Business Administration for Arts and Cultural Events

Master - Venice

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The main aim of Master in Business Administration for Arts and Cultural Events is to provide a strong theoretical background in relation to culture and creativity coupled with a managerial vision related to the field of design and cultural business start-up. The range of institutions and phenomena considered includes the classical heritage sectors and museums, the world of media and communication and the fields of material culture.

The Master in Business Administration for Arts and Cultural Events wants to train professionals able to handle the tools of culture in a sustainable way both culturally and economically. The students can find a working opportunity in cultural institutions or museums but also will be prepared to create their own opportunities, knowing how to launch a start-up, operate in the broad field of non-profit or manage a cultural project.

  • Start date
    February 2016
  • Language

The main aim of IED Venice Master in Business Administration for Arts and Cultural Events is to provide a strong theoretical background in relation to culture and creativity, coupled with a managerial vision related to the field of design and cultural business start-up. The range of institutions and phenomena considered includes all the pillars of cultural production, moving from the classical heritage sectors and museums to the world of media and communication joining the fields of material culture. Starting from the observation that the cultural world is moving towards a new model based on entrepreneurship and projects, the master wants to train professionals able to handle the tools of culture in a sustainable way both culturally and economically.

Methodology and Structure: The total number of hours of the Master program are divided as follows: seven months of frontal lectures, lab activities, didactic visits, integrated by individual study, project development and three months dedicated to the elaboration of the final Thesis Project, that could be done alone or in group.

The Master is organized into four main educational areas:


The first area want to provide students with theoretical basis on the contemporary cultural sector and its historical roots, both nationally and internationally. In particular, they receive in this section a solid preparation on Contemporary Arts and Critics, followed by an in-depth analysis of the Arts system and the Art Market, including meeting with the main operators acting there.


The second area is designed to provide operational tools with which students can transform the knowledge gained in employment opportunities. The methodology followed starting from an economical and creative approach, providing them with fundamentals of Cultural Economics, Business Planning, Project Cycle Management, Marketing, Crowd Founding and Engagement actions, followed by specific focus on how to create a cultural start-up or business activity in the sector.


Heritage, Cultural industries and Material culture: the third module analyze the meaning of the word “Culture” and offer the possibility to experiment the interaction between different aspects that characterize this wide sector. Fashion, Design, Handcraft, Tourism, Performing Arts and New Technologies: workshop and fieldtrips will be organized with high professionals and operators in these field, so to stimulate the students on the contamination between the different cultural assets.

Moreover, a specific attention will be dedicated in this prospective to the 15th International Architecture Exhibition organized by Venice Biennale, experienced in an exclusive way.


The final Thesis Project offers to the students a concrete opportunity to start – or develop, his/her own career using at best the theoretical and practical skills and methods learned during the other modules of the Master course. Based on the personal interest, they will in fact work together with a tutor on the creation and design of an accurate business plan to start an own business or to propose a project to institution operating in cultural field or to a non-profit organization.

At the end of each thematic Module students are requested to pass an assessment exam, able to check the knowledge assimilated during the classes attended.

Moreover, fieldtrips and specific case histories represent an important asset during all the Master, related to single course or module. At this proposal destination and testimonial could be also defined taking into consideration the proposal done by lectures and students during the pathway.

Target: This study path is designed for post-graduates student coming from all over the world who want to specialize professionally in the world of art market and cultural entrepreneurship, but it is also intended for professionals and consultants already working in such sector, interested to investigate their knowledge of such topics to take on different professional ventures and new entrepreneurial activities.

  • Area 1

    • Contemporary Art History & its latest development

      The course aims to introduce students to selected artists of the present day and the critical perspectives that contextualize their work. The lecture expose students to pertinent debates within contemporary art history and theory and equip them with the necessary intellectual references to embark on various types of projects, whether within institutional frameworks or independently.

      The course consider Elements of Contemporary Art from 1960 to nowadays.

    • Critical Issues in Contemporary Art

      The course surveys key developments within recent art practice and theory. The lectures focus on themes that intersect both realms independently of chronology or artistic movements—the typical lenses through which one reads contemporary art and criticism. This approach is not art historical but rather theoretical, with subjects operating as the drivers through which texts and artworks are considered. The course will consist of sessions in which the participants is engaged in readings and discussions about the given topics.

