The Cycle: Management of Successful Arts and Cultural Organizations

Maximizing its relationship with the University of Maryland, the DeVos Institute announces a new, free online course. Taught by DeVos Institute Chairman Michael M. Kaiser and President Brett Egan, this six-week course introduces students to the Institute's management theory, The Cycle, which supports thriving arts and cultural organizations regardless of art form, geography, or size.




All content is available on demand for self-paced learning. If you wish to follow a six-week schedule, new paced sessions begin each month. Click here to enroll and see the next available start date.

Based on its work in over 80 countries, the DeVos Institute developed the Cycle as a simple, but powerful tool to assist arts 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 course includes lectures, answers to frequently asked questions, case studies from managers around the United States and around the world, and activities to assist participants in applying the principles of the Cycle in an organizational setting.


The course is designed for:

  • Managers;
  • Board members;
  • Funders;
  • Students; and
  • Patrons and enthusiasts of arts and cultural organizations.

Participants in the course 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.

The Institute has seen the Cycle work in:

  • Performing and presenting organizations;
  • Museums and historical societies;
  • Service and advocacy organizations;
  • Public libraries;
  • Arts schools and university programs; and
  • Botanical gardens and zoos.

Please note: The course is designed as a free resource. If you wish to receive a certificate from Coursera confirming your completion of the course, Coursera offers this option for $49. The content provided in the free version and the certificate version is identical.

All content is available upon enrollment. If you encounter difficulty accessing all content on Internet Explorer before the course start date, please try a different browser (such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox). 

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