Students from Kōbe University (Japan) in exchange with Viennese cultural life
This week-long seminar will focus on exploring various topics within the realm of culture in Vienna, including cultural policy and cultural management. On the topic of “Cultural responses to rising changes in societies, social conditions and politics. An in-depth exploration of challenges and opportunities faced by cultural practitioners in Vienna and Kōbe”, students will delve into the core of Viennese cultural life, such as music, art, and theatre, discovering issues of management, government support for the arts, keeping the ‘cultural classics’ contemporary in today’s world, changing to sustainable processes, and making art accessible to all. Students will draw on the lessons learnt through these explorations, discovering how they can be applied to the modern Japanese context.
For artists, cultural workers and people interested in the field of cultural management, it is important to understand local and international trends. The different knowledge in this course provides aspiring artists, cultural workers or arts enthusiasts an overlook into the Viennese cultural sector and its different areas of work.
Models and approaches differ around the world, and professionals are increasingly called upon to be cognizant of these approaches and to work with artists, cultural organisations, venues and management companies versed in various systems of subventions, legislations, policies, and practices.
The Austrian capital Vienna, renowned for its rich cultural heritage, offers a myriad of cultural offers for a diverse audience, from high culture to community-based and participatory activities. In the large city of Kōbe on the Japanese island of Honshū, with a population similar to that of Vienna, numerous museums, concert halls, theatres and operas, jazz clubs, and a vivid independent scene as well as various sights offer a diverse cultural life.
Both cities have faced several challenges in the last two years, brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the geopolitical situation and climate change. Cultural practitioners, institutions and cultural policymakers have had to rapidly adapt to the circumstances. To work in a sustainable way, and to create projects and programmes with a climate sensitive long-term impact has become more and more important. Last but not least, societal needs and cultural interests have changed, which in turn offer an opportunity to take a closer look at the immediate value and understanding of art and culture in different societies, to break down outdated patterns of thought and to open up innovative creative spaces anew.
In various workshops, lectures and visits, the students will interact with representatives of different cultural institutions in Vienna to learn about their operations and management. They also will discuss their questions, which they formulated in the run-up to this Academy, with experts and students from Vienna. The aim of this journey is to explore regional and international similarities and differences in cultural policy issues and implementation possibilities through a cultural exchange.
Questions and topics to be addressed:
- Overview: To what extent do the different cultural institutions in Vienna diverge in terms of creative forms of implementation, challenges and needs?
- “Classics” in connection with contemporary forms of expression in music and theatre: Which differentiated forms of expression can be described for so-called “classics” and how are they performed in a contemporary context in different institutions?
- How important is music education in the Viennese concert scene? With which innovative formats has the field reacted to the pandemic-related restrictions in the last two years?
- Comparative views of exhibitions, theatre and concert life in Vienna and Kōbe.
- Reflections on the political and social significance of art and culture in Vienna: How does this manifest itself in terms of a variety of different institutions, cultural policy measures and innovations as well as management structures and funding allocations?
- How, and to what extent do institutions in Vienna strive for a sustainable approach in their work? What are important factors to achieve sustainability – environmentally, societally and economically? How do institutions achieve a long-term impact, in what way do institutions make sure to provide for long-term employment within their organisation? How can projects or institutions help fight climate change regarding materials and waste?
- Participation: What forms of activation and involvement of citizens in artistic activities exist in Vienna? Can ideas from Vienna be an inspiration for participatory programmes in Japan? If so, in which form and what adaptations need to be made?
- Cultural Politics: How do cultural policy approaches in Austria and Japan differ in theory and practice? How are arts and cultural initiatives perceived in Japanese society, and how can they be democratized?
EDUCULT has conceived and organized this year’s programme of the Summer Academy in Vienna and is looking forward to exciting discussions and insights!