About CAKI – Centre for Applied Artistic Innovation

CAKI is a knowledge centre for the arts educations. At CAKI we work to strengthen the professionalisation of students with the goal to aid them to a professionally sustainable and economically viable working life. This we aim to do via activities focusing on interdisciplinarity, entrepreneurship and artistic innovation.

Every year some of the best arts professionals graduate from the arts educations. In order to increase their opportunities for a sustainable working life, it is important that they already as students get the chance to built up knowledge and competencies, which can strengthen their entrepreneurial skills from the position of their artistic platform, as well as gaining experience with collaborations across the artistic disciplines and surrounding industries.

Therefore, the purpose of CAKIs activities are to complement the students’ artistic education by offering consultancy, courses and workshops on topics such as fundraising, self- and project management and start-up business. CAKI also contributes to the ongoing development and implementation of entrepreneurship-oriented approaches in arts education, such as development of new courses, entrepreneurial learning goals and mentor programs.

As a knowledge centre, CAKI collects and disseminates knowledge regarding entrepreneurship in the arts educations as well as in a broader educational perspective.


CAKI’s focus areas

CAKI works within three focus areas: entrepreneurship, interdisciplinarity and artistic innovation.

CAKI collects and disseminate knowledge regarding entrepreneurship in the arts educations, such as teaching experiences, examination forms and evaluation of entrepreneurship education in the arts educations.

The majority of graduates from the arts educations begin their professional working life as self-employed. As a self-employed artist, it is an advantage that you know opportunities and rules concerning which business form to organise your practice within, possibilities for financing, knowledge of pricing and negotiation, tax and VAT, just to name a few of the basics.
CAKI offers courses, workshops, personal counselling as well as a series of publications on professionalism and entrepreneurship in the arts.
In addition, CAKI collects, processes and disseminates knowledge on entrepreneurship in the arts educations, such as teaching experiences, examination forms and evaluation of entrepreneurship education in the arts educations.


At CAKI we focus on entrepreneurship with the aim of strengthening the students’ and graduates’ professional engagement and skills on the basis of their individual artistic qualifications.

CAKI offers a series of entrepreneurship activities for students and teachers from CAKI’s member schools. At CAKI, students can participate in workshops and courses on, amongst other things, how to start a small business in the arts, how to build a portfolio in WordPress, and how to fundraise.
You can find links to CAKIs courses and workshops in the side bar.

Moreover, CAKI offers coaching and career counselling for individuals a well as groups, focusing on how to start a small business or build an organization. CAKI has also published a series of handbooks, which give guidance on different aspects of working as self-employed in the arts.

At CAKI we share experience and knowledge within entrepreneurship through our website and newsletter, in workshops and events, as well as on the EntreNord platform.

At CAKI we strive to build up experience in working with entrepreneurship, focusing on the aim to shed light on how entrepreneurship can contribute to strengthening the professional working life in the arts, and to render visible the value and influence art and artists create in society.

At CAKI we continuously work to increase our entrepreneurial activities. We have set the following goals:

  • To implement more shared curricular activities in the arts educations
  • To develop more learning material for students and educators
  • To offer further education and training for educators in the arts educations
  • To create a joint platform for communication and dissemination for all of the arts educations under the Ministry of Culture.

Fore more information on entrepreneurship in the arts, please have a look at our publication ‘Entrepreneurship in the arts educations 2011-2016’, as well as CAKI’s memorandum on entrepreneurship in the arts educations. Here we draw up the distinctive characteristics that define entrepreneurship for students and graduates from the arts educations.

Artistic and cultural entrepreneurship in the artistic enterprise

The terms of the artistic practice and the creative processes underpinning it are challenged by the speed of society and technologies that evolve in the world – in terms of the movements of technological newcomers, changed distribution possibilities and formats for presentation. The educational institutions must be able to train the artists of the future to meet these challenges and expectations, and it is part of the education’s task to equip each student to be part of this reality.

