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17 Jul 2017

Work Routines of Arts/Cultural Managers in International Contexts



Research Results on the Work Routines of Arts/ Cultural Managers in International Contexts - an article by Birgit Mandel in Arts Management Newsletter presents the results of a research on the opinions of arts/ cultural managers around the world regarding their profession, working conditions, current challenges, required competencies, and training opportunities.


From a Western perspective it seems like cultural management is well established as a profession and as an academic discipline with a profound body of knowledge and strategies that seem to be similar all over the world. Moreover, due to an increasing amount of cultural cooperation beyond borders, working practices in arts and cultural management seem to become universal. But is cultural management getting harmonized due to cultural globalization? Or are concepts and practices of cultural management more influenced by the specific national or regional conditions?

Cultural managers work in international art festivals, global companies of the creative industries, or international tourism. They are involved in cultural diplomacy and cultural development cooperation; and, in times of an increasing worldwide migration, cultural managers are engaged in moderating “intercultural” change management processes in their own countries. Regarding these different and difficult working condition,  how do cultural managers from different world regions describe their working conditions and missions, also in terms of cultural policy, and which differences can be observed? What are the main challenges of international cultural cooperation, which competencies are needed for working in international and intercultural contexts, and which training concepts in international cultural management proved to be successful? And are there differences between the Western world and other world regions?

These were the main research questions of an empirical survey, conducted by the author, with the support of students from the cultural management program at Hildesheim University in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut and the European Cultural Foundation Amsterdam/ Mit Ost Berlin. Interviews were conducted with 35 experts; 750 respondents from all over the world completed an online survey. In addition, in-depth analyses of two international arts/ cultural management trainings programs – the “MOOC Managing the Arts” by Goethe-Institut and the “Tandem” Program by European Cultural Foundation Amsterdam/ MitOst e.V. – were done.

The goal of this research project was to gain a better knowledge of the mind-sets, working conditions and practices of arts/ cultural managers worldwide, and to learn from their experiences in international cooperation. The findings were considered within a comparative perspective in terms of regional influences.

Read full article here