In 2004/5, the European Association of Cultural Researchers e.V. (former shortcut: ECURES, now ERICarts Network) founded the ERICarts Institute as a non-proft company (gGmbH). Three centres of excellence in the field of cultural research and monitoring then joined the Institute as Associates: Finn-EKVIT (Helsinki), OAC (Lisbon) and the ZfKf (Bonn/Berlin). Since 2009, Boekmanstichting (Amsterdam) participated in the work of the Institute as its fifth Associate; in 2011, the Finnish Foundation for Cultural Policy Research in Helsinki (CUPORE) replaced Finn-EKVIT as the Nordic partner organisation of ERICarts. Other centres meeting the criteria of becoming an Associate were invited to join the Institute.

Steering the Institute,  ECURES and - until 2017 - each  Associate had a representative on the  Board of Governors, the main decision-making body  of the ERICarts Institute. Together they  decided on the strategic mission,  research agenda,  and  the future development of the Institute. This  dynamic  consortium not only advised the  Institute but  tangibly pursued its goals through participation in the comparative research projects of the Institute. In 2017, the partners decided to return to the origins of the ERICarts initiative and agreed to hand back their shares to the ERICarts Network.

Boekman Foundation

The Boekmanstichting (http://www.boekman.nl/EN/index.html), located in Amsterdam/The Netherlands, collects and disseminates knowledge and information about the arts and culture in both policy and practice. It stimulates research and the development of opinion on the production, distribution and take-up of the arts and on national and international policy on the arts and culture. Boekmanstichting acts as an independant facilitator between interested parties from official public bodies, the academic world and the cultural field.

At the same time, it is a unique centre for policy advisors, politicians and managers, for researchers, teachers and students from various disciplines, and for the staff of art institutions, artists and journalists. In particular, the Boekman Foundation

  • has a library providing current information and documentation from both national and international experts;
  • awards a Dissertation Prize for the most valuable doctoral theses on the subject of arts, culture and related policy;
  • organizes symposia, expert meetings and (international) conferences;
  • publishes books and the Boekman, the foundation's journal on arts, culture and related policy;
  • is the initiator of ConnectCP.

The Supervisory Board of the Boekman foundation includes representatives from the social sectors management and policy, education and research, and the arts and culture. The members are appointed following discussions with the Association of Dutch Local Municipalities, the Inter-Provincial Consultation on Welfare, the Cultural Council, the Association of Collaborating Dutch Universities, the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions, the Federation of Artists' Associations, the Dutch Museum Society, and the National Coordinating Committee for the Protection of Monuments and Historic Buildings.

European Association of Cultural Researchers e.V. (ECURES, now ERICarts Network)

is an international Association of over 100 scholars and experts  specialising in cultural research and, originally, the founding body of the ERICarts Institute.

The members of the Association come from 33 countries countries in Europe and other parts of the world. They represent a broad range of academic disciplines. The ERICarts Network is committed to pioneering the development of theoretical and applied cultural research as a recognized professional field  and to facilitating the free exchange of scientific ideas and  resources.

The main goal of the Association was to establish an "interdisciplinary institute for basic and applied research in the cultural and media fields" (Art. 2.3 of the Statute of 1993), a mission which was  achieved in 2004 and 2005, following the Assemblies in Berlin and Amsterdam.   Members of the  Association  share the common objective of advancing cultural research through  conferences, publications and other  means. ECURES participated in the decision-making process of the Institute and members take part in its comparative research projects. Since 2005, ECURES placed emphasis on taking care of the interests of experts collaborating in the Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe.

The mission of the Association is to:

  • support a new generation of cultural researchers by e.g. contributing to their  professional training and  education;
  • work for increased transparency and competence in European cultural policymaking;
  • actively promote scientific and cultural co-operation throughout Europe and with the Southern hemisphere;
  • help improve methodologies and instruments used in cultural research;
  • empowering members by encouraging participation in each others research projects.

The current members of the Board of the ERICarts Network are (2018):

Acting Secretary General: Andreas Wiesand (Cologne)


CUPORE, the Finnish Foundation for Cultural Policy Research (http://www.cupore.fi/index_en.php), was founded in 2002 on the initiative of the University of Jyväskylä and the Finnish Cultural Foundation. The Ministry of Education and Culture was one of the initiators behind the establishment of the Foundation and is responsible for the financing of its research projects.

