Arts administrators plan and organise cultural and arts activities. They work in organisations such as local authorities, arts centres, theatres and regional arts boards.
As an arts administrator, your work would vary according to the size and type of organisation, but could include:
- arranging venues and artists
- working with local arts organisations
- negotiating sponsorship and funding
- organising publicity and ticket sales
- organising security and catering
- managing budgets and keeping records
- carrying out general administration.
In small galleries and arts centres you could be involved in the whole day-to-day running of the centre. In larger organisations, such as arts boards, you may specialise in one area, for example marketing, public relations or education.
What qualifications and experience will employers look for?
There are no set qualifications for becoming an arts administrator â€“ the real key to this work is relevant experience, which you could get through volunteering or temporary work. Ways of gaining experience include:
- helping with student or community drama productions or concerts
- getting involved with community events such as street carnivals
- working in front of house or box office in arts centres, cinemas or theatres
- taking temporary work, for example with arts festivals.
Visit the Arts Council website for details of local arts organisations which may have opportunities for volunteering or temporary work. You can also get information from arts officers in your local authority and from Voluntary Arts.
- Voluntary Arts
You would need general administration skills, and you may find it useful to have qualifications or experience in areas such as word processing, book-keeping, public relations and marketing. You may be able to start as an assistant or secretary in an arts organisation and work your way up.
Many arts administrators are graduates, so a degree could be an advantage, although not essential. Relevant subjects include arts management, arts administration options in other arts-related degrees, events and entertainment management, and business studies.
Some postgraduate courses include work placements in arts organisations, which can be useful for developing contacts.
What further training and development can I do?
Once you are working in arts administration, you can develop your skills by attending short courses. These are run by organisations such as the AMA and the Independent Theatre Council.
- Independent Theatre Council
You could also work towards qualifications such as:
- NVQs in Cultural Heritage Operations (Level 3), Cultural Heritage (Level 4) and Cultural Heritage Management (Level 5)
- the exams of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA)
- part-time postgraduate certificates, diplomas or degrees in arts administration or arts management.
Adding to your skills and knowledge, for example in areas such as human resources, accountancy, arts-related law and marketing, will be useful for developing your career.