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Learner Reviews & Feedback for The Cycle: Management of Successful Arts and Cultural Organizations by University of Maryland, College Park

657 ratings

About the 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

Top reviews


May 19, 2018

The Cycle was an eye-opener in many ways. I always thought Arts Management required more artistic intuition than management knowledge, but this framework gave me a whole new perspective.


Sep 1, 2018

This course is really useful for people related to Art and Culture Management fields, it provides with useful techniques and ideas, particularly regarding marketing and fundraising.

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1 - 25 of 164 Reviews for The Cycle: Management of Successful Arts and Cultural Organizations

By Souradeep D

Apr 10, 2020

Very basic. Would have been better if the quizzes included scenarios that could enable the learners to think and answer rather than just true/false questions.

By Roberto E B G

Jun 25, 2018

This course was eye opening. I recommend to get (and read) the book because there's precious content in there.Even if in Sicily is really difficult to implement most of the concepts illustrated throughout the course I found myself, as I offer marketing services for some art organizations, realizing many of the problems described in the course. So many "a ha!" moments.The hardest part is to get the organization well... organized. Sometimes I just avoid to get too involved because frequently they want to get me on the board and risk to lost them as clients... so embarrassing.Together to my marketing business I also run a small art studio/workshop and having this precious knowledge on my toolbox is at times, illuminating.Thanks a lot for such a great course.

By Iskandar N K

Feb 22, 2017

Interesting and useful, but I doubt the certificate is worth it. Definitely audit it, though.

By Eugénie C

Oct 31, 2017

I have really enjoyed doing this course. The teachers explains the concepts very well, and the theme of the course is really interesting.

What I liked the most is that many directors applied the Cycle to their companies and have accepted to share with us their opinions and results, which are really positives ! This course provided me a solid base for managing any art organization. A simple, and smart pattern (The Cycle), which have helped to grow a lot of cultural organizations everywhere in the world.

I have also liked the questions at the end of each class, as it was not too difficult. They really want us to understand how to manage a successfull art organization and not trying to make us fail the test.

I definitely recommend this course, and The Cycle itself. Now I have a great certificate in my Linkedin, which also allows the recruiters to see our motivation. Thank you !

By Stephen B

Nov 11, 2017

This was a wonderful course and very instructive for me. I am starting the process of attempting a career transition from private law practice into nonprofit arts management, and this course gave me a very helpful big-picture overview of the concerns facing arts organizations which are very different from the kinds of issues facing for-profit businesses, but this course offers a very specific and holistic strategy, broken into manageable pieces and with lots of examples, which seeks to address the central issues of artistic planning, marketing, organizational family-building, and fundraising as a unified and organic whole.

By Rafael V

May 20, 2018

The Cycle was an eye-opener in many ways. I always thought Arts Management required more artistic intuition than management knowledge, but this framework gave me a whole new perspective.

By Sabeen S

Sep 2, 2018

This course is really useful for people related to Art and Culture Management fields, it provides with useful techniques and ideas, particularly regarding marketing and fundraising.

By Danielle G

Feb 18, 2019

I really enjoyed the setup of this course. From the short videos to the the reading and assignments. Everything felt as though it was setup with the success of the student in mind.

By John S

Jan 17, 2020

Practical course related to running an arts or cultural organization. The main speaker, Michael, is very experienced and provides excellent examples. The quizzes are reasonable.

By Marcella L

Jul 8, 2020

Eu já conhecia o Ciclo, mas achei o curso enriquecedor.

O que achei desnecessário foi os estudos de casos que não foram palpáveis. Talvez, se fosse os casos do próprio Michael Kaiser, seria bem mais interessante.

Também gostaria de ter acesso a mais palestras .

By Kara H

Aug 28, 2020

This course was successful in offering lessons geared for a large organization and a small, rural organization like ours. We were able to implement nearly every course lesson. During the Covid-19 shutdown we have had to implement lessons as we learned them. As we were ready for the next lesson, we continued learning. Few other courses offer this step-by-step approach with information that directors can use NOW. We credit the Devos Institute's offer of a consultation with giving us the confidence to THINK BIG NOW at a time when we were ready to shut down permanently, then providing us access to this course to give us the knowledge of HOW to move forward with our big ideas. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Our 9 year old organization is likely coming out of this pandemic stronger than ever.

By Наталья З

Feb 5, 2024

I was surprised to learn that institutional marketing plays such an important role. In the first year of our project, we did only event marketing, and the marketing of the institution developed somehow on its own. In the second year of the project, we saw that people were signing up for events and tours less and less often, and we couldn't raise the cost of the event. We did not raise the cost because we thought that the number of participants decreased because of the high cost. And in fact we didn't earn the trust and didn't develop the marketing of the institution. Now we are diligently implementing this with the team in our project.

