In Summary - Arts Administrator
Responsible for the day-to-day running of arts and cultural organisations
Arts Administrators typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Arts Administrator
The management of a cultural organisations such as a theatres, orchestras or arts festivals can be broadly classed as arts administration.
Most organisations need income from public and private sources to supplement box office receipts. Therefore, senior arts administrators are often involved in discussing and negotiating funding with a variety of people. For instance, they have meetings with relevant Arts Council staff, local Authority Arts Officers, and private sponsors.
Arts administrators carry overall responsibility for the day-to-day running of their organisation. In venues such as theatres, they make sure that laws relating to licensing of bars and restaurants, performing rights and aspects of public safety are followed. The cleaning, maintenance and security of buildings are also their responsibility.
Many organisations also have performers on tour, and it is usually the role of the arts administrator to fix dates, find venues, and organise travel and accommodation.
Arts administrators also carry out personnel work. They help to select staff, negotiate contracts of employment, deal with problems relating to staff training and working conditions, and ensure equal opportunities practice.
In some cultural organisations, the work of the arts administrator includes public relations work and the marketing of a range of services on offer to the public. For instance, they may write leaflets and programmes, discuss artwork with poster designers and make sure that material is delivered from the printers on time. The arts administrator will work closely with newspapers, radio and television to promote media coverage and interviews with performers and directors. In general, the smaller the organisation, the greater the variety of tasks each staff member undertakes.
Interests - Arts Administrator
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.
Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
To be employed at a senior level, you will need a good knowledge and understanding of the particular Arts field in which you are employed. At a more junior level an interest in the arts is a bonus and IT skills usually essential. You should be well organised and good at managing your own time.
Some smaller organisations may want someone who is flexible and skilled enough to cope with a wide variety of tasks, such as accounting, personnel and secretarial work. Additional skills such as driving or mathematical ability may be useful.
Entry Requirements - Arts Administrator
Pay & Salary - Arts Administrator
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 18k - 32k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.