The history of IKM

Momentaufnahme 2016
The Beginnings: 1975-1984

Transition Period and Institutional Anchoring: 1985-1990

Bringing together Teaching and Research: 1991-2001

From Higher Education to University Departement: 2002-2010

The Expansion of Teaching and Research: 2011-today

to be continued…

snapshot 2016

The IKM  was founded in 1975 at the instigation of Ernst Haeusserman, then director of the Theater in der Josefstadt, member of the board of directors of the Salzburg Festival and director of the Department of Film and Television at mdw, as the "Institute for Cultural Management, Artistic Management and Public Relations" at mdw – Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts. The department was established in the premises in Lothringerstraße with the aim of offering "training in the practical area of cultural management and artistic management" (quotation from the first deparment regulations). This training should be linked to scientific research activities from the very beginning, with the initial focus on the main subjects of music, theatre and film.

In June 1976, the courses that had been occasionally offered were bundled in the 4-semester "Course for Artistic Management" and the range of courses was expanded with the aim of training qualified management executives for the Austrian art and culture scene. Ernst Haeusserman and Marcel Prawy, chief dramaturge of the Vienna State Opera, jointly took over the management of the program.

In 1978 the program was renamed "Course for Cultural Management" and the continuation for two further courses (3 years in total) was decided.


Transition Period and Institutional Anchoring: 1985-1990

After the death of Ernst Haeusserman, the founder of the department, Leopold Spitzer, professor of singing, was appointed new director of the IKM in 1984. His task was to establish and expand the IKM as an institution for research into the art and culture industry. In 1986, the "Culture and Economy" project marked the beginning of a comprehensive and still effective research program. In the same year, a reformed curriculum came operative, which had been formulated under the leadership of Franz Willnauer, then head of the course and visiting professor.

During this transition period, the department's management also changed several times – from Leopold Spitzer to the then rector of the university, Gottfried Scholz, and then to visiting professor Karl Richter. With the relocation of the IKM to the new premises at Karlsplatz 2, finally, the conditions were created to install a permanent department with a team for teaching and research.

Bringing together Teaching and Research: 1991-2001

In 1991, the IKM established the first professorial chair for Cultural Management in the German-speaking area. The economist Werner Hasitschka took over the chair of the institute with the professorship, and one year later also the course management. The new director was responsible for bringing together all departmental tasks, in particular teaching and research. In addition, the academic subject of cultural institutions studies had to be developed in terms of content and positioned as an interdisciplinary discipline at the interface of economic, social and cultural science.

In 1993, both the institute and the course were renamed "Institute for Cultural Management" and "Course for Cultural Management" respectively. Under the direction of film and media scientist Claudia Walkensteiner-Preschl, the course contents were adapted to the new challenges of cultural management education. From the 1994/95 academic year, the title "Akademisch geprüfteR KulturmanagerIn" was awarded after successful completion of the course. In 1999, the course was converted into a postgraduate program with the academic graduation of a "Master of Advanced Studies" (MAS).

In 1994, the project LänderInitiative KulturStatistik (LIKUS) was launched, which offers a uniform framework for recording public expenditure in the fields of art and culture and could be sustainably anchored in Austrian cultural statistics.

In 1999, the IKM was renamed "Institute of Cultural Management and Cultural Studies" in order to make the interdisciplinary approach pursued at the IKM in teaching and research visible.


From Higher Education to University Department : 2002-2010

With the appointment of Werner Hasitschka as Rector of the now mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, the cultural economist Franz-Otto Hofecker took over the management of the institute in 2002. After the mdw had been entitled to award doctorates and habilitation in the course of the university reform in 2003, for the first time the institute's academic staff were able to habilitate in the field of cultural institution studies and supervise doctoral projects. With the beginning of the complete independent legal status of universities in 2004, the teaching activities of IKM's academic staff were greatly expanded to include regular teaching. At the same time, the cultural management course was outsourced and placed on a new financial basis in order to meet the requirements of the Bologna Declaration. These tasks fell to the philosopher and cultural scientist Tasos Zembylas, who also revised the curriculum and realigned its content after taking over the scientific direction of the course. Due to a massive increase in the number of course agendas, the position of operative course leader was created in the same year and filled with the Germanist Claudia Dürr.

In 2007 the lawyer and cultural manager Thomas Hansmann took over the scientific coordination, and  Katharina Pfennigstorf, with a background in special needs education, served as the operative director of the course for cultural management. After Thomas Hansmann's departure, Franz-Otto Hofecker initially took over the management of the course, before Katharina Pfennigstorf was finally entrusted with all management agendas of the course.

Scientific research at IKM had intensified as a result of becoming a university, which was reflected in numerous publications. Above all, the focus was on the sustainable anchoring of cultural management as a scientific interdiscipline, but cultural policy evaluation, music school research and research into the cultural industries, especially the music industry, were also promoted.

The expansion of Teaching and Research: 2011-today

In 2011, the professoral chair for Gender Studies was established at IKM. The historian Doris Ingrisch was appointed and enabled the culture science-oriented 'gender' focus to be expanded and consolidated. In 2014, a pre-doc university assistant position for Gender Studies was created. In order to increase the visibility of Gender Studies at the IKM, the deparment name was changed to "Department of Cultural Management and Gender Studies" in 2016. In addition, new university assistant positions – 2012 for Cultural Studies and 2016 for Cultural Management – were created and filled.

With the move to the new institute premises on the first floor of the Schlagwerkhaus on the mdw campus, the IKM not only moved closer to the main building, but was also able to network more closely with other departments and teaching activities. One result of this is the four-semester university course for applied dramaturgy in music and the performing arts, which was co-designed by the theatre, film and media scientist and artist Barbara Kremser and has been run by her since 2018.

With the international conference "Vienna Music Business Research Days", which has been held annually at the mdw since 2010, music business research derived from Cultural Institutions Studies has been able to network internationally and establish itself as a new scientific discipline. A large number of other national and international events on science and art, including the 2010 and 2019 annual conferences of the Cultural Management Association and the "to be related" conference in 2015, have firmly anchored the IKM in the research community. In addition, the IKM has been the seat of the International Music Business Research Association (IMBRA) since 2015 and the office of the Fachverband Kulturmanagement for the German-speaking countries since 2019.

In October 2018, after Franz-Otto Hofecker retired, the Cultural Institutions Studies and Music Business researcher Peter Tschmuck took over the management of the department. Together with the IKM team, the two new professors - Evelyn Annuß for Gender Studies and Andrea Glauser for Cultural Studies - and their research foci are now integrated into the existing framework to work together in an inter- and transdisciplinary manner.

to be continued …