We introduce you our alumni Elisabeth Wulz, an Austrian who studied the Master’s Degree in Arts and Cultural Management at the UIC in the Barcelona Campus during the academic year 2011/2012. Graduated in Transcultural Communication from the University of Vienna, she is currently still completing her education at the same university doing a Master’s Degree in Austrian Studies, working and studying at the same time. Last week we contacted her and in this interview she talks about her recent professional activity and her experience in the Master’s Degree in Arts and Cultural Management at the UIC Barcelona.
Q. The österreichische kulturdokumentation is a center dedicated to research, analyze, evaluate and assess on trends in cultural policy at national, European and international level. What is your role and what activities do you develop within this institution?
R. Besides researching and documenting culture, cultural policy and creative industries, the österreichische kulturdokumentation studies the interfaces of politics, society and economy. As a research assistant, I am currently involved in an explorative study to find out what the social value of cultural heritage is. The overall objective of this study is to portray how cultural heritage, in its diverse forms -tangible, intangible and digital- is bringing people together and might therefore also contribute to a better quality of life. The österreichische kulturdokumentationexplores current measures and activities with regard to the importance of the cultural heritage for society in Austria and I am in charge to describe best-practice examples independently. This study builds on the The Council of Europe´s Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society(Faro 2005).
Q. As alumni of UIC Barcelona how do you apply the knowledge acquired in the Master’s Degree in Arts and Cultural Management to your daily work in Vienna?
Furthermore, the legal aspects of cultural heritage were profoundly discussed during in the Master’s Degree, a topic that is crucial for the current study I am working on. As I was involved in a board meeting of the Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, shortly after I started to work in October 2014, I could easily apply my knowledge gained during my favourite Master’s course Tools for Managing Culture. As an example, we conducted a SWOT analysis or discussed the level of competition within the cultural industry with the help of the Porter’s model during that meeting.
However, there is to say that Austria is still in a better position than a country like Spain. I have talked to my Spanish friends who are telling me that culture can only be a hobby for them as there are no working possibilities which enable you to live a decent life.
Furthermore, there are a lot of homepages worth visiting if one desires to get information about cultural policies all over Europe (European Cultural Foundation). As I am currently dealing a lot with cultural heritage, I was also introduced to the internet portal Europeana, which has digitalized millions of books, paintings, films, museum objects and archival records throughout Europe. Go, and check it out! If you are looking for a job in the cultural field in Austria, the homepage kulturkonzepte.at proved to be extremely helpful for me.