By Mary B

Nov 26, 2022

I have had the pleasure of studying with Michael Kaiser back in grad school at NYU - and every class I take w/him, I just want MORE! I loved the diversity of examples from across the world in aspects of The Cycle and how it changed them dramatically for especially long-term planning and goals from the start. I hope that Kaiser and his institute at U of MD will continue to offer online, in-person, and hybrid classes, and ongoing presentations and workshops - especially back here in my hometown, NYC! Will utilize the handouts regularly...bravo! :)

By Raven K

Apr 16, 2020

I am in the process of starting a new non profit for the arts in Los Angeles, and I took this course to get a better understanding of non profits. I was very surprised to find how much it literally made me think and come up with my own ideas along the way. The path is quite defined when it comes to this course. Both educators have taken great care to put together a course that is very easy to follow and I can't wait to put it to immediate use! Wish me luck and maybe one day in the future I can be one of the case studies. :)

By Deleted A

Dec 27, 2020

As a French Language and Literature student who has reasonable experience in the Arts and Culture field (as an Assistant Project Manager), I aim to learn more about this sector and hopefully build a career in Event Management. Since the very first minute of the course, I have been feeling educated! Every piece of it - videos, reading materials, etc. - is truly informative & enlightening. Mr. Kaiser is a great speaker, along with everyone else who participated in the program. Thank you very much.

By Samantha O

Apr 20, 2020

This course gives a new, wellrounded perspective on the function of arts organizations. The professor, Mr. Kaiser, has a vast knowledge and understanding of the field and The Cycle and his passion truly shines through. His integration of copious examples allows for the message and usefulness of the information to sink in. As a student, this course was completely engaging and enlightening.I recommend this course for anyone involved or interested in art management or art administration.

By Elisa M

Jun 6, 2021

To me the Cycle approaches a new way of managing arts and cultural organizations. I live in Italy and I had the opportunity to be part of the organization of some local music festivals, however I think that many projects would have had a better output and would have lived longer if the BoD and the Artistic Director had known about the Cycle. Good to know for my future plans! Many thanks to the instructors for all the precious information learned.

By lou w

Oct 17, 2022

Practical and conceptual modules empower me with prerequisites and knowledge to tackling with the issues in the contemporary context in my country. For anyone who is eager to deepen their practical expertise in art and cultural management, this course is pretty recommended. Hope you have a fantastic time when studying and you are welcome to catch me on Facebook( to exchange ideas.

By Suzanne G

May 6, 2020

As a current arts administrator, a former community organization COO and a former dance studio entrepreneur, this course helped me to put into proper context things that I knew intuitively and enlightened me to other elements of arts management that made complete sense for the successful management of any arts organization. The course was concise, effective and engaging. I expect it to be an asset to me in my career.

By A B B

Sep 23, 2018

This is a wonderful course that really gives the basics of successful arts management. I attended another course by Michael Kaiser years ago and this is a great refresher! Having all of Michael's books is also very helpful and I would suggest everyone get all 4 for reference. Here's a PDF from the Hong Kong course: (it's in english)

By Jessica E H

Feb 20, 2017

This course was incredibly informative. The resources provided were amazing and thorough. I enjoyed the pacing of time of when assignment were due, worked with my schedule. It was great that if you fell a bit behind, you could catch up. I enjoyed all of the organizations that talked about their experiences implementing the cycle. Just overall a wonderful course! Thank you very much for putting this together!

By atika a

Aug 8, 2017

I always hated the idea of seeking sponsorship and donations to fund our art projects. But the cycle - management of successful arts and cultural organizations made m realise that one should not feel guilty or " like a Beggar" when seeking funds for our art projects. For the donor too derives a lot of happiness or mileage for his business in supporting the cost.

Thank you

By A B

Apr 11, 2020

This course provided me with a very valuable framework through which helped me to reconsider the way I work as an arts manager. Each part of the course was presented in a clear and concise manner, and I also appreciated the insightful discussions of Mr Kaiser and Mr Egan at the end of each session. I am deeply grateful for being able to access this material online.

By Dana V

Feb 19, 2017

So appreciative of opportunities like this, available online for prospective arts administrators to learn about. Being someone who has read all of Michael Kaiser's books, this was a great opportunity to hear him discuss everything he's written and become known for in the arts world. Thank you to for having this opportunity available!

By Gabriel B

Apr 16, 2021

This course helped me in understanding how I’ve focused less on Institutional Marketing, how I need to do more on missionary marketing.

I taught the course would be tedious and rigorous, but rather I’m amazed about the simplicity, ease and fun in studying.

The FAQs, the Case Studies, etc were all fun. The cycle is amazing.