Arts and media administration at the Institute for Arts and Media Management at Freie Universität Berlin is organized as a dual system in which cross-disciplinary knowledge meets practical, experiential knowledge from various real-world contexts in the fields of culture and media. The “glue” that holds it all together consists of observation, description, and examination. The program looks at the cultural dimension of management and at management and leadership concepts for cultural processes, with the products of artistic and cultural endeavors as the background. We view our approach during this process as one that is concerned with maintaining existing values. Culture and art are not per se topics of management, because at their core, they cannot be produced on a schedule or in a functionalistic manner. The environment that touches upon culture and art, however, or the institutional contexts that arise as a result of cultural and artistic activities, do indeed require qualified management competencies to support and enable them.
The program Arts and Media Administration is application-oriented and, while it does not pursue goals that are directly related to specific professions, its objectives nonetheless provide students with the qualifications they need for future professions. The link between theory and practice that is necessary for successful arts management is reflected in the curriculum. In the Institute’s integrative concept, a direct connection is established between fundamentals of cultural and media theory, legal studies, communications, and business and economics, as well as technological aspects and both project management and management of institutions. Future arts managers are able to gain the necessary experiential knowledge by putting the theory they have learned in the program into practice and by examining the processes used in practice. Preference is given to authentic practical trials rather than role-playing exercises or simulations. These approaches are combined with a management paradigm that is behavior and culture-oriented as well as with training in perception-oriented aesthetic thinking. Management in the field of culture requires, above all, people who are able to combine the craft of management with an understanding of the arts and a finely tuned sense of the field in a professional manner.
The Institute for Arts and Media Management is a meeting point for graduates from various academic disciplines, of different ages, and of different nationalities. The Institute’s diversity and limit of 25 newly admitted students per academic year, along with the multi-stage selection process, have made decisive contributions to forming the program’s specific identity.