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CfP: Annual Conference of the Association of Cultural Management in Germany about evaluation

The 9th Annual Conference of the Association of Cultural Management in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland will take place from 14 – 16 January 2016 at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, School of Management and Law, Winterthur, Switzerland and is addressing the multiple challenges in the evaluation of arts and other cultural projects, programs, organizations, and cultural policy. Debates concerning the development of frameworks for the assessment and evaluation of culture and the arts play a prominent role in arts management research.

While research has focused largely on instrumental and methodological issues, there is a range of theoretical, epistemological, aesthetic, political, and ethical challenges embedded in the evaluation process.

In respect of goals, timing, and subject matter, a distinction is often made between three forms of evaluation: program evaluation (ex-ante), process evaluation (ongoing), and impact evaluation (ex-post), for which different methodological approaches are indicated. The term 'evaluation' is however currently used to refer to a wide variety of assessment procedures. Thus, conceptual differentiation is also needed to explore the issue of evaluation.

For arts and cultural organizations, the issue of evaluation is complex, firstly because with evaluations various dimensions are in competition with one another. These include the achievement of artistic goals, the effect of exhibited or performed art, the performance of the organization, and the need to satisfy different funders. Secondly, these dimensions are subject to a range of motivations and rationales. Finally, there are the different stakeholders with their concerns and expectations as to whether or not evaluation results might serve their interests

Core Questions

Against this background, the 9th Annual Conference of the Association of Cultural Management (Fachverband Kulturmanagement) addresses the following topics areas and issues of relevance for arts management research and practice:

  • What are the specific characteristics of the evaluation of arts and cultural activities? How can the quality of artistry and artistic achievement be captured? How can the value creation and socio- economic impact of artistic and cultural activities be conceptualized and measured? How can different rationalities (e.g., financial, artistic, or political rationales) be integrated within multi-dimensional frameworks? What difficulties are encountered by practitioners in the implementation process, and why?
  • Which are the major frameworks and models for evaluating of culture and the arts? To what ex- tent is current research able to serve the needs of individual arts and cultural organizations and their communities?
  • What role do tangible results and evidence-based practice really play in contemporary cultural policy-making? Are there different handling procedures according to artistic disciplines, institutional structures, or countries?
  • To what extent do evaluations of publicly-funded cultural projects and institutions contain im- manent, frequently not communicated, political goals and intentions? To what extent are unintentional effects systematically hidden?

Submission of Contributions

Contributions are invited from academic professionals and also in particular from practitioners in arts and cultural organizations and funders from the public or private sector. Submissions in German or English can refer to already completed or ongoing projects. Text submissions should be between 750 and 1,000 words in length. Contributions should refer to research and evaluation activities and outline both the theoretical-methodological framework as well as citing and critically reflecting on the acquired findings. Selection criteria for the conference papers are their relevance and the originality of the question they address, the methodological approach, and the significance of the findings for both scholarship and practice.

The conference offers two presentation platforms: Presentations (approx. 30 min. with concluding discussion) and workshop discussions (keynote speech and facilitated discussion with multiple participants). Interested persons are invited to submit an abstract by 15 June 2015 to jahrestagung2016.zkm[at]zhaw.ch. Please state your name, contact details, and institutional affiliation on a cover page.

Participants are additionally encouraged to submit contributions as a full paper version for consideration for publication in the future edition of the Journal of Cultural Management: Arts, Economics, Policy, which relates to the theme of the conference.

The Association of Cultural Management is a professional association of academic lecturers and researchers in the field of cultural management in German-speaking countries. Its mission is the representation and advancement of cultural management in teaching and research. Further information: www.fachverband- kulturmanagement.org

Management Topic: Organisation & Leadership
Cultural Area: Public+Academic Sector
Submitted by editor-in-chief on Apr 24, 2015