The Cycle: Management of Successful Arts and Cultural Organizations

Start Date: 07/05/2020

Course Type: Common Course

Course Link:

About Course

What makes a successful arts and cultural organization? Led by DeVos Institute Chairman Michael M. Kaiser and President Brett Egan, this course will introduce you to a management theory called the Cycle which supports thriving arts and cultural organizations. Learning from our work with managers from over 80 countries around the world, the DeVos Institute developed the Cycle as a simple, but powerful tool to assist managers in their effort to respond to an increasingly complex environment and propel their institutions to excellence. The Cycle explains how great art and strong marketing can create a family of supporters, who in turn help the organization produce the revenue required to support even more great art the next year. The Institute has seen the Cycle work in performing and presenting organizations, as well as museums, arts schools, and other nonprofit endeavors like service organizations, historical societies, public libraries, university programs, advocacy organizations, botanical gardens, and zoos. By taking this course, you will learn: • the importance of bold, exciting, and mission-driven programming in an organization; • how long-term artistic planning can help an organization produce this work; • how an organization can aggressively market that programming and the institution behind it to develop a family of supporters - including ticket buyers, board members, donors, trustees and volunteers; • how an organization can cultivate and steward this family to build a healthy base of earned and contributed income; and • how an organization can reinvest that income into increasingly ambitious programming year after year. All course material is available upon enrollment for self-paced learners. New scheduled sessions begin each month. For more information about the DeVos Institute's work, visit

Course Syllabus

Welcome! This first week you will be introduced to the course structure and learn the key principles of the Cycle, a management theory which supports thriving arts and cultural organizations and which serves as the framework for the course. The Cycle proposes that: When bold art is marketed aggressively, an organization attracts a family of energized ticket-buyers and patrons. The income produced by this family is reinvested in more art that, when marketed well, builds a larger, even more diverse family. When this cycle repeats year after year, the organization incrementally and sustainably builds capacity, presence, and health. Following the introductory lectures, you will learn more about the Cycle by reading the executive summary, reviewing answers to frequently asked questions, and completing an introductory quiz. As a reminder, if you are taking this course as a student or enthusiast not affiliated with a specific organization, we recommend you select an organization of your choosing to reference as you make your way through the course!

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Course Introduction

The Cycle: Management of Successful Arts and Cultural Organizations This course will help you understand what makes a successful arts and cultural organization and how to become a successful leader in your organization. You will learn how to articulate your values and mission in a way that integrates with the surrounding community and organization and that builds purpose and prestige. You will also learn how to manage your organization in order to maximize its success. We’ll introduce you to the realities of serving an increasingly complex environment, but we’ll also give you the tools to uncover the best practices for effective management of this rapidly changing environment. We’ll cover theory, models, and strategies that can help you navigate this increasingly complex world. We’ll also share some practical tips and lessons that are actually delivered in practice. After completing this course, you’ll have a firm foundation for effective leadership in the arts and cultural sector. You’ll be able to: - practitionDescribe the goals and purposes of your organization; - Design a successful management style for your organization; and - Understand the realities of managing in an increasingly complex environment. - Recognize the impact of cultural institutions and programs on the daily lives of the people of the community. - Investigate different approaches to successful management of successful arts and cultural organizations. - Apply the knowledge you’ve gained through the course to a specific case study. - Target specific strategies for

Course Tag

Fundraising Management Marketing Planning

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