Juko-Mart Kõlar elected as new director of the University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy

  • 2020-04-30
  • TBT Staff

On 24 April, the senate of the University of Tartu elected Juko-Mart Kõlar, lecturer in creative entrepreneurship and management, and head of Department of Culture Education at Viljandi Culture Academy, as the new director of Viljandi Culture Academy.

Juko-Mart Kõlar is an experienced leader in the field of music and culture. As a current employee of Viljandi Culture Academy, he is well informed of the position and problems of the academy. As director, Kõlar seeks to further develop the key areas of the culture academy: traditional culture, creative entrepreneurship, and cooperation with enterprises and people of Viljandi County, and he has presented several innovative ideas to do so. His vision of the future of Viljandi Culture Academy is thorough and bold.

“Viljandi Culture Academy looks like and acts like the University of Tartu, yet it is also a local centre of competence and innovation,” said Kõlar. “I see that as a creative school, we have an excellent opportunity to create and develop smart products and services in cooperation with the university, local enterprises and organisations, and thereby bring high value-added jobs into the region,” the future director said. Kõlar also wishes to place greater importance on internationalisation at the culture academy.

Chair of the committee who evaluated the applicants to the post, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Tartu and professor of medieval history Anti Selart said that while the academic career of Juko-Mart Kõlar is not very long, he has a great deal of experience in cultural management and an innovative perspective that is useful for solving the challenges faced by the society. “Kõlar is a versatile person who is definitely able to successfully run Viljandi Culture Academy and manage its work to meet the needs of the changing times,” Selart added.

Juko-Mart Kõlar graduated in sociology from the Estonian Institute of Humanities in 2006. In 2009, he defended his master’s thesis in cultural management at Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki, and in 2019, he earned his PhD in management from Estonian Business School.

From 2014–2019, Kõlar chaired the supervisory board of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, and in the years 2013–2019, he was an adviser for music and creative industries in the Ministry of Culture. He also has practical experience of creative entrepreneurship in the music industry.

Kõlar has teaching experience with a wide range of students, having delivered creative entrepreneurship lectures as a visiting lecturer in six institutions of higher education since 2010. From 2019, Kõlar has been a lecturer in creative entrepreneurship and management at Viljandi Culture Academy. He teaches courses that are closely connected with the academy’s area of activity and this teaching experience supports creative entrepreneurship, which is important in all curricula taught at Viljandi Culture Academy.

Kõlar has written three scientific publications and is the co-author of two creative entrepreneuship books.