Arts Administrator Careers

How to become arts administrator

What does an arts administrator do?

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.


What's the working environment like for an arts administrator?

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.


What does it take to become an arts administrator?

To be an arts administrator you should:

  • have an interest in the arts in general, or a particular art form
  • have administrative and computer skills
  • have good written and verbal communication skills
  • be able to organise and prioritise work, solve problems and keep calm under pressure
  • have good time-management skills and the ability to meet deadlines
  • be able to work both alone and as part of a team
  • have commercial awareness
  • have an awareness of how to make information accessible to a wide range of people.

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 administrator career opportunities

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.


Further information

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
Macneice House
77 Malone Road
Tel: 028 9038 5200

Arts Council of Wales
Museum Place
CF10 3NX
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
Tel: 0800 093 0444

Creative and Cultural Skills
11 Southwark St



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