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About the Barnett Center

Sullivant Hall

The Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise was created from a generous gift from the Barnett family. The Barnett Center educates and prepares students for successful careers in the arts and related entrepreneurial fields. The Center advances and increases students’ understandings of the business side of the arts and the worlds of arts management, policy, and culture by focusing on the entrepreneurial aspects of the arts.

We collaborate with the Fisher College of Business, Moritz College of Law, and multiple departments within the College of Arts and Sciences. Guests from local, regional, and national arts organizations provide leadership to students through the annual Barnett Symposium and Barnett Speaker and Seminar series. The Center contributes to the curricular offerings focused on arts entrepreneurship and arts management by offering programs, working with graduate students across disciplines, and housing the Barnett Fellows.


The Center expands the vision of Lawrence and Isabel Barnett who imagined creating a place where students could learn skills and abilities that would equip them to be successful in the arts. A native of Orrville, Ohio, and alumnus of Ohio State, Larry Barnett served as president of Music Corp of America, representing such notables as Guy Lombardo, Sammy Kaye, Ronald Reagan, George Burns, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, and Jack Benny. Isabel Bigley Barnett starred in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s "Oklahoma!" and "Me and Juliet", and is perhaps best remembered for originating the part of Sarah Brown in Frank Loesser’s "Guys and Dolls" for which she won the Tony in 1951. She donated her extensive collection of theatre memorabilia to Ohio State’s Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute in 1993. The Barnetts were known for their philanthropic endeavors throughout New York and California, serving on multiple national boards, including the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, California and the ALS Association.