As an audience member at an exhibition, gallery, dance, music, or theatre event, you've probably enjoyed watching others shine in the limelight.
But for every artistic event, much of the work remains hidden. Arts administrators work behind the scenes to make sure artists keep creating and the public keeps appreciating art of every kind.
They work with artists, producers or directors to support them on every art-making process. They do all the paperwork, budget management, networking, grant applications, emailing, government applications, hiring, visa and permit applications, and venue management.
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Sometimes, they also help out with front-of-house, promotion, managing social media, dealing with media, talking to guests, lobbying stakeholders and politicians – things that other people don’t want to do… or don’t know how to do.
Did You Know?
The term arts administrator covers various job titles such as director of development, chief financial officer, and arts education manager. Quite an impressive job portfolio!
Are you ready for these work activities?
•Planning and organising the logistics related to events, venues and artists
•Arranging performances, artists, venues, security, catering and sale of tickets
•Securing funding for venues or specific events =
•Writing media releases and programmes, discussing artwork with designers and ensuring on-time delivery from suppliers
•Ensuring that laws relating to aspects of public safety are followed
•Fixing dates, finding venues, and organising travel and accommodation for performers on tour
•Performing a range of administrative, marketing and office management duties associated with the role.
What do you thrive on?
You'll thrive if you enjoy teamwork and communication. You'll need excellent organizational and time management skills. Arts administrators enjoy setting and working toward goals -- but can deal flexibly with the unexpected events that are part of any creative activity.
A good art administrator must be a good all-rounder. Someone with a passion for business as well as art. Besides having the basic office administration skills like budgeting, writing reports, filing and other computer related skills, having really good communication and diplomacy skills is paramount. This is because an arts administrator will work with people from all walks of life in order to get things done.
Having common sense and the ability to think on his/her feet is also very important, as things will change in a fraction of a second, and they must be able to react to that change. Being patient and resourceful are also important.
The final thing that sets the difference between a good arts administrator and a great arts administrator, is the passion for the arts, the willing to make some self-sacrifice for the arts, to see the industry grow.
Typical employers include arts and cultural organisations :
Art Galleries and Museums
Community Arts Organisations
Disability Arts Organisations