Cultural Management Academy

Cultural Management Academy Showcase © Goethe-Institut

P R O J E C T S • S H O W C A S E
A showcase of the funded CMA projects 

1st - 9th of April

at Pavilion 32 | Goethe-Institut | Calea Dorobanți 32 and online via Streaming on the Facebook Pages of Cultural Management Academy Bucharest and Goethe-Institut Bucharest


_About CMA: The Cultural Management Academy is a post-graduate program for cultural management aiming at capacity building and stimulating exchange and collaboration in the Balkans and South-Eastern Europe.
It was founded in 2015 and throughout the years it has developed into an international program run by the Goethe-Institut.
The local seminar in Bucharest is organized with the help of our partners: Colectiv A Cluj, EUNIC Romania and Facultatea de Stiinte Politice a Universitatii din Bucuresti (FSPUB)
The network of the CMA already includes almost 200 cultural managers.

_CMA Project Fund: Established in 2017 as continuation of the capacity building process of the CMA, its aim is to provide participants with more space to develop new ideas and collaborate with other managers from their countries and others in the region. To make this a reality, Goethe-Institut has offered annual grants for participants' projects.

_CMA Showcase: We are happy to share with you a selection of showcased projects realized by the Alumni of the CMA!

We invite you to discover discover a variety of projects - from exhibitions to case studies and residencies:​

  • Balkanville: AR digital exhibition of architectural and urban elements from the Balkan
  • WARP exhibition: Digital Media and AR meet Poetry
  • Balkan Youth at Film Fests: a study that aims to identify and analyze the strategies being used and the activities bein proposed by major International Film Festivals in the Balkan region in order to approach young audiences
  • Cultural Managers’ Re-Creation Camp: Remedy against Burnout
  • Off Season: a residency programme that invites contemporary artists to live and work at the seaside
  • Queer Museum Bucharest
  • Performing Identity: The Balkan Aromanians
  • Building Ecostructures for Other Performance Species
  • Digital Transfer: collaborative project that reshapes the cultural management talking points using collective and critical thinking in order to create digital literacy for artists
More information about CMA Showcase here and on Facebook

Even naming you is doubtful – cultural – managers, workers and, in between, operators.

Creative industries and little to no contemporary art, again, managers, operators, workers.

It is not your responsibility to sustain your existence

Some words come too close to the face

Sustainability is a bit like performativity, loving etymology but abjected otherwise, abused 

On sustainability,

With fragility and responsibility

Culture is an organism, not a mechanism

It is much messier 

More dynamic than linearity allows

Repeat this after me

Culture is an organism, not a mechanism

Repeat this over and over until the parasympathetic nervous system activates and rests in itself  much like a beautiful brown dog in its beautiful brown body

Sing, that is.

We are forced to use a language that is not ours (in funding applications)

So, sustainability – the life after, the real life of a project

With fragility and responsibility

Write a manifesto, unmanifesto, she said

I will write a poem, unpoem 

with the dead language undead.

Culture is an organism, not a mechanism

It’s a living mess

Culture is the fourth pillar for sustainability, after economy, ecology and ….

3+1 pillars that are circles

Searching, waiting for a new language

New taxonomy of culture

(and should start thinking about it before others do it for us again)

When the pillars are circles

What the artists say

What the managers say

Everything is loss, loss, so no need to pretend.

This is for you, art activists that want to make the right to art and culture a matter of public interest

What constitutes good cultural governance – what are the public goods to put at the centre of things – unless the economy is and remains the ultimate public interest…

What Is art’s power, what makes power powerful?

Or what, what… where does art differentiate itself from culture?

Culture is an organism, not a mechanism

„Link expert knowledge with artistic imagination and civic exploration

Recognize civic imagination as public interest and public good – every individual has the right to participate to the imagination and realization of its community/city” 

Think of it ecologically

Instead of economically

Change the model, the perspective, the language

Allow for an organic dynamic messier one


Instead of careless society, think art work relations understood as affective solidarity and mutual regard

Instead of meritocracy based on productivity, efficiency, market markers, think… and here you know your need

Instead of ”eternal immigrants” running away from precarity and instability, imagine…

Instead of performance measure, …

Instead of …, …

When you get lost, repeat after me, sing with me

Culture is a matter of regeneration

Culture is a matter of symbiosis

Culture is a matter of positive and negative feedback loops, it is failure included and it is fine

Culture is a matter of fragility

Culture is a matter of mutual dependence, and that is a good thing.

Yes, sing, make it an artificial, alienation tool, until it hits and rests in your body. Move with it, move the arms and the thinking along.

Take it as an exercise to at least diversify perspectives and enrich the discussion. New taxonomies bring new visualizations and,  

Maybe, possible shapes for ethics and aesthetics of care?

