Lecture 3. Crossovers: A Catalyst for Effective Business Planning
In this lecture we will explore the main structure and content of a business plan to start a new arts organisation. We will look at partnership opportunities in a crossover collaborative mode.

The business plan is a detailed document that provides sufficient information on the strategic as well as all functional parts of the international arts venture.  Business plans vary in length – from only a few pages to several chapters. The plan has to be written in a way to reflect four main viewpoints :

  • The entrepreneur’s viewpoint: is this plan attractive to us as entrepreneurs, does it fit to our aspirations, goals and competences?

  • The clients/audiences’ viewpoint: who will buy, participate, see, spend money and time for this specific creative product or service?

  • The investor’s viewpoint.  Why an external investor will jump into the new business?

  • The partner’s viewpoint. What are the potential benefits for collaborators and external stakeholders to join our new venture?

We can divide the general structure of a business plan for a new arts venture into four main parts, which I elaborate in details in my books International Entrepreneurship in the Arts (2016) and Strategic Management in the Arts (2012):

  • Introductory part. It includes the executive summary and a brief presentation of the arts enterprise – its mission, vision, goals, program areas, competitive advantage and uniqueness, cultural goods and services offered, and future directions of work.  

  • Analytical part, providing sufficient evidences about the results from the research of the macro- and micro-external environment, including identification of the business or social opportunity. The result of the industry and market analysis identifies the level of competition, barriers for entry, and the size and segmentation of the potential market.

  • Conceptual part.  It includes the description of the opportunity, main reasons and motivation of starting the arts enterprise, and a thorough elaboration of the idea that fit to external trends, opportunities or needs.

  • Operational part. This part covers key functional areas of the creative and business operations such as: managing the creative process, managing people, marketing, finances and other internal functions.

The second part of this lecture is devoted to the crossovers and collaboration strategies in the arts that are a powerful source of innovative ideas and new business models. Elaboration of business plans in crossover and collaborative mode in the arts provides much higher efficiency as a result.


The power of arts and culture projects and organizations in the 21st century, their influence and successful business models go much beyond arts and creativity itself and are related to other industry branches and societal areas. “Crossovers” refer to cross-sectoral experiences in between arts forms and creative industry branches, as well as between arts and culture field and other sectors, such as: commercial organisations, technological companies, city planning and development, education and training institutions, organizations dealing with sustainability and many others. We will look at the essence and benefits of some of these forms of crossovers collaboration.

  • Crossovers between creative industry branches

The beauty of creative industry branches is that they all are connected and many business models in the arts are based on this connectivity. For example, starting from a book, Harry Potter was elaborated as a film, computer games, action figures, fashion, design and more. The cross-sectoral collaboration offers opportunities for new knowledge combination, allows appearance of new products, and becomes a source of a new company that has business as well as social purpose and also-serves the clients and customers much better. Important to emphasize that development of creative industries brings crossover effects into economic development of a region or a city: e.g. a cultural festival is a catalyst for business development of hotel chains, transportation services, local restaurants and more. This is sometimes called “spillover” effect of culture and arts – “the process by which activity in the arts and creative industries has a subsequent broader impact on places, society or the economy through the overflow of concepts, ideas, skills, knowledge and different types of capital.”

  • Collaboration between arts, businesses and educational organizations

Examples of such collaboration are incubators and accelerators for startup entrepreneurs. While incubators are associated with nonprofit organisation or university and monetizing a product can take years, accelerators are a fast way to transform the idea into a commercial product. Usually accelerators look for startups with high potential for growth, where mentors or coaches give services, space, information in exchange for shares in the startup company.

  • Crossovers between arts, research and technology

Creative clusters are one of the forms of this collaboration. The term relates to the geographical concentration of organisations in creative industries in a way of pooling joined resources in order to optimize the overall production and dissemination of creative products. Creative clusters help for bringing culture and arts to other areas, such as research, science, technology, environment, business and others. Creative clusters are important form of collaboration because they create new linkages and new alliances. They help in exploring resources in a specific location and synergizing competences between the organisations involved who share common needs and opportunities as well as obstacles and risks.

  • Crossovers between arts and social areas

Through art and creative expression we can change many of society’s assumptions as we can spark new ideas, inspire and create visions, catalyze critical thinking. Art can be used as a way to raise awareness about issues that affect us in our daily lives, for example social justice, ecology, public health, drug abuse, unemployment, and many others. Art becomes a conscious effort to facilitate and participate in social change. In the areas such as: art and music therapy, culture and sustainability,etc.

  • Crossovers between arts and culture sector and the overall city development

The integrated approach towards the city planning in the 21st century positions arts and culture sector not as a separate area, but as an integral part of other city development strategies, for example economic development strategy, environmental plan, social plan, and so on.

The notion of “creative city” and “creative placemaking” not only emphasizes on this cross-relations between arts and other social and economic areas, but positions arts, culture and creativity in the essence of sustainability and joyful life of our cities.

What is the slight difference between the concepts “creative city” and “creative placemaking”?

  • Creative city is a place which provides opportunities to think, plan and act with imagination: this is the role of the public sector is to provide conditions for this to happen, to be a facilitator” (Charles Landry). It emphasizes on the fact that development of arts and culture sector and the creativity in general is important for the future of our cities.

  • As Prof, Ann Marcusen says: Creative placemaking is a strategy to revitalize neighborhoods, to grow jobs and private investments. It is allowing ordinary people to have art experiences in their everyday life. Some forms of creative placemaking where crossover effects are evident are: creating an art district, helping the communities engaging with public art, film festivals, design centers, and many others.

Understanding and exploring crossovers at local, regional and international level in their diverse forms and models is a powerful catalyst of innovative ideas and an effective way to elaborate a business plan in a synergetic collaborative mode where partners contribute to increasing the financing, visibility, buyers and clients for creative products and services.

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