Freitag, 14. Dezember 2012

Current Challenges and Opportunities in Arts Management in Germany

Since the first arts management program was established at the University for Music and Theater Hamburg 25 years ago, several hundred providers of arts management trainings have entered the market. Offers range from MA and PhD programs to certificates that can be obtained after just a few days of training. The first generation of arts managers has taken leading positions in arts organizations large and small. Yet, the majority of employees working in the field of arts management come with an artistic background or education in the humanities, the profession of arts manager is far from being established. Challenges of the multi-disciplinary profession remain internally, as educational content varies greatly, and externally, in the overall understanding and acceptance of the profession.

Participants recently discussed “The Art of Managing Culture” at an international arts management conference held by the Goethe Institute in Berlin. In presentations and through conversations with colleagues from around the world the current challenges and opportunities of the sector in Germany became very clear.

Based on this, here is a suggested to-do list to address these challenges and opportunities:

In Practice:

1.       Upper management of arts organizations needs arts management training.
2.       The number of women in leadership positions needs to increase dramatically. The current ratio is about 1:3, while the ratio among arts management students and non-management positions is just reversed.
3.       Flat hierarchies need to be created in arts organizations for more democracy in managing the organizations.

In Education:

4.       The ideal mix between theory and practice in arts management education needs to be found.
5.       There is a need for contributions of German arts management theory. Most theories today are adapted and translated from UK and US publications and are therefore not fully applicable in Germany.
6.       Opportunities for growth in the arts management sector lie in program evaluation, participation growth, and a growing combination of culture and education, culture and urban development and culture and social developments.
7.       Inspire an entrepreneurial spirit in arts managers.
8.       Broaden cultural management disciplines. Educational content is currently being derived from (ranked) 1. Political Science, 2. Business Management, 3. The Arts, 4. Cultural Studies and 5. Social Science. What can be learned from other disciplines such as neuroscience or computer science?

In conclusion I´d like to add Giep Hagoort´s description of the changing role of arts managers
-          From administering arts institutions to moderating and creating cultural contexts.
-          From producers and growth-orientation to audience orientation and societal responsibility.
-          From arts institution managers to cultural entrepreneurs and cultural leadership.

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