a UW banner in the fall

Mission & Vision


In the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea, the Division of the Arts (DotA) supports and promotes a variety of arts programs and disciplines. In 2014, the then-Arts Institute was constituted as an independent division. We became a stand-alone division in July 2015. DotA works with numerous faculty and staff in a wide range of departments and arts-related fields. As such, the division is in the position to generate conditions for bold thinking and creative problem solving. With our partners, we can further develop and support a vibrant arts community.

DotA is a gateway to the arts at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. As arts practitioners, theorists, historians, and educators, we advance the arts as an invaluable resource. The arts underpin the vital nature of the university and its wider community. We promote all forms of artistic expression, experience, and interpretation via a diversity of intertwined paths through which we engage and understand our world.

Mission & Vision

We believe that designers, artists, architects, performers, and creative scholars are essential to society. Not only do these individuals solve complex problems, they advance society. Creativity enhances our culture, broadens our perspectives, and deepens our understanding of the world around us. It allows us to innovate, grow, and change. Our vision is founded on the notions of freedom of thought and the sustenance of a healthy democratic environment through the “continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found.”

The Division of the Arts harnesses the power and potential of artistic explorations and expressions for the benefit of the university, the state of Wisconsin, and the world.