In 2017 Aarhus is going to be European Capital of Culture (ECoC). In this course we use this as a case to explore the question of cultural leadership. It is an interesting and complex case of leadership in which a temporary organization is responsible for a one-off event has the ambition of creating a long term impact for society. Three interrelated aspects will be at the core of the course: Strategic objectives, evaluation and legacy.

The course is taught by the evaluators of Aarhus 2017 with year-long experiences of dealing with the strategic process and the issue of evaluation as a part of a large scale cultural event. The course will involve students in the process of evaluation focusing especially on the question of long-term value – or legacy.

We see legacy as a key part of cultural leadership: The ability to work strategically and knowledge-based with long term, complex values. This also challenges traditional approaches to evaluation focusing on short term reporting back to funders and retrospective analyses.

The course will combine lectures, workshops, visits to cultural institutions and design processes during which the students will contribute to the evaluation of Aarhus 2017 not as a study exercise but as a part of the official evaluation.

We will share the main case of Aarhus 2017 with the course Exploring Big Cultural Data – New Approaches and joint learning activities will be a part of the course.