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Education University of Groningen Summer Schools Winter Schools

Crisis and Creativity. Sustainable Cultural Leadership

How can creativity help to approach and deal with uncertainty?
Hand holding the word creativity

Crisis is something we have all had experience with during the last months - or shall we rather say crises? During this Winter School on Sustainable Cultural Leadership in times of crisis, we investigate how we can deal with crisis and uncertainty in a creative manner. Although the interruptions and restrictions that may accompany them have a negative connotation and impact, they also offer opportunities for innovation, development and new beginnings. What are challenges that cultural sectors and cultural industries across the globe face today? What are the opportunities that arose, what can we learn from each other? How can creativity be utilized in theory & practice as an instrument to overcome crises? How did the crisis change us and the way we approach things?

This captures the essence of ‘Crisis and Creativity’, an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural winter school. It is organized by the students and academic coordinators from the Cultural Leadership Research Master Programme of the University of Groningen , which lays the ground to learn how to carry culture forward in a critical, sustainable and creative manner and search for new visions in transitional times. Therefore, we are keen and inspired to provide a platform to discuss shocks, change, transition and opportunity while offering interdisciplinary and transnational collaboration and expertise stemming from different cultural fields in relation to crisis.

Whether a professional of creative industries, an artist, an academic, an arts and culture (PhD) student, an independent entrepreneur, or a culture enthusiast, in this time of unprecedented crisis, creative solutions are more sought after than ever. As neither one field of expertise, nor one industry is enough to answer alone, we look forward to collaborating and sharing knowledge from various perspectives and fields and welcome participants from various sectors. The online event consists of five days during which online workshops, panels, performances and keynote lectures will be held. Among other contributions, students of the Research Master Cultural Leadership will present their research which they conducted in cultural institutions across Europe during the Covid-19 crisis. Together with professionals from these institutions we will discuss the challenges, strategic questions concerning their existence and their development of sustainable strategies for the (near) future. The Winter School will also contribute with a panel on Crisis to the online arts and cultural management conference (ACMC).

During this Winter School the discussions around Crisis and Creativity is aimed to address the following principles:

  • To process, manage and develop opportunities from crisis, creativity and change together in an interdisciplinary and transnational manner, as to join forces and to support each other;
  • To conceptualise ways out of the crises by organising a cross-cultural and transnational platform, for sharing knowledge, experiences and strategies by and for the generation that will be dealing with a new reality more than any other generation;
  • To share, connect and to move forward by developing practical ideas and instruments in accessible forms;
  • To cater to a culturally and professionally diverse audience.

This event will bring new perspectives and opinions on the crisis and creativity as related entities as well as part of the environment we have to navigate in during both our professional and personal life. Engagement in a conversation amongst professionals, artists and academics sharing expertise from different fields as well as interest and active participation of peers are truly important during the event. By sharing our experiences we hope to explore the topics through a positive lens and see the impact of the crisis as offering more opportunities rather than obstacles. Consequentially this will provide a deeper understanding of the current cultural scene issues that Cultural Leaders and many of us are facing already or will face in the near future.

Practical information

Dates & location 25 - 29 January 2021, online
Level BA/MA/PhD/Young professionals
Fee Free participation
Academic coordinator Dr. J.A.C. Kolsteeg , Faculty of Arts
dr. M.L. Wilders
, University College Groningen



This winter school is designed for students and young professionals with a background or profound interest in the arts and cultural management field. Participants are expected to have experience in doing small scale research in the arts and cultural management field.

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.

Learning outcomes

After this course you will be able to:

  • Have a good understanding about the current debates around the topics of Covid-19’s impact on cultural sectors and creative industries, crisis and creativity
  • Share your views and arguments in an interdisciplinary and transnational environment with a positive outlook to troubling times
  • Asses and develop practical ideas and instruments in accessible forms;
  • Conceptualise and share ideas and be creative in thinking of new strategies towards a new ‘normality’ and ways out of the crises


Preparation: 5 hours

Lectures and presentations: 15 hours

Workshops: 5 hours

Artistic performances/ Other: 5 hours

Upon successful completion of the programme, the Winter School offers a Certificate of Attendance that mentions the workload of 30 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.

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Last modified:28 January 2021 08.47 a.m.