    • Operators in the Contemporary Arts System

      The contemporary Arts Systems represent a paradigm shifts where the main protagonists are artist, gallerist, curator, collector, public, critic, but also professional that work for the organization of art fair or auction, art advisor and lawyer specialized in copyright and intellectual property.

      This course want to introduce students to the current state of art production, art shows and art markets.

    • Art market: trends and emerging markets

      The course offers an overview of the fundamental structures of the contemporary art market and of the art business environment to understand how the economic conditions influence the performance of the market. Specific focus are realized on how the gallery and auction markets function; exploration of the notion of fine art as a financial investment; how to use art indices; how to estimate a work of art and the issues that influence pricing. But also the new directions in the market and a brief excursus on emerging markets are approached, with a deepen on the application of economic studies to analyze several specific art market.

  • Area 2

    • Key elements of Cultural Economics

      The course is aimed at providing a basic knowledge of cultural economics and cultural industries. Students are expected to learn how cultural production and consumption are shaped by economic forces and the challenges posed by the organization of the creative processes.

    • Solving problems through an indirect and creative approach

      The aim of this course is to explore the features of the arts system, in order to critically argue about the conventional praxes, actions and evaluations, and to elaborate a non-conventional approach based upon credible goals, effective actions, and appropriate indicators, overcoming the stratification of views related to past phenomena and expectations. The analysis will be done through an identification of the features of cultural products and the mechanisms adopted by non-arts sectors in order for students to get useful suggestions and to elaborate sharp intuitions about the possible views of management.

    • Project Cycle management for cultural Sector

      Project management is more and more an indispensable skill for any manager. Project design and management are indispensable tools to design projects that are attractive for support and funding, and that can be successfully implemented. The module aims to allow students to acquire knowledge and skills to formulate their own creative projects professionally. It will seek to impart/upgrade students’ competencies in formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

    • Business Planning for cultural sector

      What is a business plan? Why you must have a strategic business plan? How to write a good business plan? The course aims to give an idea of what is a business plan, what are the essential parts and, in particular, to clarify which are the elements that make a good business plan. The attention will be brought to the concept of economic model and sustainability and the importance of having a clear difference between "what could be" and "what we’d like it be". It will make sure to contextualize the reasoning in the particular field of cultural industries.

    • Crowd funding and engagement actions

      The student must acquire analytic competences in order to better comprehend the broader context and the markets in which the cultural organizations operate. A specific focus will be dedicated to digital fundraising techniques like crowd funding and new engagement approaches like crowdsourcing, new participatory techniques and digital campaign in comparison with the classical fundraising and sponsorship approach.

    • Marketing for the Arts

      The world of Arts has changed in the last years and marketing has become more and more part of the Arts, from the creation to the communication. Artists, curators, cultural institutions have to be aware about new tools and how the mind of the “consumer” works in order to answer to their needs. The course present an original approach to the cultural projects considering them as a “product” with different targets (institutions, companies and consumers), in order to “design” the event and to communicate it in the proper way.

    • Social media and the Arts

      Specific focus is dedicated to the social media impact so to have a clear overview of the most relevant social networks and their specific dynamics within the broader digital ecosystem. The students analyze social media best practices for arts institutions, exhibitions, galleries, artists and cultural events and get familiar with the toolkit to design and execute effective social media communication strategies for arts and culture.

    • Entrepreneurship in the cultural sector

      The main goal of the course is to build a strategic framework of project management within the cultural sector. Upon completing the course, participants will be able to describe how applying entrepreneurship to arts and cultural events can increase their audience and improve their economic viability. The course explain how to assess the feasibility of an arts or cultural based business idea through the presentation of a series of practical tools, theoretical frameworks and case studies to help understanding a lateral strategic approach to cultural management. Based on the lecture’s direct experience as practitioner, the course will present case studies with a focus on management of audience development activities.

    • Public Museum and Private Foundation

      The course want to inspire students to develop and extend their awareness and understanding of what is a museums and what is its role in contemporary societies. To do that they are guided through an analyze of their history and evolution, focusing the attention on the differences between Private and Public sectors, the attendance and sense of identity (membership versus stewardship), as well as the important weight represented by architecture (content versus container) and the marketing and communications strategies.

