Karsten Witt opens a new management academy in Berlin

While cultural management has been a popular choice for many students in recent years, it has often been criticized as being too theoretical, lacking practical experience and proximity to the performing arts. To bring aspiring musicologists, artists and staff in arts organisations closer to the people who actually work in artist management, Karsten Witt Music Management has now started its own kwmm academy, funded with support of the European Union. It offers three different kinds of instruction: individual coaching, project development, and management basics. All classes and sessions are taught by kwmm staff.

We need a greater number of event organizers with project budgets: Festivals, concert halls, organizers with unusual spaces such as the Radialsystem or the Ruhr-Triennale festival. Government music funding should not flow exclusively to opera houses and orchestras - those should also be partially financed by project funding. The independent scene, the ensembles and orchestras have the programs, the opera houses, theatres and concert halls have the proximity to audience and marketing. We need to create structures in which the creative potential of the musicians can unfold and the orchestras can develop their own unique identity.
Karsten Witt

Unlike a school, kwmm academy is not providing a set curriculum, but is focussing on the needs and demands of the students. These may be young artists, not represented by a management, who would like to learn more about the business; musicians trying to set up their own performances or festivals; musicologists trying to widen their professional horizon; competition staff trying to expand their knowledge. On the instructor side, personnel is not limited to Karsten Witt management staff but can also include guest lecturers, keynote speakers and experts from the cultural and creative industries.


Karsten Witt ©Stefan Weger

Individual coaching is very important to first of all establish the background, knowledge, and goals of a person applying to the academy. Building on these factors, the academy offers hand-tailored sessions with one or several instructors. There is no set timeframe, but the basic idea is to have two sessions per month for half a year, 90 minutes per session.

The course on management basics is intended to provide an overall picture cultural policy, of how our musical life is structured, who the decision makers are, and to give an introduction to communication, marketing and PR. Participants learn about networking, cultural funding, and financial planning as well as  basics in copyright and contract law. Not to forget taxes, bookkeeping, and negotiation: how do you negotiate a fee? How do you agree on a budget?
Management basics is usually held over two weeks, in six sessions of five hours each.

Project management, which will be held this year for the first time, will take place in a similar fashion over two weeks.

Classes usually consist of 8-10 students and may also be held in a hybrid manner. Tuition is set at €900 for a two-week course and at €1900 for the individual coaching. Financial aid may be available for members of GVL.
Classes can be held in German and English.
Website: https://de.karstenwitt.com/academy
Contact: +49 (0) 214 594 226
academyatkarstenwitt.com (academy[at]karstenwitt[dot]com)