Culture discussed as an ecology

What does this really mean? 

Do not think in separations, think in layers and connectivity, observe and feed on configurations of relations & patterns and make optimal use of their inter-dependency. Think in terms of permaculture, consider the cultural ecosystem

Make cultural the ecosystem, make ecosystem the culture

Aim high, why not, truly see culture as the 4th pillar of sustained development, turn culture also into a perspective and a thinking model

I grid myself today

You are in front of me, you are on my right, you are on my left, you are inside me, you are behind me

Beyond and above

An organism, not a mechanism.

Resourcing ourselves,

Sustaining an entire ecosystem, not a plant.

Culture consists of moments when people and things come together in concentrations.

An organism, not a mechanism.

Culture is a regenerative life-cycle, mostly failing, allowing for time and the unexpected. 

(Lars Ebert’s workshop in the laboratory should be public).

Facing the literal unknown, while working and now while living, controlling only the intention and trusting the process – performers, people in therapy, and humans in general, they all know.

Imagine curating, collecting and conserving working with time and not against it, regeneratively and less economically.

And then let go.

Others have done it for us and we run behind it

Now, with the pandemic and the absent body, now transformation is already happening

Now is a moment of change and one of these changes could be that we

Unapologetically, we

Start writing our own taxonomy

(ecology needs classifications, we have to know what we are talking about, what we need)

What do you need?

Take the moment and map your last project. What sustains its real afterlife?

Is it expected or unexpected ecology?

Maybe it’s not only the clean clear path of steady partners, maybe it’s a climate or a universe that developed.

Maybe, a community of practice, an ecosystem of producers, receivers, friends, commons, funders, suppliers a.s.o. And the commons, maybe they are venues, ideas

A rhizome that flourishes with time and change (artists would call it process)

And that feeds on trust and collectivity.

Describe and draw, yes, draw, the ecosystem of your own project, the human and nonhuman links

This is about relationships.

And chant away your reserve –

While waiting for the right vocabulary for the funders, that is explanatory, opportunistic but also doesn’t entirely betray you, or maybe it doesn’t at all, with the right amount of referential distance to trigger transformation, to propel you and your reality ahead into the unknown escaping the logic of the market

While waiting for it to surface the individual mapping, and the different needs and perspectives of art workers involved

Allow the darn chant


Culture is an organism, not a mechanism

This is about the cultural logic of relationships and long-term rhizomatic development that is much more akin to the way we think and work

Or, find your own indicators, do imagine them

Start from specificities, the core of the artistic field, the context, the region, the hybrid, the distinctive combination of the cultural work or the constellation you are in, the very specific logic of performing arts

Make use of art and culture to think and name, an imaginative act that follows

So chant and draw the ecosystem of relationships and practice, of connections and time, of your own project

Maybe it’s a permaculture or dark pedagogy model that you have already embedded in your good practices, maybe it’s growing your own food 

Or maybe…

First, the drawing, then the indicators, an indicator being how the government sees you

Or, maybe, just draw a landscape of where we are now.

Set the bases for reflection towards where you want to go

Self-evaluate and decide what to abandon and what to reimagine

Start small, in your context, in your body

Just stop

Use both the methodology of reflection and embodied knowledge

Stop and understand how you are today 

Your mood

While you push the mountains a bit further to the right by hand

Your hand. And make more space inside

For how you are 

How are you in this particular radical situation that invites the imagination, the transformation of our sector that is already happening as it is happening, the transformation of reality? How are you in this permanent state of crisis, ecological, sanitary, political, social, economy shifting?

But, first, stop and rest

And describe your mood in one or two words.

Take time, take space, take needed resources and shapeshift


Make clearer the deep disconnection of how art is actually created and what the authorities and the funders know or care about

Make art activism, because art is not really only culture if it is at all

Engage politically, poetically and performatively by means of daringly applied and nuanced language; make it magical, make it SF, make it real – a true spell!

Make it a pdf, viral, pure policy of amazing collective intelligence

Do you know you are just being deprived of your right to be in the presence of culture?

Do they know culture is anyways happening to them, careful or careless as they are? 

To us all?

Consider culture a cross-sectorial feature of contemporary social change, consider culture holistically embedded in all the other sectors – consider this when writing a project.

Artist and manager, art worker, cultural worker, inside the same body or under different skins

Fill in the pdf with the alternative local operations that are already happening

Put a spell on your government that has already let go of the arts sector

Repeat endlessly the connected and practical and transformative vocabulary that your work and your being needs.

And while you are at it,

Hack the institutions, cultural and art ones, also by engaging culturally any other kind of institution or funder or context.