  • Area 3

    • Cultural Event

      The definition of what we can consider as a “cultural event” and a “cultural product” is done in a practical way, browsing different case histories and analyzing the offer and the new actors and roles taking place in the market. Museums, foundations, company museums, ethno museums, hybrid places (from hotel, to restaurants, to public spaces): all these venue could be considered as “producer of culture”, but not only. Through individual workshops and presentation, the students will achieve a good knowledge about event designing and producing in cultural field, enriching the vocabulary of event design and the knowledge about the way a plurality of actors performing the mission for the brand, their territories, and their cultural diversity.

    • Analysis of a Cultural event: the Venice 15th Architectural Biennale

      Since 1895 Venice Biennale has been conceived as a cultural enterprise. During these lessons students discover how this institution grew and in which way it can be considered as the mother of most of art fairs all over the world. History of Biennale and its evolution in the years represent the base to introduce students to the 15th International Architecture Exhibition organized by Venice Biennale, which will be experienced by students thanks to specific thematic visit and meeting with the operators (Curators, Architects, Artist involved) and professionals working in the event organization, who will explain the “behind the curtains” of the event.

    • Cultural Heritage

      The course offers an analysis of creativity in cultural heritage sectors, having as point of reference Europe and Extra-European countries. Thanks to a dynamic approach students work on concrete case histories so to deep the different sense of “heritage”, the attitude’s limits and discuss the value existing behind the concept.

    • Arts Foundation

      Venice represent a unique occasion to keep in touch with some of the most important Contemporary Art Foundation in Italy and around the world. Guggenheim Foundation (with Peggy Guggenheim museum), François Pinault Foundation (with Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana), MUVE – Civic Museums of Venice Foundation (with its 11 museums around the city), Fondazione Bevilacqua la Masa (with its exhibition’s venues and its artistic residences), and some other will be object of specific fieldtrips and meetings with responsible operating in the different areas (educational, publication, press office and communication, corporate and development, etc), so to better understand how they works.

    • Fashion and the Arts

      Art, Communication and Fashion represent three environment that have in these last few years weave together their field of action. Prada, Luis Vuitton, but also Trussardi and Benetton have created specific Foundation investing in Arts and culture, becoming some of the most important Patron for emerging artists. But these choices represent also an important tool of communication that the course will analyze from an original point of view.

    • Material Culture

      Material culture is defined as the “physical evidence of a culture in the objects and architecture they make, or have made”, as well as an “interdisciplinary field that examines the relationship between people and their things, the making, history, preservation, and interpretation of objects”. Starting from that, the course offers a wide overview on different subject as the interaction between Handcraft and Design, Gastronomy, Tourism, Architecture and urban development, Performing Arts, etc.

  • Area 4

    • Final Thesis Project

      Three months to elaborate and write the final Thesis Project, simulating a real work experience in cooperation with other students or alone. Assisted by a Tutor, the students will choose one or more sectors and build a specific cultural business plan, analyzing and develop all the different aspects involved, arising from the competences and knowledge gather during the Master course.

È lodato quel maestro che fa egli stesso ciò che insegna agli altri
(proverbio italiano)

Allo IED insegnano professionisti che quotidianamente si confrontano con il mercato. Qui puoi leggere i loro CV.

Aldo Buzio - Course Coordinator

Aldo Buzio - Course Coordinator
Aldo Buzio PHD in Cultural Heritage at the Politecnico di Torino, MA in Communication Sciences and post graduate in Cultural Projects for Development. Assistant director Silvia Santagata Research Centre and Tutor for the Master World Heritage and Cultural Projects for Development at ITC-ILO, researcher in the field of cultural economics, lecturer in various post graduate courses. He collaborated in the realization of cultural projects and start-up for various institutions.

Enrico Bertacchini

Enrico Bertacchini
Researcher UniTO, Dr. Enrico Bertacchini is assistant professor at the Department of Economics and Statistics “S. Cognetti De Martiis”, University of Turin, and fellow of CSS-Ebla and Nexa Center for Internet & Society. His main research interests deal with cultural economics, creative industries and commons-based models for the production of and access to cultural goods.