The artist’s business therefore requires, in addition to the artistic position, also entrepreneurial skills and management professional skills that can support and lift the artistic business. Similarly, entrepreneurship can help to strengthen the use and development of the core profession in relation to the individual artist’s business as well as in relation to the outside world.

Against this background, a project aimed at developing and strengthening the relationship between entrepreneurship as a knowledge area and the artistic development work and enterprise is initiated. Integrated in the project is a focus on systematizing the knowledge sharing of the project’s experiences, so that teachers, students and educational developers of all the artistic programs have access to the latest experiences and the knowledge gained, so that the project can help to strengthen the applicability of the field in the educational programs everyday practice.

The project ‘Formats for artistic enterprise’ is a collaboration between the higher education programs in the KUR collaboration. It is a cross-institutional development project, based on the network of entrepreneurship teachers in the artistic programs. The project aims to explore and develop the relationship between entrepreneurship as a knowledge area, the students ‘artistic development work and the teachers’ KUV projects, together with teacher colleagues and educational planners.

It is expected that the teachers, in the long term and based on the new knowledge they acquire through the project, will locally develop pedagogical and didactic measures that strengthen the students’ entrepreneurial skills and competences in artistic enterprise and cultural entrepreneurship.

The project is linked to the ongoing competence development project that examines and develops the relationship between the entrepreneurial profession and the art education, in order to prepare all educators to use entrepreneurship as a resource in the individual student’s education.

With the project, the intention is that the Entrepreneurship Working Group will open the doors to entrepreneurship as a field of knowledge and competence for students and colleagues and show what the entrepreneurship profession can do as practice and as pedagogy. The project is initiated by CAKI / Pernille Skov with the participants in the Entrepreneurship Working Group on the Artistic Education as partners and in collaboration with teachers in the KUV network.

Danish and international studies continue to confirm the need for an increased effort to support the development of more entrepreneurs. The new entrepreneurs contribute to improve our society’s ability to develop, produce and market new goods and services – economic as well as social and cultural.

This effort is also important for the artistic and cultural educations. It is important for the employment of graduates from the arts, but it is just as important for Denmark as a nation that we are able to educate enterprising practicing, creative and producing artists, who are able to understand their creative powers in the context of the surrounding society.

The political background for the existence of CAKI can be found in the government’s Strategy for Education and Training in Entrepreneurship that was released in November 2009. Behind the strategy is a partnership of ministries that are all involved in education and entrepreneurship. The strategy initiated the development of The Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship, an organization that works to create a coherent national effort for the development of entrepreneurship education.

Interdisciplinarity and innovation
Interdisciplinarity is a natural part of the reality, the majority of graduates from the arts educations will meet as professionals. Therefore CAKI is offering a variety of activities, which can help build competencies that enable professional collaboration across the arts, sectors and areas of knowledge. Similarly, skills in working interdisciplinarily are an important component of innovative processes and the artistic professionalisation in general. In interdisciplinary collaborations the artistic and creative competencies can be vital tools for innovation, which can be relevant across sectors and business areas.


Interdisciplinarity is a natural part of the working life the majority of graduates from the art schools will meet as professionals. Therefore, it is significant that arts students develop skills enabling them to establish well-functioning collaborations across artistic disciplines, as well as other sectors and knowledge areas.

It is of importance that the art students develop an awareness of their own individual artistic language and pre-understandings. An acknowledgement of ones own specialized language enhances ones insight into and understanding of other fields and knowledge paradigms. Competencies within interdisciplinarity are similarly an important component of innovative processes and the artistic professionalization in general. In interdisciplinary collaboration, artistic and creative skills can be important tools for innovation, which may be relevant in, for example, social, cultural and commercial contexts.

