Research Trip to Denmark in January, Day 2: art students and their entrepreneurial trouble

Holmen in Copenhagen is not only a film location for Danish crime series like Ørnen but also the place where the Danish art schools are clustered since the beginning oft he 1990s. At Holmen, the morning of our second day brought us insights and inspiration in the person of Pernille Skov from CAKI. With her, we could discuss a topic we had not covered yet in the course of our previous research.

Among the core cleavages within creative industries are without doubt the ones between artistic creativity and economics, between diversity and duplication as well as the need for appreciation by peers and necessary pricing.


Art students are artistically highly qualified when they leave art schools. Yet many suddenly face the challenge of an existence as freelancer or independent artist for which they are not prepared for in the course of their studies. To adress this gap, Denmark’s art schools decided to establish the Center for Applied Artistic Innovation (CAKI) that operates as a center under the wings oft he ministry of culture. The art schools are member organizations of  the center.

CAKI complements the artistic professionalization at the art schools not in the pure business sense: they rather focus on the structural framing of the artist’s practice.

In its everyday business, CAKI counsels individuals and groups, offers workshops and seminars and gives grants for projects. CAKI supplies a range of entrepreneurship activities for the arts students at CAKI’s member schools. Through CAKI, students can participate in workshops and courses like BUSINESS BEHIND THE TALENT, FUNDRAISER WORKSHOP and SPRING. CAKI has also published ENTREPRENEUR a series of easy to read, Danish publications that give guidance on different aspects of working as an artistic or cultural entrepreneur.

At the moment, CAKI considers to establish an incubator because they realized that the students need spaces between graduation and the first real job. We will follow this development and wish Pernille all the best for the great work she does with her seemingly endless energy.

Further Information

CAKI (2012) Memorandum On Entrepreneurship in arts education (PDF)

Art Schools in Denmark

The Royal Danish Academy of Music
The National Film School of Denmark
The Rhythmic Music Conservatory
The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts
The Royal Danish Schools of Architecture,Design and Conservation
The Danish National School of Performing Arts
Academy for Untamed Creativity (AFUK)
Textile and Handicraft Design/UCC
Performance Design/RUC
Copenhagen School of Design and Technology