MOOC Managing the Arts:
Cultural Organizations in Transition

Learn about challenges for cultural managers around the world, acquire management skills and gain direct insights into four arts organizations. Share your ideas with an international learning community and obtain a certificate.

  • Course start: 14 Apr 2016
  • Course end: 14 Jul 2016
  • Certificate: 5 ECTS

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Course Outline

    The learning outcomes focus on:

  • Audience development and outreach
  • Effective digital communications
  • Auditing and evaluating an arts program
  • Sustainable operations and marketing
  • Working with local cultural organizations in a global landscape
  • Planning for political and economic contingencies
  • Managing interdisciplinary teams and functions
  • Co-creating, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding
  • Strategy creation


We are very excited for arts and cultural managers, students and anyone who is eager to learn about arts and markets, and culture and marketing in the 21st century to join us. The course’s main topic is “transition”. We will approach tricky questions: How can arts organizations and cultural institutions operate successfully in times of rapid technological, economic and cultural changes? How can they navigate through times of crisis? What are the most important transformations in the cultural sector and how can cultural organizations benefit from them?

The 13-week online course addresses contemporary challenges facing arts managers today, tasked with running organizations in constantly evolving, often volatile and complex situations. Learners will delve into four case studies specifically crafted for this MOOC with geographies as diverse as Berlin, Lagos, Bangkok, and Budapest. The stories you will listen to highlight the seismic shifts taking place in the operational strategies, budgeting and marketing practices, arts programming, and cross-cultural and trans-national partnerships of arts and cultural organizations today.

During this year’s course you will be able to exchange ideas with mentors, tutors and peers from various professional and cultural backgrounds. Chris Dercon, art historian, curator and currently director of Tate Modern Gallery London, is the principal guide and keynote of the course. The faculty consists of arts experts, scholars, curators, digital strategists, communications specialists and cultural managers from all around the world who will deliver the coursework and assignment outlines as well as provide you guidance via keynote lectures, video interviews, academic research snippets, case study videos and readings. In live-webinars, you will have the chance to recapitulate your learning experience with the faculty of the course.

The course will equip you with hands-on marketing and management skills that are indispensable to working not only with an arts organization but any non-profit, public or private initiative associated with diverse arts programming and practices.
This Mentored Open Online Course is offered by the Goethe-Institut , in cooperation with Leuphana Digital School .

The first edition of this MOOC, ‘Marketing for Cultural Organizations’, which ran in 2015 was a big success. More than 17,000 learners from 176 countries joined the course which won an European Comenius EduMedia Award. Receiving a lot of feedback on the course, we have developed it even further for "Managing the Arts: Cultural Organizations in Transition".

Course Format

Cf Community

Be part of a social learning community

Within this social learning network, you will be exchanging knowledge, skills and feedback with your peers on a constant basis. You will increase your ability to communicate thoughts and ideas in a group and be encouraged to transfer your skills to real world situations, thus practicing your skills beyond the virtual classroom.

Cf Collaborate

Collaborate in teams

We provide you with a framework for collaboration. You can work on your assignments in a team, and exchange ideas and thoughts vitally. Team-based learning is essential for the development of integrated solutions, cultivating communication skills, quantitative reasoning and teamwork.

Cf Sharing

Share your work and get feedback

Throughout your learning journey, you will have the opportunity to share your progress within the community and get feedback on how to improve your work. This loop of input directs you on a journey of self-reflection enabling you and your team to gain a deeper understanding of the topic at hand.

Cf Mentors

Be supported and evaluated by mentors

In this unique MOOC concept, you are in communication with trained staff of didactic personnel giving you and your peers input on relevant topics along your learning journey. Mentors are evaluating your work, ensuring that you have the proper guidance, direction and support to succeed in this course.

Cf Participant

Work in teams and gain university credits

Joining our MOOC will give you the unique opportunity to work in an intercultural and heterogeneous team of five to complete the six assignments of the course and gain a university certificate with successful completion. You will gain access to all course materials and can join in discussions with peers and academic staff.

Cf Supporter

Form a community of knowledge

You can also join our MOOC without committing to an explicit team. You will be able to engage in all discussions with peers and teaching staff and gain access to all course materials. You will be part of an international learning community and can support the teams by providing further insights and giving feedback to their work.

Course schedule

Intro Stage

14 Apr - 21 Apr 2016

Introduction & Foundations

Chris Dercon | Nishant Shah

Become acquainted with the learning community, familiarize yourself with the overall course concept and get to know the online platform.

