MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Creative Producing and Managing Projects

Course unit fact file
Unit code SALC68812
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


Creative producing is the art of making arts and creative projects happen. Creative producers provide pivotal functions in realizing artistic vision through participant liaison, commissioning and procurement, project development, resource management and technical oversight. These functions combined a range of management skills transferrable to other contexts, but sensitive to the particular cultural and policy contexts in which they are deployed. Distinct from the fields of film and recorded music production, creative producers need a range of skills and attributes, to work flexibly and autonomously with a range of stakeholders, including artists, venues, partner organisations and audiences to realize artistic vision and programming objectives for festivals and other organisations. Creative producing is a critical element in culture-led place-making, animation, community engagement, social missions, and commercial marketing and branding as part of tourism and experience economies. This course unit provides an indepth survey of creative producing from theory to practice.  


  • To develop students’ theoretical understanding of creative producing in a range of contexts and settings, including one-off arts programmes, festivals and events, museums and heritage sites, digital and online, participatory and non-cultural settings
  • To prepare students for producing creative content, projects and events in professional practice through blended, experiential and class-room based learning
  • To build or consolidate knowledge of technical, practical and critical issues relating to the development, marketing, funding, project management and evaluation of arts and creative projects 


15 credits – 7 weeks of weekly lectures and seminars/workshops

  1. Introducing Creative Producing - Alchemists or Frustrated Artists? Meeting the brief, team building, identifying resources  working with organisations; using project management tools; balancing the creative and the practical  
  2. Working with Artists and Other Animals: the principles of producing in different art forms; ethical producing, equality and diversity,  
  3. Managing Resources – Budgets, Commissioning, Contracts and Scheduling
  4. Reaching Diverse Audiences: strategic marketing, programming and communicating with your stakeholders; marketing and PR
  5. Arts environments 1: Indoor and outdoor venues and other production spaces
  6. Arts environments 2 Digital producing, managing events and projects online
  7. Managing yourself – Freelancer working and sustainability; Syllabus recap – peer feedback and assessment surgery 

Teaching and learning methods

  • lectures, including guest speakers, seminars and workshops
  • facilitated practice and reflective evaluation sessions
  • blended learning from asynchronous online learning, plus site visits to venues local to Manchester
  • practice-based learning for 30 credit students through group project, which is to deliver and evaluate creative project  
  • peer learning via critical feedback from peers and industry specialists 

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of functions, roles, principles and practices of creative producing and creative programming approaches.
  • Identify key factors within specific local contexts that influence curating, producing and programming practices.  
  • Show awareness of relevant practices in other contexts 

Intellectual skills

  • Conduct independent and collaborative research to inform professional practice  
  • Build and consolidate theoretical insight into creative and cultural production, management and reception  
  • Critically and creatively evaluate own and other’s creative practice 

Practical skills

  • Employ project and time management techniques appropriate for cultural project management  
  • Demonstrate competence across a range of skills relevant to creative producing (risk management, technical production, resource development, content creation, interpretation, marketing and engagement, facilitation, object research, planning, programming, evaluation) 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Demonstrate an ability to communicate ideas to expert and non-expert audiences in writing and verbally
  • Work effectively in groups under time and resource constraints
  • Develop agile and self-directed time management and working practices, alongside a range of project management skills  

Assessment methods

Blogpost 20%

Essay 80%

Feedback methods

Tutorial - Verbal - Formative

Project Proposal - Written - Formative

Project Mentoring - Verbal - Formative

Assignment Marking - Written - Summative

Recommended reading

Bilton, Chris and Leary, Ruth. “What can managers do for creativity? Brokering creativity in the creative industries.” International Journal of Cultural Policy 8.1 (2002): 49 — 64.

Choudhry, Farooq (2020) “More than the sum of its parts: Dance, creative management and enterprise in collaboration” in The Routledge Companion to Arts Management ed. Byrnes, W. J., Brki¿, A. London: Routledge,

Cray, David, Loretta Inglis and Susan Freeman. (2007) “Managing the Arts: Leadership and Decision Making under Dual Rationalities.” Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society 36.4 pp. 295-313.

Czach, Liz (2004) “Film Festivals, Programming, and the Building of a National Cinema.” The Moving Image  4.1 (Spring 2004): 76-88.

Eikhof, D. and A. Haunschild. “For art’s sake! Artistic and economic logics in creative production.” Journal of Organizational Behaviour 28 (2007). 523–538.

Gilbert, Helen and Lo, Jacqueline, (2007) "Chapter 4. Marketing Difference at the Adelaide Festival" from Gilbert, Helen and Lo, Jacqueline, Performance and Cosmopolitics: Cross-Cultural Transactions in Australasia pp.112-130, Basingstoke,: Palgrave MacMillan. [19]

Harvie, Jen (2003) “Cultural Effects of the Edinburgh International Festival: Elitism, Identities, Industries,” Contemporary Theatre Review, 13:4, 12-26, DOI: 10.1080/1048680032000118378

Kaiser, M. (2013) The Cycle: A Practical Approach to Managing Arts Organizations Lebanon, New Hampshire: Brandeis University Press. Read Chapter 1- Programming: Is it all about the Art pp.6 – 23

Reynolds, Sarah, Ann Tonks, and Kate MacNeill. 2017. ‘Collaborative Leadership in the Arts as a Unique Form of Dual Leadership’. The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society 47 (2): 89–104.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 9
Seminars 18
Work based learning 18
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Abigail Gilmore Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Free choice for PGT in Music and Film Studies; UG level 3 for Music, Drama, Creative Writing, Film Studies 

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