At CAKI we differentiate between three forms of interdisciplinary collaboration in arts education: Cross-disciplinary, cross-artistic and cross-aesthetic. We work with the following general definitions for the three types of collaboration:

The cross-disciplinary collaboration
The cross-disciplinary cooperation takes place from different artistic or academic positions. The focus will often be on sharing or developing knowledge, experiences and observations across professional boundaries. The purpose of cross-disciplinary collaboration can be the investigation of a particular working method, such as improvisation or repetition, or it may the discussion of a philosophical or political concept from different (art-) professional point of views. The disciplines contribute with their different perspectives on a common subject, in a collaboration that does not necessarily have a common output as a goal. You stay within the scope of your discipline, and obtain new knowledge within this, as well as share your knowledge to collaborators.

The cross-artistic cooperation
The cross-artistic collaboration will often have the production of something as a goal. A cross-artistic collaboration may, for example, be the collaboration between Rhythmic Music Conservatory and The Danish National School of Performing Arts, where the students in a collaborative effort create a ‘Performance Concert’. The focus is on how the two disciplines can work together with the theater concert as genre, but without moving beyond their respective disciplines.

The cross-aesthetic cooperation
In a cross-aesthetic collaboration, the boundaries between disciplines are more porous, to a greater or lesser degree. There may be some sort of production at the end of the course, but in the cross-aesthetic cooperation it will rarely be possible to predict what the final result will be, and the work-format will not be known in advance.

Often the initial drive of the cross-aesthetic collaboration will be a question or task that is explored through an artistic process. Here the work will be the means, while the process and method itself are the goal of the collaboration. Often a cross-aesthetic collaboration will have the quality of an artistic research study.


CAKI defines artistic innovation as artistic activities and processes that create new knowledge in the form of new methods and / or new products.

By exploiting this new knowledge, through the combination of knowledge and realization of opportunities, real added value is being generated. Artistic innovation thus results in a qualified turnover of a new knowledge that can be applied in a larger context, be it artistic, technological or societal. Work with artistic innovation contributes to new dimensions for the artistic practice. CAKI has identified three focus areas within artistic innovation:

In the context of artistic innovation, CAKI view the role of the artist as a carrier, creator and disseminator of knowledge, and artistic innovation is understood as the innovation generated in the relationship between people or in community practices. CAKI points out that work on artistic innovation can strengthen the entrepreneurial and innovative commitment of artistic education, as existing practices are challenged and developed, and it is CAKI’s ambition to link artistic innovation closer to teaching practices and artistic development activities in the member institutions.

Collaborations the private and the public sectors
CAKI wishes to make the artists’ ability to create space for development in existing structures and processes visible. The artist’s approach is usually development-oriented and based on dialogue. In the context of private and public collaborations, artistic innovation can thus be a resource with the potential for strong value and growth generation for both parties. Therefore, CAKI sees a potential for innovation in the artist’s meeting with modern organizations.

Artistic innovation marks a distinctive artistic value. CAKI wish to help explore the role and potential of the artist in the innovation potentials for our society. The artist’s ability to work with and thematise complex challenges, accept and investigate ambiguity, values and conflicting material and knowledge, gives artistic innovation a possible significant position as a catalyst in processes leading to societal change. This applies to both individual and collective levels in relation to socio-economic, technological and cultural development

CAKI is organised under the Danish Ministry of Culture and is managed by The Royal Academy of Music. The CAKI office is located at The Rhythmic Music Conservatorium.

CAKI works with a reference group of the principals of the arts educations, which are members of CAKI. As such, CAKI serves as a membership organisation consisting of 11 members divided into A- and K-members (associated- or full membership).

CAKI was established in 2011. It originating in Workshopscenen, which since 1996 had been an arts educations network for interdisciplinary projects.

CAKI has an office at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Charlottenborg, Kongens Nytorv 1, 1050 Copenhagen K. See here for how to find us.

Read more about CAKIs organisation and members.

Objectives and results
CAKI is an inter-institutional collaboration, which is anchored at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory. CAKI’s tasks appears in the framework agreement for RMC and reads as follows:

‘Via the focus areas of entrepreneurship, innovation and interdisciplinarity CAKI aims to help strengthen the professionalisation of graduates from the arts education and thereby enhance their opportunities for a sustainable working life.’

Read more about CAKIs goals and results