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Classic formats for the training of routines in personnel and leadership development are only suitable to a limited extent for the acquisition of social and personal skills such as self-organization, determination and assertiveness. Arts-based forms of personality development have therefore received greater attention in corporate practice since the mid-1990s because they do not focus on the acquisition of specialist and methodological knowledge, but rather on the imparting of precisely these skills.


Arts-based learning is a collective term with a wide range of objectives, approaches and methods. In general, the connecting element of arts-based learning is to simulate work processes in the visual or performing arts, poetry, music or dance and to use them for personal development. Despite the first empirical evidence for the effects of arts-based learning and thus also arts-based training methods, basic scientific legitimation is lacking. This applies all the more to the potential of arts-based learning in the context of project and event management.


This results in four research questions: 

1. Which competencies are particularly important in project management of events? How do they affect the accomplishment of tasks? 

2. To what extent does arts-based learning affect the acquisition of the necessary personal and social skills in this field of application? What is the potential and what are the limitation of this approach? 

3. How does the effect of arts-based learning differ from the effects of non-arts-based forms of teaching and learning? What are the advantages of the approach compared to formats that aim to convey explicit knowledge about the areas of competence mentioned? 

4. How should arts-based training courses be designed in terms of content and form in order to have the greatest possible effect on the development of participants? Do training formats related to theater and dance have different effects?

New focus in times of crisis

The crisis has currently paralyzed large parts of social life. Project work today means crisis management. The event industry has been hit particularly hard, which requires rethinking in many ways. Soft skills such as stress resilience, conflict resolution and flexibility are more relevant competencies for project management than ever. Accordingly, we are reorienting our research focus within the project and are focusing especially on soft skills, which are particularly in demand in project management in times of crisis.


FEELING MATERIAL XIV, 2005; 4 mm square section mild steel bar 225 x 218 x 170 cm (unextended size); Photograph by Stephen White, London © Antony Gormley
Copyright: FEELING MATERIAL XIV, 2005; 4 mm square section mild steel bar 225 x 218 x 170 cm (unextended size); Photograph by Stephen White, London © Antony Gormley

 New approaches to project work

More than a third of the working time in the German economy is now project work. In customer-oriented project management, less technical and methodological knowledge is required, but communication and personality are increasingly in demand, which means a considerable need for qualification. The AL-Pro project researches how the use of methods from dance and theater strengthens the soft skills of project managers and develops promising training formats for this.