Research Article


Setting the Stage for Something New

Understanding Arts-Based Initiatives through the Lens of Liminality and Rites of Passage


Zeitschrift für Kulturmanagement 2019 (2), 77-102.

Art is brought into organizations in the shape of “artistic interventions” in order to achieve a variety of effects: creating new values, initiating learning processes, supporting restructuring processes, or fostering innovation. Several methods and practices have been developed for this purpose, in which art or artistic workshops create spaces promoting precisely these effects. Such learning spaces, experimental spaces and memory spaces pose great potential for personnel and organizational development, in that, e.g., new ideas can be developed and internalized. Based on the idea of spaces created by artistic interventions, this article analyses them from the theoretical perspective of "liminality". This theoretical angle helps to fathom theeffects experienced in artistic interventions which are difficult to evaluate. This way, the situation in which employees nd themselves in artistic interventions can be framedto better understand processes of change and the opening for exploration of ideas. In addition, liminality is linked to the anthropological view of “rites of passage” (transition rites), which facilitate times of change and mark – or even constitute – transitions.