center of arts integration in business performance


Instructional Methodology + Best Practices

The Fogelman College of Business & Economics (FCBE), in partnership with the College of Communication & Fine Arts (CCFA), is proud to announce the Center for Arts Integration in Business Performance. This Center offers a unique learning environment for our students, as well as business professionals, so that they may complement their business acumen with performance and leadership skills, which are necessary for success in every career field.

There is a strong need for students to learn more than simply textbook materials while obtaining their degrees. According to many business leaders, students enter the workforce fully prepared in terms of subject knowledge, yet they often lack the “people skills” or “soft skills” that make a great employee. Given these skills are essential to being an exemplary employee, we like to refer to Arts Integration (AI) as “essential skills.” As the only business-based, university-sanctioned Center of its kind, it dramatically elevates the caliber of community leaders we produce.

Without further ado, we introduce: The Center for Arts Integration in Business Performance.


Arts Integration (AI)

Arts Integration (A-I) is an educational/training practice wherein complex knowledge and skills are taught from arts overlays (e.g., history and leadership through dramatic enactments of Shakespearean plays; mathematics fundamentals through music, etc.).

A-I education/training focuses on creative engagement, multi-sensory experiences with emotional enhancement, and highly collaborative/shared learning resulting in increased motivation and confidence, as well as more complex learning. You do not have to be an “artist” to benefit from A-I. The skills gained from A-I translate to a number of career fields and student development experiences.


Essential Skills

AI skills include ideation, interpersonal communication, empathy, emotional intelligence, professional speaking, leadership, team building and coachability. And while there is broad agreement among the scientific and business communities about the critical role these skills play in business and life success, there are currently no university-sponsored centers in existence. The Center for Arts Integration in Business Performance at the University of Memphis will be designed to create and teach these essential skills to business students and business professionals alike.

As business practice becomes increasingly complex, educating and training students of business has become, likewise, challenging. Creativity is desperately needed to help solve the myriad of vexing business issues and problems we see today. Yet modern business students receive little creative training, and even less, creative skills integrated into their studies and professional development.


Acting Tradecraft for Professional Speaking


Acting for Women in Leadership


Art Ensembles and Team Building


Art of Movement


Fine Arts for Data Visualization


Improvisation for Ideation in Innovation


Music & Mathematical Thinking


Poetics for Evocative Communication


Shakespeare for Leaders


Story Telling for Data Presentation & Branding Building

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Dr. Gregory Boller picture

Dr. Gregory Boller


"In a world where the other AI (Artificial Intelligence) threatens to eliminate 300+ million jobs, forward thinking business professionals will embrace Arts-Integration training as an essential way to develop and enhance their creative as well as people-oriented skills for future success. Arts training for business leadership is tangible, focused and immediately applicable to any career."

Dr. Ryan Fisher


"Artists are experts in nonverbal communication. Musicians, dancers and actors are constantly attuned to the group around them. An individual can play brilliantly, but if he is not adjusting to the rest of the team then the ensemble fails. We are teaching similar concepts to business leaders so that they can use art craft, like ‘when to lead and when to follow,’ to adapt situationally and become more marketable in professional settings."

Dr. Ryan Fisher picture


3.7 Teaching Soft & Life Skills

At the University of Memphis, we are embedding into our academics the teaching of soft skills needed by employers as well as life skills needed to lead a full and enriching life. Our aim is to produce strong, mature, and capable graduates eager and prepared to take on both career and life challenges. We understand that education is more than just providing students with discipline-specific knowledge and skills. In addition to embedding these skills into courses, we are investigating revamping/expanding courses in the core curriculum dedicated to instruction in soft and life skills (e.g., financial literacy, leadership).

Strategic Plan: ASCEND - to move upward and to rise to a higher level

Emotional Intelligence Workshop Series

EQuipping Tigers with EQ

Did you know that Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is one of the most sought-after interpersonal skills in the workplace? In a time when artificial intelligence is on the rise and technical jobs are becoming scarce, possessing strong EQ will help secure your place for a prosperous professional future. EQ is critical for leadership roles and improving your emotional intelligence is what will help you more successfully coach teams, manage stress, deliver constructive feedback and cohesively collaborate with others.

PART I: Emotional Awareness

Wednesday, March 20 | 9:30 AM-NOON | FIT Fishbowl

PART II: Emotional Management

Wednesday, March 27 | 9:30 AM-NOON | FIT Fishbowl

You are highly encouraged to attend both sessions, but you may register for only one if schedules preclude attendance of both. Registration is required. Space is limited to 30 people per session.

The Gift of Art

Join us today in transforming the way students learn at the University of Memphis. We have a unique opportunity to create a center unlike any other in the country and your contribuition will have decades-long implications. Your generosity will secure a dynamic future to the Unviersity of Memphis.

We thank your for your consideration and support.


Michele Sides |

Senior Director of Development | FCBE

The Center for Arts Integration in Business Performance has been made possible through a multi-college collaboration between the Fogelman College of Business & Economics and the College of Communications & Fine Arts at the University of Memphis.

Last Updated: 5/28/24