Arts administrators provide administrative support for cultural organisations or activities such as galleries, museums, theatres, arts festivals, arts centres, arts councils, disability arts organisations, regional arts boards and local authorities.
Their responsibilities can cover accountancy, fund-raising, publicity, organising exhibitions, customer care and personnel work, but vary according to the size and type of organisation. In small galleries and arts centres they may cover the whole day to day running of the centre, whereas in larger organisations such as arts boards they may specialise in one area, for example marketing, public relations or education.
Administrators in the Arts Councils and regional arts boards may be involved in creating policies for the arts, developing arts activities, organising education and training and allocating grants and funds.
In local authorities, they may process grant applications and payments, manage venues and events and liaise with local arts organisations.
Administrators for arts centres, theatres, ballet, opera and concert halls may be involved in publicity, accounts, managing programmes of events, dealing with visiting and resident companies, and general office work.
Hours vary widely, but are usually 9am - 5pm. Administrators involved in exhibitions or events may work evenings or weekends.
Arts administrators are usually office-based, although working environments vary widely. Some administrators will spend most of their time in an office, others may need to travel to liaise with artists, other arts organisations or schools.
To be an arts administrator you should:
You can gain entry to this profession through an apprenticeship. Voluntary work is also valued where you can build your network of contacts and experience. Employers look for relevant skills, which you can pick up working at arts festivals or student and community drama productions or concerts. This again, can either be temporary or voluntary.
Some people enter the profession with a degree either in art, events or business.
Arts administrators work for galleries, museums, arts centres, theatres, performing arts organisations, festivals, disability arts organisations, local authorities and arts councils. There is fierce competition for jobs, especially with the Arts Councils and arts boards.
Promotion within small organisations is unlikely, although administrators can move to larger organisations. Experienced administrators may become arts managers or officers in their area of interest.
If you would like to learn more about becoming an arts administrator that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Arts Council England
14 Great Peter Street
Tel: 0845 300 6200
Scottish Arts Council
12 Manor Place
Tel: 0131 226 6051
Northern Ireland Arts Council
77 Malone Road
Tel: 028 9038 5200
Arts Council of Wales
Tel: 029 2037 6500
The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA)
Student Services Office
16 Park Crescent
Tel:020 7580 4741
Association of British Orchestras
20 Rupert St
Tel: 020 7287 0333
Creative and Cultural Skills
11 Southwark St