Phase 1

21 Apr - 06 May 2016

Responding to Transitions: Placing arts and cultural organizations in context

Chris Dercon | Adalet R. Garmiany | Arjo Klamer

In this module, learners take stock of social, political, economic, and cultural transitions on a global scale and their direct impact on the local existence and practices of arts and cultural institutions.

Phase 2

06 May - 19 May 2016

Repositioning Cultural Industries: Markets, marketing and the changing notions of art and culture practices

Péter Inkei | Sacha Kagan | Volker Kirchberg | Gabriëlle Schleijpen | Percy Yip Tong

In this module, learners explore how ACOs can effectively reposition themselves, both to the demands of new creative industries but also to address the conditions of transition in the social and cultural orders.

Phase 3

19 May - 02 Jun 2016

Discovering Hidden Potential: Marketing cultural projects and managing artistic processes

Annett Baumast | Patrick S. Föhl | Stephanie Hankey | Oliver Scheytt | Birgit Mandel

In this module, learners will examine different practices of creativity using a morphological box that allows them to understand various opportunities and challenges of arts and cultural management to experiment with solution-driven processes for creative collaboration.

Phase 4

02 Jun - 16 Jun 2016

Co-opting Multiple Stakeholders: Leveraging social capital for organizational growth

Chris Dercon | Natasha Ginwala | Ong Keng Sen | Birgit Mandel | Hilary S. Carty 

Knowing both actual and desired audiences is the basis for segmentation and development strategies. Digital avenues for audience interaction facilitate low-cost relationship-building and multi-tiered communication with local and global publics.

Phase 5

16 Jun - 30 Jun 2016

Exploring Emerging Identities: Co-creating and shaping digital brands

Carsten Baumgarth | Gesa Birnkraut | Nishant Shah

In this module, learners get acquainted with practices of co-creation and sharing, and how they can be utilized for brand-building and formatting of a corporate identity emergent from the organization’s culture and values.

Phase 6

30 Jun - 14 July 2016

Building Solutions for the Future: Crafting sustainable artistic practices and programs

Sacha Kagan | Yemisi Mokuolu | Carsten Siebert

In this module, learners will solve a concrete problem from a real-world case study that has been assigned to teams and develop an integrated strategic marketing plan that takes into account the learnings of all previous modules and can be implemented suitably.


Lp Profile Dercon C

Chris Dercon

Tate Gallery of Modern Arts 
London, UK

Impact and Audiences.
Director of the Tate Gallery of Modern Arts in London, UK. Chris Dercon is an art historian and cultural producer. He is also the MOOC Moderator.
Lp Profile Shah C

Prof Nishant Shah

Leuphana University 
Lueneburg, GER

Co-creation and Digital Cultures.
Professor at ICAM. Founder and director of research for the Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore. He is also Academic Director of the MOOC.
Lp Profile Schleijpen2 C

Gabriëlle Schleijpen

Dutch Art Institute 
Arnhem, NL

The Functions of Culture.
Director of the Dutch Art Institute (DAI) and founding curator-in-chief ( from 2000-2016) at the Studium Generale Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Lp Profile Birnkraut2 C

Prof Gesa Birnkraut

University of Applied Science 
Osnabrück, GER

Branding and Evaluation.
Chair for Strategic Management at the Osnabruck University of Applied Science, Germany, founder and managing partner at the consulting company BIRNKRAUT|PARTNER.
Lp Profile Klamer C

Prof Arjo Klamer

Erasmus University
Rotterdam, NL

Values and Logics of Art.
Holds the world’s only chair in the field of cultural economics. His research focuses on the cultural dimension of economic life and value of the art.

Lp Profile Kagan C

Sacha Kagan (Ph.D.)

Leuphana University 
Lueneburg, GER

Sustainability in the Arts.
Research associate, Principal Investigator at the transdisciplinary research project “The City as Space of Possibility”, Chair of the Research Network “Sociology of the Arts” at the European Sociological Association.
Lp Profile Scheytt C

Prof Oliver Scheytt

Institute for Culture and Media Management, Hamburg, GER

Project Marketing and Content Management.
Professor for Cultural Policy and Cultural Infrastructure at the Institute for Culture and Media Management, part of the Academy for Music and Theatre in Hamburg, Germany.
Lp Profile Kirchberg C

Prof Volker Kirchberg

Leuphana University 
Lueneburg, GER

Arts Production and Consumption.
Professor for cultural distribution and cultural organization. Research e.g. on cultural sociology and sociology of the arts.
Lp Profile Baumast C

