Culture and heritage are the sinews of a society. In an era marked by rapid change, ambitious and critical cultural leaders are required to foster the cultural core of a sustainable society.
Culture defines humanity. Managing the valuation and transmission of culture through policy, entrepreneurship, and education across generations is therefore a key responsibility for a sustainable society. In our modern society, culture has to be negotiated as it is shaped by digitisation and new media, ethnic and cultural diversity, changing audiences and economic circumstances, dwindling public funds, and a loss of shared historical awareness. The mission of the Research Master's track Cultural Leadership is to train its students to conduct academic research into processes of cultural leadership. We equip them with essential scholarly expertise as well as analytical and strategic skills, so that they may carry culture forward in a critical, sustainable, and creative manner, and ultimately become cultural leaders themselves.
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In order to broaden our students’ outlook on their own cultures and provide them with the opportunity to exchange ideas with peers, we have joined forces with Roma Tre University. Students spend the second semester of the first year in Rome. This period ends with a Spring School at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR).
'We urgently need a new generation of cultural leaders'
“As digital archives are growing and innovative tools are being developed to provide new forms of access, we urgently need a new generation of cultural leaders with a novel vision on how to research and re-use the digitized treasures of the past.”
Giovanna Fossati is Head Curator EYE Film Institute Netherlands (Amsterdam) and author of From Grain to Pixel: The Archival Life of Film in Transition (2009).
“For me this is an ideal combination of studying both art objects and the sector that surrounds it.”
“The main reason for me to come to Groningen was the unique program of this research master: even though the majority of the courses discuss topics related to cultural leadership, there is plenty of space to further explore your own field as well. For me this is an ideal combination of studying both art objects and the sector that surrounds it.
I think these two aspects together will also form a solid base for the internship in the second year. And of course there is the exchange programme with Roma Tre and the Spring School at KNIR, which is really exciting.”
“This research master is for people who have the ambition to go beyond the “normal” activities within a cultural organization.”
“This research master is for people who have the ambition to go beyond the “normal” activities within a cultural organization, and want to explore how cultural leaders within organizations can be placed, what these leaders do and how they need to act in order to get things done. Eventually, you might have the ambition to become one yourself.
Furthermore, the programme is quite broad and my fellow students
all come from different backgrounds (arts and culture; media;
history; art history; language studies; sociology). Therefore the
discussions in class are fruitful and full of disagreements and
“Leadership is curious, responsive and reflective - it recognizes patterns and sees connections and acts and engages on multiple levels.”
“Leadership is recognising what you do not know – what perspectives can be brought to the table to bring knowledge that you do not have – it is open, inclusive and values and respects all perspectives equally. Leadership brokers knowledge – it is always learning and co-learning, rather than being the font of all wisdom. Leadership is curious, responsive and reflective - it recognizes patterns and sees connections and acts and engages on multiple levels.”
Katherine Watson - former Director, European Cultural Foundation and Cultural Leader in Residence, Research Master Cultural Leadership
The master Cultural Leadership is a cooperative endeavour of several departments within the Faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen. Its teaching staff includes professors from Roma Tre, our Italian partner university, and Katherine Watson, our Cultural Leader in Residence.