Insegnamento a.a. 2020-2021


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.)

Lezioni della classe erogate in forma blended (in parte online e in parte in presenza)

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 strong 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. This year more than ever, this process has been accelerated by Covid-19 that has strongly affected the sector and its sustainability. On one side we will analyze traditional institutions that rethink their approach to the market, developing new strategies, defining new business models, reviewing their relationship with the audience and reconsidering their role in social, economic and cultural system. On the other side we will look at new initiatives of cultural entrepreneurship: these projects test innovative solutions in the processes of artistic production, in the business modelling, in the engagement of the audience, in the relationship with the local communities and territories, in the hybridization of the formats, in the design of governance assets and in the choice of the professional figures that lead them. 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.


 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 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


The third one aims to create opportunities of connection with proactitioners 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 agencies and 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)
  • Peer evaluation


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 (max 2 points on top) aimed 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 15/12/2020 17:40