Three finalists announced for 2023 Arts Business Competition

Arts Business Competition 2023 finals presentation banner

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Arts Business Competition (ABC) is a campus-wide competition created to support and encourage new thinking and innovative ideas in the form of an art exhibition, event, series, commercial venture or other artistic project. Students submit proposals which are reviewed for creativity, innovation, success potential and added value to the arts. The program provides financial support for student-driven projects and celebrates entrepreneurship in the arts.

Three groups of finalists (listed below) will pitch their proposals at a public presentation on Wednesday, April 26 starting at 3:00 p.m. at the H.F. DeLuca Forum, Discovery Building (330 N. Orchard Street). The event will be streamed, and an Arts Together reception will follow. Advance registration is required.

“In this thirteenth year of the Arts Business Competition, we were again impressed by the number and variety of applications from undergraduate and graduate students campus-wide. The thing that all three of our 2023 finalists have in common is that they’re connecting artists and audiences and creating opportunities to build community between the two. We’re looking forward to their presentations!” says Sarah Marty, Director of the Bolz Center for Arts Administration. Marty continues, “The ABC is an important UW experiential program because it provides funding for student entrepreneurs to make a difference in their communities through arts-based practices and projects. Past winners have gone on to do things such as establish the interdisciplinary LunART Festival, work with Madison Metro to wrap buses in art and poetry as part of the Art En Route project, and create successful arts ventures.”

Judges reviewed all proposals and selected finalists, and will have time to ask additional questions before deliberating and granting prizes in the amount of $2000, $1000 or $500. Special thanks to this year’s judges: artist and curator Ariana Barrios; Anna January, Director of Individual & Legacy Giving at PBS Wisconsin; and Lance Owens, Artworking Program Director. Finalists have until May 2024 to implement their ideas. Two additional Emerging Artist Awards will be granted to applicant groups (listed below) whose proposals demonstrate strong potential for success.

The Arts Business Competition is presented by the Division of the Arts with support from the Bolz Center for Arts Administration. Funding for the 2023 Arts Business Competition is provided by the Brittingham Wisconsin Trust.

Finalists and majors

Dane County Artist Directory

The Dane County Artist Directory is a user-friendly comprehensive online directory of Dane County’s visual artists, which will break down barriers to connection by providing an easy and affordable way to connect with local visual artists.

Augusta Brulla, MA: Arts and Creative Enterprise Leadership candidate

Eastern Shore Chamber Music Festival

The Eastern Shore Chamber Music Festival is a professional chamber music series in Fairhope, Alabama that will inspire community involvement in contemporary and classical chamber music at every socioeconomic level by making all festival performances free of charge.

Sahada Buckley, Master of Music candidate, Violin Performance
Trace Johnson, Doctoral of Musical Arts candidate, Cello Performance

The Big Gay Market

The Big Gay Market, an organization that focuses on hosting accessible and inclusive LGBTQ+ friendly markets in the Madison area, organizes quarterly markets that feature LGBTQ+ makers and allies in a safe, accessible, and comfortable space for everyone.

Oliver DiPietro, MA candidate in Gender and Women’s Studies and certificate in Leadership
Ashley Shaw Adams, freelance artist

Undergraduate Emerging Artist Awards


CraftingGreen is an in-person series of ceramic workshops for refugee and immigrant students across the Milwaukee and Madison cities that explore creativity through the expression of identity, experiences, and culture.

Isabella Heller de Messer, BBA, International Business and Marketing and certificate in 3D Studio Design with an emphasis in ceramics


Moving creating replica film props from a hobby to a for-hire prop shop in Madison, Wisconsin.

Jack Ohly, BE, Mechanical Engineering and Bachelor’s, Communication Arts, Radio, Television, & Film track