Do try to not reproduce the model imposed on you, in what you work and how you organize and call the working

Make culture more „art”, make it a soft parasite inside systems, make it work in systemic ways

Open up the scene, get out of the bubble and all the rest, and connect with other sectors with shared values. Build your alliances protecting the marginalized, also and especially the language-fragile ones

They need you so.

Bring together identity politics reals with the unsituated.

In the same pdf ☺

Adriana Gheorghe

The poem was created by Adriana Gheorghe at the invitation of Colectiv A Association and Goethe Institut Bucharest within the Cultural Management Academy 2020 program whose theme was The Laboratory of the Absent Body. Reset scenarios for performing arts and is inspired by the interventions of Milena Dragićević Šešić, Milica Ilić and Lars Ebert.
From 2015 to 2019, the Cultural Management Academy has been a post-graduate program for cultural management, aiming at capacity building and stimulating exchange and collaboration in the Balkans and South-Eastern Europe. It was founded in Sofia and throughout the years has developed into an international program run by the Goethe-Institutes in Sofia, Bucharest, Thessaloniki and Sarajevo. The network of the CMA includes almost 250 cultural managers from Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Every year, the CMA has offered intensive local seminars (including lectures, workshops and trainings with local and international professionals), a network meeting of all current participants in Sofia, funding possibilities for new projects and other networking and collaboration opportunities. 


From 2020, the project begins a new life cycle in Romania. The main organisers are Colectiv A Association, in a strategic partnership with Goethe-Institut Bucharest and with the strong support of the EUNIC cluster.
Due to Covid-19 circumstances, the 2020 edition of the Academy in Bucharest was a more experimental edition, in a virtual environment. Achieving the feeling of togetherness, exploring more horizontal learning approaches based on professional sharing and playfulness were our main purposes for this edition. 


  • University of Bucharest - Faculty of Political Science & Centre for International Cooperation and Development Studies
  • CNDB - National Dance Center Bucharest
  • EUNIC Romania: Polish Institute Bucharest, British Council, ICR - Romanian Cultural Institute, Camões Institute Bucharest, Austrian Cultural Forum Bucharest, French Institute Romania and Embassy of the Netherlands in Romania.
  • Heritage Contact Zone, Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union 
CMA is a cultural project co financed by The Administration of the National Cultural Fund. The project does not necessarily represent the position of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. The Administration of the National Cultural Fund is not responsible for the content of the project or the manner in which the results of the project may be used. These are entirely the responsibility of the funding recipient.
Laboratory of the Absent Body. Reset scenarios for performing arts 

Last year’s edition focused on the transition of arts and culture to the digital world – and here we are now, completely immersed in the virtual space. We did not imagine this digital acceleration and for some of us, it can be a real struggle to cope with the real and the virtual world simultaneously. Many scientists have announced that Covid-19 may last for months to come, while thinkers, economists and philosophers warn society of a point of no return to its former existence. This new context is pressing cultural actors in the performing arts world to rethink in depth many aspects of their artistic and cultural work. Beyond the financial difficulties overpowering the cultural sector during and after this health crisis, the performing arts community finds itself faced with the urgency of reinventing its core form to somehow make it through in the mid term. Taking these challenges head on, our project wants to create conditions to enable mutual learning and understanding of this crisis situation and to seek solutions to the problems of creation, production and dissemination of performing arts after Covid-19.

The Laboratory of the Absent Body explores scenarios that may revive the meaning of performing arts and anticipates the need to reshape and rethink our way of existing and the relation to our audiences, it is an opportunity to understand and create tools of adaptation to the realities of the moment.

By joining this year’s edition of CMA, together with other creators and cultural workers from the performing arts field in Romania and the Republic of Moldova, and working closely with international and Romanian trainers, we can create a framework to share ideas and concerns about the new challenges faced by the live performing arts community and unexpected possibilities that may emerge from this new context.

We are looking for interactive and participatory working approaches to topics such as: ‘Body in isolation. Common body’; ‘Hybrid forms and the digital in performing arts’; ‘Rethink and reframe. Sustainability – is it a myth?’; ‘Mobility and cooperation for performing arts after Covid-19’; ‘Audience development 2.0’; and Self-organisation and unions for performing arts’.
The CMA 2020 offers: 

1. Local digital laboratory | 27th July - 1st August

Participate in an intensive one-week digital seminar, including lectures, workshops, interactive exercises, collective and individual sessions, and other capacity building formats dealing with the topic of the CMA 2020. We want to create a framework in which creators and operators within the contemporary performing arts scene can attend a professional week-long seminar held by Romanian and international trainers. This will focus on dealing with the new challenges facing the live performing arts. To ensure both participants’ and trainers’ safety, the seminar will take place online, using interactive and participatory working methodologies.

