Course 2021-2022 a.y.


Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
ACME (10 credits - II sem. - OBS  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Class-group lessons delivered  on campus

Suggested background knowledge

This workshop is primarily addressed to ACME students who wants to make their career in the performing arts and entertainment fields. Students attending the course are welcomed but they should evidence interest and commitment (as professional or non professional artists or as spectators) in the performing art field.

Mission & Content Summary


The cultural field and the performing arts’organizations as part of it, are facing a deep transformation. Even if it is easy to attribute the responsibility of this transformation to Covid-19, the pandemia was only an accelerator of this process. During the last decade, new topics are redefining the agenda of the policy makers and of practitioners in the performing arts system. New challenges are reshaping the sector, the policies and the practices. The mission of the workshop is to prepare students to be entrepreneurs or managers in the performing arts sector, analyzing this complex scenario and providing insights about the challenges of the sector. In particular the course aims to: - provide students with sound knowledge of how performing arts organizations work, focusing on the interplay between managerial and curatorial/artistic work; - provide students with insights into relevant issues and challenges that the performing arts community is facing.



The course is divided in three parts:


The first one aims to analyze advanced topics concerning the performing arts management and the transformation of the field, with a specific focus on Covid-19 and on the challenges that the pandemia has produced. The course will analyze both traditional institutions that rethink their approach to the market and new initiatives of cultural entrepreneurship that are testing innovative solutions in the processes of artistic production, in the business modelling, in the engagement of the audience.


The second one aims to develop students’ skill and knowledge about style, taste, evolution and revolution of the performing arts and to provide a conscious and critical approach to the performing art productions. Through an overview of the history of major world events, the course will study how artists have developed new styles and new ideas to better represent the historical moments they were going through.


The third one aims to create opportunities of connection with practitioners working in the field, for an empirical experience of the sector. This parts includes: interviews with special guests (artists, policy makers, managers, etc.) meetings with young practitioners, visits (if possible).

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Have a conscious critical approach to the performing arts productions.
  • Recognize the complexity and the specificity of a cultural production process.
  • Distinguish roles and responsibilities between managerial and artistic staff.
  • Be aware about the challenges, new trends and main phenomena that concern the sector.
  • Have a deep and clear knowledge of the functioning within an artistic organization.
  • Describe the most important interventions carried out by European Commission to support the sector.
  • Experience the variety of the performing art system.
  • Acquire a method of analysis of a sector through an empirical approach.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Appreciate the artistic value of a live performance (theatre, dance, opera, ballet, etc…).
  • Design the production process of a new performance/event/cultural project.
  • Be able to work in cooperation with the artistic side of a performing arts organizations.
  • Interpret the most relevant and innovative phenomena of the sector.
  • Identify a personal professional interest within the sector.
  • Have an international approach to the sector.
  • Access the performing art scene and its community.
  • Create a personal network of relationships with the main players of the sector.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Online lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Company visits
  • Group assignments


The workshop has an applied approach: students are given the opportunity to meet practitioners, artists, policy makers and, if possible, they have guided tours in the major performing arts organizations.

Students are ask to submit an assignment to analyze the artistic identity of some performing arts organizations, their positioning in the cultural panorama and their strategies to face new challenges at the time of Covid-19.


Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)


With the purpose of measuring the acquisition of the above-mentioned learning outcomes, the students’ assessment is based on the following main components:

  1.     Group assignment (30% of the final grade), consisting of a short paper aimed to assess students’ ability to develop a personal research on relevant topics concerning the sector and compliant with their professional interests.
  2.     Written exam (70% of the final grade), consisting of open-ended questions aimed to assess students' understanding of the contents. Mid-term written exam will be referred to the first part of the cours (performing arts management); the final written exam, at the end of the course will be referred to the curatorship part. The weight is: 30% for the mid-term exam and 40% for the end of term exam. Alternatively, students can take a final written exam that accounts for 70% of the final grade.
  3.     In-class participation to test the students’ ability to interact in a constructive way and to think critically.



Students’ assessment is based only on one final written exam (100% of the final grade). No other components are evaluated.

Teaching materials


Course materials provided by professors.


  • HOMANS J., Apollo's Angels: A history of ballet, Random House, New York, 2010.
  • STEIN T., BATHURST R.J., Performing Arts Management: A Handbook of Professional Practices, Allworth Press, 2008.
Last change 22/12/2021 17:21