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What led you at that time when it was not at all mainstream to be interested in art in organizations, and at the beginning of your career, to go and look for this topic of artists and managers?
I was a student at HEC in the second half of the 1980s. And as much as I was really interested in studying management, I was quite sure that I did not want to work in capitalist companies. So I looked for other possible paths for me. At the time, there was an option (a “minor”) that had been set up by Yves Evrard: “Arts and Culture Management”. So I chose this minor after a major in “management control”. Then, still in this continuity and in search of another professional insertion, I went to do Hyacinthe Léna’s DESS at Dauphine: “Management of cultural organisations”. I was simply getting ready to become a manager in the cultural sector, considering that it was a good way to use my skills.
But at the same time, as a teacher’s child, I had discussed with some of my professors the possibility of becoming a management professor like them. When I graduated from the DESS, I did an internship at ABCD, a consulting firm set up by Claude Mollard, who had been Jack Lang’s Director of Visual Arts. He had set up a cultural policy consultancy that was in line with the acceptance of the economic and management dimension in the cultural sector. I had done my DESS internship with them, and then I had continued on a fixed-term contract. But one day I came across someone in the street who later became one of my colleagues, one of my former teachers, who had fond memories of the excellent student I was, of my questions about becoming a teacher, and who said to me, “We have money, we’re recruiting academic assistants”…

Philippe Mairesse
ICN Business School – CEREFIGE
Géraldine Schmidt
IAE Paris – Sorbonne Business School
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Uploaded on on 23/05/2022
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