Annett Baumast (Ph.D.)

baumast. kultur & nachhaltigkeit 
Lenzburg, CH

Sustainable Arts Management.
Sustainability expert, founder and CEO of baumast. kultur & nachhaltigkeit, Lenzburg, Switzerland.
Inkei Frame

Péter Inkei

Budapest Observatory
Budapest, HU

The Functions of Culture.
Deputy to the Minister for Culture of Hungary between 1996 and 1998, director of the Budapest Observatory: Regional Observatory on Financing Culture in East-Central Europe, Hungary.
Lp Profile Mandel C

Prof Birgit Mandel

University of Hildesheim 
Hildesheim, GER

Arts Marketing.
Professor and manager at the Department of Cultural Policy in the area of Cultural Management and Communication at the University of Hildesheim, Germany.
Siebert Frame

Carsten Siebert (Ph.D.)

Barenboim-Said Academy
Berlin, GER

Strategic Development.
CFO & COO of the Barenboim-Said Academy, Berlin. Expertise in developing cultural programs and establishing cultural organisations.
Carty Frame

Hilary S. Carty

Co-Creatives Consulting Ltd., UK

Culture and Communities.
Visiting Professor at Kufstein University of Applied Sciences, Austria; Consultant, Co-Creatives Consulting Ltd, UK.

Föhl Frame

Patrick S. Föhl (Ph.D.)

Network for Cultural Consulting
Berlin, GER

Cultural Management.
Founder and director of the Network for Cultural Consulting, Berlin, and trainer and lecturer for cultural management and policy worldwide.

Adalet Garmiany

Adalet R. Garmiany

ArtRole, IRQ

Culture in Conflict Zones. 
Chief Executive & Founder of ArtRole, culture manager, curator, artist, writer, director of different arts forums; Visual Arts exhibitions, Film Screen, Theatre, Music festival, Literature festival, Dance, Human right conferences, Environmental arts programme.

Ginwala Frame

Natasha Ginwala

CONTOUR Biennial, NL

Informal Networks and Cultural Collaboration.
Independent curator, researcher and writer. Ginwala is curatorial advisor for documenta 14 (Athens and Kassel), and curator of Contour Biennale 8 (Mechelen).

Mokuolu Frame

Yemisi Mokuolu

Hatch Events, London, UK

Fundraising and cultural strategies.
Independent producer and creative industries developer. Current projects include co-producing the film training and film production programme in Nigeria “Naija Street Stories”, the arts festival “Asa Baako – One Dance” and the world’s first Afrobeats musical “Oliva Tweest”.

Ong Keng Sen Frame

Ong Keng Sen

TheatreWorks, SGP

Audience Development.
Festival Director of the Singapore International Festival of Arts, Juror for the Prince Claus Foundation Jury, Amsterdam. Awarded with the prestigious Fukuoka Asian Arts and Culture Prize 2010 for his work in Asian contemporary performance.

Hankey Frame

Stephanie Hankey

Tactical Technology Collective, GER

Art, Technology and Activism.
Executive Director of the Tactical Technology Collective, developer and supporter of early digital campaigning for the Open Society Foundation, co-founder of Tactical Tech, co-founder of Tactical Studios.

Yip Tong Frame

Percy Yip Tong

Cyper Produktion, MUS

Funding Cultural Projects.
Artistic Director and owner of CYPER PRODUKTION, Trainer in Cultural Management for the Goethe-Institut in Africa, lecturer, Cultural Expert for the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) for Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean islands.

Lp Profile Baumgarth

Prof Carsten Baumgarth

University of Siegen, GER

Digital Branding in the Cultural Sector. Professor of Marketing and Brand Management. Main research fields: brand management, b2b marketing, arts & cultural management.


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Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Who is offering the course?

A. The course is provided by the Goethe-Institut. Germany’s cultural institute, active worldwide, fosters international cultural cooperation and has been offering cultural management training programmes in several world regions since 2009.

The MOOC is conducted in cooperation with Leuphana Digital School, an institution of Leuphana University offering interdisciplinary online education formats with a project- and case-based approach to collaborative learning.

The service is powered by candena GmbH, a platform and solutions provider specialized in enabling enterprises to launch and run collaborative online learning events.

The course is supported by Alumniportal Deutschland , an online community for anyone who has studied, researched, worked, trained or taken a German course either in Germany or at a German institution abroad.

