Entrepreneurship & Leadership

The Department of Entrepreneurship & Leadership provides diverse training and resources for all U-M students, and particularly those invested in becoming the arts leaders of tomorrow. Offering multiple points of entry, from co-curricular resources to single-credit courses and certificate and minor programs, students can engage with a variety of topics across the spectrum of arts entrepreneurship and leadership studies, while honing practical skills and knowledge that will amplify their artistry. Whether focused on individual career development, starting a new venture, or innovating within organizations, the Department offers a customizable academic foundation upon which students will learn how to transform their ideas into action. Additionally, graduate students can earn a certificate in arts entrepreneurship & leadership.

EXCEL helped me develop as a entrepreneur, empowering me with invaluable mentorship and financial support for my growing nonprofit. The EXCEL directors were interested and invested in our success. Thanks to this incredible SMTD resource, my organization and I have celebrated our greatest successes to date.

Melissa Coppola (DMA '20, MM '16, piano performance and pedagogy)


CAROLINA HEREDIA (DMA ’17, MM ’13, composition) is an Argentine composer whose works span acoustic, electronic and multimedia mediums.  She is also the founder of the contemporary chamber group Khemia Ensemble.

Here are just a few of our celebrated alumni:

JESSE AARONSON (BFA ’18, theatre & drama) & ZOEY BOND (BFA ’17, theatre & drama) founded Ypsilanti Active Community Thinkers (YACT): an ongoing interactive theatre project that empowers middle schoolers to address social issues through in-school, interactive, documentary theatre training.

THOMAS LAUB & NOAH KIESERMAN (BFA ’18, musical theatre) wrote SHEL: A Historically Fictionalized Musical, based on the unusual life of renowned poet and artist Shel Silverstein.

CARLOS FUNN (MFA ’17, dance) created Moving 24FPS: a roving festival bringing film and dance makers together to foster a collaborative community and develop new, original dance on camera shorts to communicate pressing issues of our time.

CLAIRE CRAUSE  (BFA ’17, dance) participated in the  21st Century Arts Internship program with Mark Morris Dance

TEAGAN FARAN (BM ’18, violin) founded Red Shoe Company: a collective that creates multi-genre events in venues ranging from traditional concert halls to gathering spaces of all types.

CÉSAR CAÑON RIVERS (DMA ’18, MM ’15, collaborative piano) created The University of Michigan En Español: Sounds from the Hispanosphere, the first festival of its kind: a celebration of music and musicians who blend Western classical traditions with those from Hispanic-Latino culture.

Ways To Connect


734.764.0593 (SMTD Admissions)
734.763.5461 (Events Line)
734.764.2538 (SMTD/UMS Ticket Office)


Jonathan Kuuskoski, Chair, Director of the EXCEL Lab
Caitlin Taylor, Career Services Coordinator

SMTD Student Team
Gala Flagello, Program Assistant
Karen Ludwig, Program Assistant
Samantha Williams, Research Fellow
Kaitlyn Tom, Dean’s Liaison


Department of Entrepreneurship & Leadership
Earl V. Moore Building, EXCEL Lab (Room 1279)
1100 Baits Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2075