The purpose of the Foundation is to monitor developments in both Finnish and international cultural policy and to promote research in the field. To implement its mandate, the Foundation maintains a research centre in Helsinki's Cable Factory (Kaapelitehdas). CUPORE's mandate includes the production and dissemination of reliable information applicable to cultural policy decision making and the promotion of important research and expert opinion by way of research projects and training in the field.

The Foundation maintains a relatively small group of researchers on its own, but also finances research carried out on a contractual basis at academic research centres and by groups of experts. In addition, CUPORE participates in joint international projects for which it seeks financing from e.g. the EU and other international bodies. CUPORE's Board defines the general guidelines of its activities, approves appropriations and financial plans and employs its staff and researchers.


Former ERICarts Associate FinnEKVIT was established in 1993 to promote Finnish research on European cultural and media policies. As a small expert organisation with a membership of a dozen university professors, researchers and experts, it has co-operated with the ERICarts Institute  in several European projects including "Pyramids or Pillars", "Creative Europe" and "Culture-Gates", in particular via its Secretary General, Prof. Ilkka Heiskanen. In 2011, Finn-EKVIT ceased its activities and transferred its shares in the ERICarts Institute to CUPORE.

Observatorio das Actividades Culturais (OAC)

The OAC (http://www.oac.pt/menuobservatorio_ing.htm)  was created in 1996 by the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon (ICS), the National Institute of Statistics (INE) and the Ministry of Culture. Until its dissolution in 2011, its main task has been to produce and disseminate information, in a systematic and regular manner, on current trends in the field of cultural activities with emphasis on audience research, cultural events and their impact, cultural policies, cultural agents (artists, users of cultural equipments etc.) and studies on cultural institutions (libraries, museums, etc.).

Main research studies in the last years include: Reading Promotion in Public Libraries; International Mobility of Artists and Other Culture Professionals; International Folklore Festivals in Portugal; Portuguese Museums Panorama (2004-2010).

Zentrum für Kulturforschung (ZfKf)

ZfKf, the Centre for Cultural Research in Germany (http://www.kulturforschung.de), is located in St. Augustin near Bonn and Berlin. Established in 1970 as a subsidiary of DER SPIEGEL magazine, it was founded as an independent research body in 1972.

The ZfKf conducts interdisciplinary and empirical research, provides documentation, organises monitoring and  evaluation projects and provides consultancy  services  in various fields of cultural policy,  media and cultural education.

Major activities undertaken by the ZfKf during the last 49 years have been:

  1. Empirical surveys of arts professions, including legal and social aspects;
  2. Studies  on cultural infrastructure and development of the arts and "culture industries" at (inter)national and regional levels;
  3. International comparative studies of arts and media policies and funding;
  4. Studies on education and training (including new concepts for arts administration);
  5. Conceptual support for foundations, artists' associations, research bodies;
  6. Surveys on the participation of the public in cultural life;
  7. Applied anthropological research and cross-cultural studies.

During the 1970's, the most important project undertaken by the ZfKf was the The Artists' Survey ("Künstler-Report") which was conducted on behalf of the German Ministry of Labour (BMA) and the Federal Parliament. The findings of the "Artists' Report" were based mainly on 3000 comprehensive oral interviews with artists and media professionals in different fields. Together with additional ZfKf-research on legal questions, the Report greatly contributed to the creation of a special artists' insurance programme in Germanyn (KSVG). During the 1980's, the ZfKf published international comparative studies on cultural policies and arts funding and introduced co-operation  in the field of   "arts management" in Germany.

Since the 1990's, the ZfKf conducted  various culture industries studies for several Länder-Governments and increasingly focused on researching various aspects of arts and (inter)cultural education for the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). In 2009, the ZfKf was reorganised and is now located in Berlin.

The ZfKf is recognised as a pioneer institution in the development of empirical studies and reports on the status of women in arts and media professions, both in Germany and wider Europe, starting with "Frauen in Kultur und Medienbetrieb I" in 1987.