Renzo Di Renzo

Renzo Di Renzo
Former Editorial Director of COLORS magazine, Creative Director of Fabrica, and Artistic Director of Fondazione Claudio Buziol he is involved in art and communication for over 20 years. He curated many exhibitions included “Future Pass”, official collateral event of La Biennale 2011. He is a board member of Villaggio Globale International, which organizes exhibitions, cultural events, and territorial marketing projects. He is the founder and Creative Director of an international design and communication studio, HEADS Collective, which works in the fields of commercial.

Diana Marrone

Diana Marrone
Diana Marrone is a journalist, pr, lecturer. After advanced International relation studies and different professional experiences, she initiated pr/undercover while goes on with her activity of cultural planner. As contributing editor she worked with Alias/Il Manifesto; BBC Radio, World Service; and New, De Agostini;, IDG Italia; La Repubblica Napoli; Rodeo Magazine; Undo, Volume Magazine, NAI Publishing, b_books Berlin, among the others. She is co-founder and co-editor of the online literary magazine and offline readers' club Slow Words People and Stories from this World.

Enrico Poretti

Enrico Poretti
Enrico Poretti leads digital strategy and social media at Discovery Communications Italy. He has more than 10 years of experience in digital content, social media management, marketing and business development in companies like Discovery, The Walt Disney Company and Yahoo! Italy. In 2006 Enrico was part of the production team of the Olympic Games Ceremonies in Turin and began his career in corporate and marketing communication.

Alessio Re

Alessio Re
UNESCO Consultant, deputy director CSS-EBLA.PhD in conservation of heritage and landscape, he has both academic and professional experience in management policies and projects for cultural and environmental heritage, with a specific interest in the relation between heritage and the economic dimension of sustainable development. He is currently deputy director and programme manager of the World Heritage studies area, of the Centro Studi Santagata and adjunct professor at the University of Torino (Dep. of Economics and Dep. of Culture, Politics and Society). He works since 2008 as consultant intern for important institution and author of many publications.

Peter Tomlinson

Peter Tomlinson
Has twenty-six years professional experience in the field of enterprise development, including long term project experience in Latin America, the Caribbean and the South Pacific. For 16 years he managed the Enterprise, Microfinance and Local Development technical programme for the International Training Centre of the ILO in Turin, Italy. Peter specializes in entrepreneurship training, business development services, value chain development, socially responsible enterprise restructuring and business environment reform for sustainable enterprise development.

Alessandro Bollo

Alessandro Bollo
Alessandro Bollo is one of the founders of Fondazione Fitzcarraldo, an international independent centre for research, training, planning, and documentation on cultural, arts and media management, economics and policies based in Turin, Italy, where he is currently responsible for the Research and Consultancy Unit. Mr. Bollo works also as a Professor of Marketing and Communication of Cultural Heritage and Activities at Polytechnic of Turin – II Faculty of Architecture, and as a lecturer at various courses for cultural operators in Italy and abroad. He has worked as the Coordinator of the Cultural Observatory of Piedmont, and as a promoter of the marketing department at AISM - Italian Association on Marketing Studies. 

Jonathan Watkins

Jonathan Watkins
Jonathan Watkins has been Director of Ikon Gallery since 1999. Previously he worked for a number of years in London, as Curator of the Serpentine Gallery and Director of Chisenhale Gallery. He has curated a number of large international exhibitions including the Biennale of Sydney, Quotidiana (Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Tate Triennial, Shanghai Biennale, Sharjah Biennial. He was on the curatorial team for Europarte (Venice Biennale, 1997), Milano Europa 2000 (Palazzo di Triennale, Milan 2000), and Riwaq (Palestinian Biennial 2007). He curated the Iraqi Pavilion for the Venice Biennale 2013. Jonathan Watkins has written extensively on contemporary art.

Claudia Ohel

Claudia Ohel
Claudia Oehl, of German nationality and based in Torino, Italy, is a consultant and trainer for project management, monitoring and evaluation and is a certified PRINCE2 practitioner. The fields are mainly international projects in the fields of education and vocational training, social policies and social dialogue. She collaborates on a stable basis with ITC-ILO since where she teaches in various Master degree and other courses. Previously she worked for 8 years as an official of the European Union as programme manager. 

Davide Baruzzi

Davide Baruzzi
Davide Baruzzi is president and project designer of BAM! Strategie Culturali and Creative Director of Craq Design Studio. With an international education and working experience, Davide is a cultural management consultant and practitioner with main focus on cultural innovation and audience development strategies.