The course is supported by Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, a global media group dedicated to supporting and encouraging experts tackling the biggest challenges and questions faced by societies across the globe.

This MOOC features learning software developed at the Software Engineering for Business Information Systems chair (sebis) at the Technical University of Munich.

The video content of this MOOC is produced by Bilderfest GmbH, a film production company based in Munich specialized in the field of factual entertainment and innovative learning formats.

Q: What is new in this MOOC?

A. During and after the last MOOC Managing the Arts we have received a lot of feedback from the course participants, an excellent source to develop the course further. We saw that a lot of the material was extremely appreciated by the learning community which is why we use a lot of it also in Managing the Arts 2016. The four case studies from Bangkok, Berlin, Budapest and Lagos will again be the centerpiece of this MOOC. Also, we will use several video keynotes from last course. 

This MOOC also has a lot of novelties, most of which feed from suggestions from participants from the last course.

1. Keynotes: Focusing on the new topic of “transition” we produced new video-keynotes for this MOOC in which we especially focus on global perspectives on Arts Management with keynote speakers from around the world.

2. Live interaction: In this course, we will also implement Live-Webinars in which the participants can exchange their ideas as well as learn with the faculty and with each other in real time.

3. New learning tools: In this course, we implement cutting edge group learning tools. This will make collaboration in teams easier and more effective.

4. More places for participants engaging in teamwork. Increasing the number by 200, in this year, up to 1.000 learners can work in teams and receive a certificate if they complete the course.

Q: Who can I contact for questions regarding the course?

A. If you have any questions about the course, please feel free to contact our Support Team.

Q: How many users can sign up for the course?

A. When signing up for the course, you can choose whether you want to flexibly engage with the course contents as well as with the learning community or if you want to actively participate in teamwork. As for the flexible mode of participation, there is a limitation of 10.000 registrations. In order to allow for personalized support of the teams working on the assignments, there is a limitation of 1.000 users engaging in teamwork. These users will be drawn by lots before the beginning of the course. If you sign up to partake in teamwork but are not drawn by lottery, your status will automatically change to a flexible mode of participation.

Q: Who can participate?

A. The course is geared primarily towards practitioners with an interest and experience in the cultural sector. These include but are not limited to arts and cultural managers, art curators, artists, cultural policy decision-makers and cultural marketing experts. Also, students, scholars and researchers are very welcome to join this course. The course offers a two-fold approach to completing the modules. You can choose to be a hands-on learner or a flexi-learner.
As a hands-on learner, you will be committing to being part of an international working group (4-5 persons each), working on assignments, engaging in forum discussions, and adhering to deadlines that will be evaluated by mentors. This will contribute to your overall grades in the course and upon successful completion of all assignments, you can obtain a university certificate (equivalent 5 ECTS). Fulfilling all the requirements to obtain a certificate will require 8-12 hours per week. For the certificate, a nominal handling fee of EUR 20,- will be charged via PayPal. The number of hands-on-learners is limited to 1.000 participants. If more than 1.000 people apply, the participants will be selected by lot.
The flexible learning path on the other hand provides access to the same course materials, videos, lectures, and tutors, including participation in the forum discussions. However, you will not be required to submit assignments or adhere to deadlines. However, you will be eligible to gain a Statement of Accomplishment based on how active you have been throughout the course. For this role, we recommend a weekly time investment of 4-6 hours. Up to 10.000 participants can join the course as flexi-learners.
We encourage potential registrants to consider both choices carefully before signing up for the option that’s best suited to your schedule and immediate professional goals. Both options allow learners to gain the most from the course.
The course is designed to benefit from a diverse, interdisciplinary and inter-generational global audience. Feedback on group submissions and individually submitted assignments on the forum will receive critical and constructive feedback.

Q: What are the requirements for the course?

A. Cultural managers, arts administrators, artists, undergraduate and graduate students from diverse backgrounds, including but not restricted to the arts, artistic practices, curatorial work, design, culture, and management backgrounds are welcome to join the course. We want to say at the outset that learners should not expect a broad theoretical survey. Instead, the course offers a chance to reflect on your experiences and values by learning about selected issues and concepts in contemporary academic discourses of arts management.
The course will be delivered in English on an interactive, learning platform created by candena GmbH. Videos will be in English but will feature English, German and Arabic subtitles. Technical requirements for participating in this course include having access to a desktop / laptop, a decent Internet connection and programs to access documents and write your assignments (e.g. MS-Office) and work on presentations. Apps and programs that allow you to participate in group chats (Skype, Messenger) will help you to communicate with your teams.

