MOOC 2015

Managing the Arts: Marketing for Cultural Organizations 2015

“Managing the Arts” ran for the first time from 19 February to 28 May, 2015. Arts managers and students of arts management from around the globe were invited to join this free online course.

MOOC Managing the arts

“Managing the Arts” emphasized peer-to-peer and mentored project-based learning by using a case-study method. The course was designed by Goethe-Institut in cooperation with Leuphana University. In six assignment cycles, the participants learned about theoretical foundations of cultural management and how to apply marketing strategies to four existing pre-selected art institutions and their real-life approaches and challenges.

The course created a truly global learning community. More than 17.000 people from more than 170 countries joined the course and worked on more than 75 video lectures and 4 video case studies from Bangkok, Berlin, Budapest and Lagos especially produced for the course. All participants were strongly encouraged to share their experiences in arts management and to create a community of knowledge around the theme of the course.



A group of 800 participants had the opportunity to receive a Certificate of Completion, providing that they finish the course. Issued by Leuphana University, the certificate is worth 5 Credit Points (ECTS), which course participants may transfer towards their own degree program.

All participants of “Managing the Arts” who showed a high level of engagement in the course were eligible to receive a Statement of Accomplishment (no credit points).

The MOOC Managing the Arts was a project by Goethe-Institut and Leuphana Digital School, technically implemented by Candena GmbH, the video content was produced by Bilderfest GmbH. The project was supported by Alumniportal Deutschland.

Course Moderator

Chris Dercon is an art historian, a documentary filmmaker and cultural producer. In April 2011, he was appointed director of Tate Modern in London. Previously, he was director of Haus der Kunst in Munich, the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam and Witte de With – Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, as well as program director of the Institute of Contemporary Art P.S.1, a branch of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), in New York. His current interest lies particularly in reflecting about the future of the museum.

Academic Director

Prof. Dr. Nishant Shah, professor at the ICAM – Institute of Culture and Aesthetics of Digital Media, Lüneburg and founder and director of research for the Bangalore-based Centre for Internet and Society, India

MOOC Facilitator

Felix C. Seyfarth, assistant at the Institute for Systemic Management and Public Governance (IMP-HSG), Switzerland, and research coordinator at the Leuphana Digital School, Lüneburg, Germany


Prof. Hans Abbing, artist, economist, sociologist and author of the forthcoming book The Art Period, The Netherlands

Annett Baumast (Ph.D.), founder and CEO of baumast. kultur & nachhaltigkeit, Lenzburg, Switzerland

Prof. Carsten Baumgarth, founder of the consulting firm Baumgarth & Baumgarth Brandconsulting and program director of the Executive MBA program of Business Integration, University of Würzburg, Germany

Prof. Gesa Birnkraut, founder and managing partner at the consulting company BIRNKRAUT|PARTNER and chair for Strategic Management at the Osnabruck University of Applied Science, Germany

Patrick S. Föhl (Ph.D.), founder of the network for cultural consulting (“Netzwerk für Kulturberatung”) in 2004 and academic director of the Ulm Danube School for Arts Management, Germany

Leonie Hodkevitch (M. Phil.), lecturer for cultural management and intercultural communication at the University of Vienna and other institutions and, as of 2015, New York University, USA

Péter Inkei, 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

Sacha Kagan (Ph.D.), founding coordinator at Cultura21 International and research associate at the Institute of Sociology and Cultural Organization of Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany

Prof. Volker Kirchberg, professor for Cultural Distribution and Cultural Organization in Applied Cultural Sciences of Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany

Prof. Arjo Klamer, professor of Economics of Art and Culture and chair in the field of cultural economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Prof. Armin Klein, professor for cultural studies and cultural management at the Institute of Cultural Management in Ludwigsburg, and founder of Ulm Danube School of Arts Management, Germany

Prof. Birgit Mandel, professor and manager at the Department of Cultural Policy in the area of Cultural Management and Communication at the University of Hildesheim, Germany

Prof. Oliver Scheytt, 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

Gabriëlle Schleijpen, director of the Dutch Art Institute (DAI) and head and curator-in-chief at the Studium Generale Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Interview partners at the participating cultural institutions (selection)

Jude Anogwih, curator at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Lagos, Nigeria

György Szabó, managing director of the Trafó House of Contemporary Arts in Budapest, Hungary

Luckana Kunavichayanont, director of the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre (BACC) in Bangkok, Thailand

Bisi Silva, director of the Centre for Contemporary Art in Lagos, Nigeria

Pichaya Suphavanij, director of exhibitions at the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre (BACC) in Bangkok, Thailand

Annemie Vanackere, managing director of the HAU Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin, Germany
1. The cultural economy
This learning phase illuminates the markets and marketing for cultural organizations. It introduces students to the basic terminology and approaches of cultural management.

2. Mapping the terrain
Participants will reflect on the position of cultural institutions in their socio-cultural context. They will examine material and immaterial resources to ask what role sponsors, competitors, critics, target groups and cultural policy-makers play.

3. Enabling creativity
Facilitating and efficiently steering artistic processes requires an adequate understanding of success criteria and incentive structures. The focus of this course phase lies in communication strategies that ensure successful curating and effective marketing.

4. Building audience relationships
Cultural managers must address culturally interested target groups in competition with a growing number of recreational activities. What strategies are helpful for winning over a future audience? What factors are crucial for the long-term growth of an arts organization?

5. Co-creating and shaping digital brands
Digitalization affects all spheres of life today and involves both opportunities and risks for cultural organizations. The brand development of an institution has to be communicated in a participatory and conversational manner; it should tell stories and appeal to the emotions. In this phase, the participants will reflect on strategies and processes of digital marketing.

6. Curating strategies
How can artistic practices be enabled sustainably? What approaches from marketing and project management offer benefits to the development of an actual institution? Course participants will face this challenge in the final phase on the basis of actual scenarios and concrete proposed solutions.
80 teams submitted the final assignment which was about drafting an Integrated Marketing Plan for one of the four video case studies of the MOOC Managing the Arts. A jury chose three winning teams.


Johannes Ebert (Secretary General Goethe-Institut)
Holm Keller (Vice President Leuphana University)
Carsten Siebert (Director Daniel Barenboim Stiftung)
François Colbert (Professor for Marketing at HEC Montreal)

In September 2015, the winning team „Dynamic Impact“ traveled to Nigeria to present their ideas at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Lagos.

Winning Team (from the left: Thomas Gottschalk, Johanna Nieto, Constanze Brockmann and Amélie Claude) The Team “Dynamic Impact“ in Lagos: Thomas (Germany), Johanna (Colombia), Constanze (Germany) and Amelie (France) | © Goethe-Institut