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Art & Social Responsibility

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Art & Social Responsibility

This course explores critical questions facing the art world today by considering how museum and gallery professionals are applying innovative thinking to address issues of social responsibility.

As an awareness of social inequalities and climate change heightens, arts organisations all over the world are increasingly expected to revise their principles of operation and programming by engaging with contested notions of culture, identity, diversity, social injustice and their own environmental footprint. The ability to promote sustainable and inclusive development has become an essential skill for art professionals in both public and commercial sectors.

Taking an interdisciplinary approach, this course focuses on the responsibility that the art world holds for both social movements and environmental issues. It introduces students to professional ‘best practice’ whilst opening up questions around the prospects and limitations faced by the art world as an ecosystem in its own right. The course challenges course participants to think beyond traditional topics related to sustainability and the ‘lifecycle of a work of art’, enabling them to seize opportunities and overcome challenges in a wide variety of global art contexts.

This course can be paired with Art Business and Art Finance & Innovation to complete a 12-week full time (4 days / week) semester study.

  • Price
    Enroll in 2 or more London Professional Courses for a discounted rate. 
  • Email Us
  • Date
    February 23, 2023 – March 31, 2023
  • Time
    10 a.m. – 5 p.m. GMT, Thursday and Friday
  • Duration
    6 Weeks
  • Location
  • Topics
    • Art Business,
    • Specializations & Skills
  • Language
  • Contact Admissions


  • Daily visits to a wide array of public and private arts institutions, organisations and businesses

  • Lectures and seminar discussions with pioneers and industry leaders of environmental and social change

  • Insight into the importance and growth of diversity, inclusion, and sustainability initiatives

  • Career opportunities within the public and private sectors


Amy Mechowski

Course Leader: Curating, Museums, and Galleries

Originally from Chicago, Amy holds a PhD in the History of Art from University College London on the construction of the self in fin-de-siècle photography. Since 2007 she has been an Assistant Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum. In the Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass Department, she has undertaken a very wide range of curatorial activities, working on major exhibition projects, with special responsibility for the sculpture collection and expertise on wax objects.

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  • Course Combinations

    Course Combinations

    This course can be paired with the 12-week Art Business course and the 6-week Art Finance and Innovation course OR the 6-week Curating course to create a full time (4-days per week) schedule of study over the course of a semester.

    Individuals who take two or more courses in combination (during the same semester) will receive a discounted rate.

  • Requirements


    English Language Requirement
    Course participants should be proficient in written and spoken English and be able to participate in group discussions and presentations in English. It is recommended that participants have the equivalent level of IELTS score of 6.0 /TOEFL score of 78 IBT, however evidence of test scores is not required to register.

    Age Requirement
    Courses are open to participants 18 years of age or older.

    For more information, please see our Terms and Conditions.

  • Sample Topics

    Sample Topics

    • Activism and art for social change
    • Environmental impact of the art world
    • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
    • Community engagement, outreach, and collaboration
    • Socially responsible business practices and innovative models and start-ups
    • Ethics; theoretical approaches and professional practices
  • Assessment


    The course is assessed via an oral presentation and a practical written brief.

  • Course Completion

    Course Completion

    Course participants take away in-depth and valuable insight into the current and future art world, to be sufficiently prepared for a wide-ranging career within the art industry. Those who successfully complete their course will receive a certificate of completion from Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

    Sotheby’s Institute of Art course participants come from all over the world, from a wide variety of backgrounds. As they study, travel, and explore the art world alongside each other throughout the program, fierce and long-lasting collaborations are frequently born. Individuals who complete these courses join our network of over 8,000 alumni around the globe who hold top positions at renowned art organizations.