Li-Hsuan Hsu

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Freedman, Kerry J.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Art and Design


Art--Study and teaching


The purpose of this study was to examine art and art educational leadership experiences and the development of leaders in art organizations to determine how their past art and art education influenced their leadership philosophies, techniques, and practices. To allow art educators to share their successful practices and provide a standard by which future and developing leaders can measure their progress and maturation, a framework for leadership in art education was created based on the investigation of a variety of current art leaders' personal backgrounds, professional experiences, and underlying leadership philosophies to discover the core characteristics of a successful art leader. Two phases of case study were included in this qualitative research. The data collection techniques included interviews, observations, and artifact collection. In the first phase, the participants of this study included 24 art and art education leaders from three metropolitan areas: New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco. In the second phase, the participants only included those selected in Chicago as a single case study. This study presents an Artful Leadership Framework with the three layers of leadership behaviors, synthesizing how the arts leaders selected for this study implemented leadership based on holistic art experiences and professional leadership practices. The researcher discovered close connections among their leadership philosophies, techniques, and practices as a sequential logic. In this study, the participants came from educational backgrounds in the arts, and artistic creation was important to their life experiences. While fulfilling leadership roles in arts organizations, these arts leaders did not separate their art experience from their leadership practice. The totality of their creative experiences in the arts became an essential element that guided their behaviors. The findings of this study revealed a high level of connection between art experience and leadership development among these arts leaders. Although discovering this connection was an important part of the research design and this was also designed in the research question and interview guide, the concept of Artful Leadership crystallized from this study, demonstrating the connection among leaders' arts backgrounds and their holistic mindsets, behaviors, and everyday practices. In addition, the arts leaders selected in this study showed an inclination to apply their art experience as a foundation to drive their leadership behaviors, and this finding can also inspire leadership development across other disciplines to integrate the concept of Artful Leadership into their respective leadership practice.


Advisors: Kerry Freedman.||Committee members: Douglas Boughton; Jon Briscoe; Richard Siegesmund.||Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


xiii, 233 pages




Northern Illinois University

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