The seminar programme is curated by Miki Braniște and facilitated by Laura Panait. It is built upon the specifics and challenges of the local cultural scene. Here is a list of topics and modules for the CMA 2020:
  • Body in isolation. Common body 
  • Hybrid forms and the digital in performing arts
  • Rethink and Reframe. Sustainability – is it a myth?
  • Mobility and cooperation for performing arts after Covid -19
  • Audience development 2.0
  • Self-organisation and unions for performing arts

Trainers in the seminars will be local and international professionals from the field of performing arts:
  • Milena Dragisevici Sesic (SR)   
  • Christiane Kühl (DE)
  • Milica Ilic (FR)
  • Cristina Carlini (IT)
  • Oliver Mould (UK) 
  • Lars Ebert (NL)
  • Marta Miłoszewska (PL)
  • Oana Mateescu (RO)
  • Manuel Pelmuș (RO/ NOR)
…and more to be announced!

2. Public online talks | 27th, 29th and 30st July

Apart from the week-long digital laboratory dedicated exclusively to the participants selected after the open call for cultural managers, the CMA will also host three online public talks. International and national renowned cultural managers will engage in a dialogue about the new challenges currently faced by the performing arts sector. The discussions will be open to the general public through livestream on social media platforms.

3.  Micro-subsidies for your solutions! | 1st August 

The CMA Project Fund was established in 2017 as a continuation of CMA’s capacity building process. Its aim is to provide participants more space to find and develop solutions and to collaborate with other managers and artists. In this way, the CMA aims to establish a capacity building model based on theory, practice, creativity and collaboration. 

In 2020, the CMA is providing its participants with the opportunity to win micro-subsidies for new solutions that aim to adapt the sector.


4. Networking

Networking is a fundamental element of the CMA. In past editions, we established a network of nearly 250 cultural managers from Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, together with 70 established professionals from all these five countries and Germany, the UK, France, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Spain, Italy, Sweden and Portugal. These all took part in the project as trainers and speakers. 

Participation in the CMA offers participants the chance to develop their professional international network and connections with the cultural institutes in the EUNIC cluster. 

Miki Braniste Miki Braniste MIKI BRANIȘTE 

Miki Braniște is a cultural manager and curator for performing arts and interdisciplinary projects, president of Colectiv Association A Cluj and was director of the Festival TEMPS D’IMAGES from Cluj starting with 2008 till 2017.
✎ between 2009 and 2019, she was a member of the board & president (for 2 years) of Fabrica de Pensule (Paintbrush Factory). She actively participated in the strategy of this cultural center for contemporary arts in Cluj Napoca, Romania and was also curator for the performing arts program at Fabrica de Pensule.
✎ Miki is currently a PhD student and associate professor of the Faculty of Theater and Film developing a research on cultural policies.
✎ she is interested in art as a development tool of the community in which she activates. Preoccupied by the economic, social-political and environmental transformations that occur within the global society, she is involved in projects together with artists inspired by the need to re-imagine our futures.
✎ in November 2015 she received the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture for her activity to support the independent performing arts sector in Romania.
✎ in 2016 she received the prize for interdisciplinary projects from the Administration of the National Cultural Fund and the prize for the support for contemporary dance from The National Center for Contemporary dance.
✎ in 2018 she was nominated for Theater prize at Gala Awards Radio Romania Cultural.

Lala Panait Lala Panait LALA PANAIT 

Lala Panait was born in 1983 in Bucharest. She was educated, professionally and personally in Cluj for 18 years.
✎She is trained as an Urban Anthropologist with a Master's degree in independent culture within the European Capitals of Culture and continued with a PhD researching art interventions in the Romanian and German public spaces.
✎ Lala understood the role of art, local culture and activism for contemporary Romanian and European cities through organizing events and cultural interventions locally and internationally, through her active presence within European networks dedicated to art and the city but also within Colectiv A Association - the Temps d'Images festival and other events at the Paint Factory.
✎ From 2012-2019 she dedicated herself to the work in the neighborhood by coordinating the only neighbourhood initiative in Cluj – La Terenuri/At the playgrounds - Common space in Mănăștur, a successfull story of community and urban policies development: co-designing a park together with the community and the authorities. 
✎ The walking guided tours she is also organizing (Trăiește Orașul! Live the City!) are another form of understanding of our cities and society in a participative way. 
✎ Having also the background of strategic planning facilitator, consultant and project evaluator to various NGO's and Community Foundations in Romania, she is currently living in Brașov and helping civic and cultural initiatives to grow more sustainable. She is also working with Inspire Change to consolidate philanthropic leadership.