Arts administrators promote and organise artistic, musical or cultural events run by arts and cultural organisations, such as theatres, galleries, museums and festivals. Carrying responsibility for the day-to-day running of their organisation, arts administrators perform a wide variety of functions including marketing, PR and budgeting. In large organisations they will tend to specialise in specific administrative areas, such as front-of-house management, public relations, marketing, education and sponsorship.
The administrator works with venue managers, artistic directors, the general public and performers or exhibitors.
- Planning and organising the logistics related to events, buildings, performers/artists, etc
- Arranging performances, artists, venues, security, catering and sale of tickets
- Securing funding for venues or specific events
- Writing leaflets and programmes, discussing artwork with graphic designers and ensuring on-time delivery from printers
- Ensuring that laws relating to licensing of bars and restaurants, performing rights and 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.
Travel: work may involve regular travel during the working day and occasional absence from home overnight.
Overseas travel is unlikely.
Working hours: can involve regular unsocial hours, including weekends and evenings.
Location: mainly in towns or cities throughout the country.
Opportunities for self-employment: freelance and consultancy work is possible for those with considerable experience.
Arts and cultural organisations such as:
- Art galleries and museums
- Arts festivals
- Arts centres
- Arts Councils and regional arts boards
- Dance companies
- Community arts organisations
- Disability arts organisations
- Local authorities.
Competition for promotion is strong, though progression to general manager, director or chief executive of an arts company or local authority arts division is possible.
- Community arts worker
- Museum education officer.
Salaries will vary considerably depending on experience, qualification, location and budget involved.
Republic of Ireland: Administrators at a junior level should expect starting salaries in the region of €20,000- €25,000 a year. This will rise with experience.
A degree, though not essential, is an advantage.
Specific degree subjects required
Entry is open to graduates of all disciplines.
Other relevant degree subjects
- Arts management
- Marketing and PR
- Drama or theatre
- Performing arts including dance and music
- Art history, art, design, fine art
- Media, film or photography
- Event management
Postgraduate courses in arts administration are available.
Specific entry requirements
Most entrants to this field will have relevant experience.
Adding skills and knowledge in areas such as human resources, accountancy, arts-related law and marketing will be useful for career development.
Tips for applications
Get involved with student or community drama productions or concerts, community events such as street carnivals, working in front-of-house or box office in arts centres, cinemas or theatres, or find relevant temporary work, eg with theatre, film or other arts festivals.
Skills and qualities
- Excellent organisational, administrative and project management skills combined with a thorough understanding of the creative process
- Excellent teamworking skills including the ability to work collaboratively with creative professionals
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Negotiating skills (especially to secure funding for projects)
- Proactive and confident in decision making.