Q: Do I get a certificate for the course?

A. Yes. There are two types of certificates for this course:
(1) Certificate of Completion: After having successfully completed the course by submitting all required assignments as part of a team, you can obtain a certificate (5 ECTS) issued by Leuphana University for a nominal fee of EUR 20,-.
(2) Statement of Accomplishment: As an active and engaged learner in this online course, you can obtain the Statement of Accomplishment for free.
Please be aware that there is no printed-paper version of both documents.


Q: How do I sign up for the course?

A. To sign up, you can create an account with your social network accounts or create an account here. Once you have clicked on the link, you need to enter your email address and password. We will also ask you for some information about yourself that we will use in order to match you with others to form a team of five. All you need is a computer with a current browser and Internet access. Of course, during the course, video chat software or other tools for web collaboration with your peers might be helpful. If you have any questions regarding the registration, please feel free to contact our Support team.

Q: When does the course start and finish?

A. The course will start on April 14 and last until July 14, 2016.

Q: What does it cost to take the course?

A. Participation in the course is free of charge. If you wish to obtain a Certificate of Completion after successful completion of the course, a nominal fee of EUR 20,- will be charged via PayPal.

Q: What are the different modes of participation?

A. When creating your profile, you are presented with two options: You can either flexibly engage in the course or actively participate in teamwork.

The flexible mode of participation includes access to all course materials (video keynotes, case scenarios, reading material etc.) as well as active engagement in all discussions in the Forum. Contributing to the discussions around the course materials, concepts and course phases, you can gain additional insights into the course topics and broaden your own horizon through the different perspectives that are being brought together during this course. Therefore, you play a key role in building a community of knowledge within the course when flexibly engaging in the course. However, as you do not partake in teamwork and do not hand in any submissions, you are not eligible for a university certificate. 

When signing up for participation in teamwork, you have access to all course materials (video keynotes, case scenarios, reading material etc.) as well as to all discussions in the Forum. You are matched in teams of five and work on all required assignments together. As a team, you are required to pass all assignments in order to finish the course. 

Both modes of participation allow for offering additional feedback to the teams’ work by commenting on the published drafts of other teams while they are working on their submission and evaluate another team’s final submission after each assignment. It also encourages active discussions around the course topics in the Forum. After successful completion, all active users may obtain the Statement of Accomplishment.


Q: Do I form my own team?

A. At the beginning of the course, we will match you with others to form a team of five. After the course has started on 14 April, 2016, you will have the chance to form your own team.

Q: How can I collaborate and communicate with my team?

A. We will provide an online learning platform, which enables both collaboration and communication with the entire learning community. During the course, you work together with your teammates in the Lab. You can contact your team as well as your mentor and your tutor via the platform’s messaging system. Of course, there are collaboration tools on the Internet that might be helpful as well.

Q: How will we apply the theoretical content in the course?

A. At the beginning of the course, we will assign your team to one of the case scenarios (from Bangkok, Berlin, Lagos and Budapest). As the course progresses, you and your team will have the chance to choose your own case scenario. However, please keep in mind that you will make the most of the course when you work on the same case scenario throughout the course.

Q: Can I swap teams?

A. You are free to change teams right from the beginning of the course.


Q: What is the course structure?

A. The course is structured in six consecutive assignments, each with its own deadline. Working in your team, you and the course community will go through these course phases together, each addressing a different aspect of cultural management and marketing, and integrate the input given in form of readings, video keynotes and case scenarios into your own submissions. You can see the deadline of the respective course phase on the top right on your home page on the platform once you have logged on. Please make sure that you have the time capacities to collaborate with your team members during the course phases in order to complete the assignments.

Q: Working in a team, how much work will I have to do to complete the course? What if I miss a week?

A. The workload for each assignment depends on various factors such as your own efficiency or the processes within your team. It is certainly possible to pass the course after having missed a week. Please make sure to inform your team in case of illness or similar impediments. As the coursework is progressive, you should review and study what you have missed. If you wish to complete the course working in a team in order to obtain a Certificate of Completion, the projected workload for the course is 150 hours. Feel free to check out the module description to find out more.

Q: What happens if my team and I miss a deadline?

A. If you happen to miss any deadlines or if you feel that you will not be able to participate in teamwork any longer, you will be removed from your team and engage in the course more flexible to suit your needs. You will still be able to see all of the content on our platform and engage with your peers. Find out more about the two roles here and in these FAQ.