10 Golden Rules for Successful Co-Productions in Arts & Culture

Dorothée King
7 min readAug 8, 2022

Let me please humorously present 10 + 1 golden rules for co-production in arts and culture. These are drawn from my own learnings and experiences collaborating with diverse partners in international cultural contexts. I hope you may get some insights for collaborative joy, growth, and well-being in your own adventures.

photo by the author.

1) Shared goals are important.

This may sound like a no-brainer, but before you invest too much time into a new or also continuing collaboration. Ask yourself: Do you and your collaborators share the same goal? Are you really heading in the same direction? If yes: Go for it. If no: Do not change or water down your goals, but rather watch for more like-minded collaborators.

A successful example of my first golden rule for successful Co-Productions in Arts & Culture is First Story Women Building New Narratives for the 21st Century, Porto, Portugal, 2002. At the time I was still an intern and as such the web designer for this exhibition project, curated by Ute Meta Bauer. First Stories shared goal and intention was to show brilliant female practitioners. The work of these women had little in common. The show featured architects, graphic novel artists, DJanes, doctors, politicians, and many more. Yet we all shared the same vision in this collaborative project Change history to herstory by creating a platform and increasing visibility.

2) Shared sense of (each other’s) time.

Learn from my learnings: Please be aware of diverse perceptions of time.

For this golden rule, I want to share a rather negative example. In 2004 I volunteered as a coproducer for the Conference Networks, Arts, and Collaborations curated by Trebor Scholz and Geert Lovink at the State University of New York in Buffalo, NY, USA. The conference showcased the work of hackers, composers, performance artists, and others. Their shared interest was collaborative artistic practices. But that did not necessarily mean that the participants were interested in collaborating with each other. That led to a rather stressful task on my end as a co-producer. Most groups delivered late, many needed a lot of extra reminders, and some did not respect their assigned time slots. I was trying to juggle 53 balls, while at the same…

Dorothée King

author, educator, artist, designer, meditation teacher, consultant / http://www.dorotheeking.com