bolz Center for Arts Administration.

More details including the proposal requirements, timelines and sample proposals can be found by visiting