Arts Administrators

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By Nsim Team


A career as an arts administrator could be a great fit for you if you have a passion for arts programs, combined with the business administration skills to ensure they’re staffed, funded, promoted, and well managed.
This field offers the chance to work in an office but get out of it frequently, the ability to help the public have access to excellent art programs, and it offers plenty of room for career advancement and specialization.
So, if you'd like to know more about the ins and outs of this field then read on; we’ll fill you in on what you would be doing for a living, how much you could earn, and what you’ll need to break into this profession!


Who is an Arts Administrator?

An arts administrator is someone who runs any kind of arts program: from ballet to photography; and belly dance to opera. They work behind the scenes to make sure artists keep creating and the public has the opportunity to be exposed to art of every kind.
The term ‘arts administrator’ is a blanket term that covers various job titles involved in running an arts program: an arts administrator could be a director of development, chief financial officer, arts education manager, or other kind of administrative professional. 


Education Needed to Become an Arts Administrator

Having a certificate or a bachelor’s degree will likely qualify you to work in an entry-level role within arts administration. From there, you’ll have the chance to work your way up to more senior-level positions.
Having a master’s degree however, may qualify you for mid and senior-level positions without any relevant experience.
Although your certificate or degree can be in almost any field, the following areas of study are particularly relevant to a career as an arts administrator:
• Arts administration or management
• Art history
• Business-related studies, such as business administration, management, marketing, human resources
• English and literary studies
• Event planning
• Performing arts
• Visual arts and design


Skills Needed to Become an Arts Administrator

In order to qualify for a role as an arts administrator, and succeed when you get there, you’ll need a certain set of skills, including:
• Excellent organizational and time management skills
• Good communication, team working and interpersonal skills
• Knowledge of, and an interest in, the arts
• The ability to work independently, meet deadlines and manage a number of projects at the same time and with accuracy
• Knowledge of political and economic issues affecting the arts sector
• Experience developing budgets
• Experience managing programs within budgets
• Proficiency with various office software, such as Microsoft Excel


Who Employs Arts Administrators?

Organizations that employ arts administrators may include not-for-profit organizations or government agencies. Arts administrators may also work for corporations or foundations that support the arts.
So, as an arts administrator you could potentially be working for the following types of organizations (not a comprehensive list):
• Art galleries
• Community-based arts organizations
• Dance companies
• Federal, regional or local arts boards
• Museums
• Music festivals or concert venues
• Opera houses
• Theatres

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