How to become a Arts Administrator

Arts administrators manage artistic and cultural venues such as theatres and art galleries.

Personal requirements of a Arts Administrator

  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Able to relate to people of diverse backgrounds
  • Good organisational and management skills
  • Able to handle finances
  • Able to work under pressure and to deadlines
  • Able to work varying hours
  • Appreciation of the role of the arts in the community

Education & Training for a Arts Administrator

To become an arts administrator you usually have to complete a degree with a major in an area of the arts, followed by a postgraduate qualification in arts administration or arts management. You may also consider a bachelor degree that emphasises management or financial and business skills. To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Entry to postgraduate courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For full details, refer to the entries on the website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au or university handbooks.

Duties & Tasks of a Arts Administrator

Arts administrators may perform the following tasks:

  • seek sponsorship and funding from federal, state, territory and local governments as well as community and industry organisations
  • prepare and submit funding applications
  • negotiate with artists and performers regarding contracts
  • coordinate arts programs
  • coordinate sound and lighting, stage management and security, box office sales, distribution and sale of publications, public relations and catering
  • take part in the commissioning and purchasing of works of art
  • organise and promote exhibitions and events
  • help to develop and implement the organisation’s strategic plans and marketing strategies
  • manage the organisation’s human and financial resources, including budget preparation
  • provide an appropriate working environment for employees
  • liaise with the media
  • provide education services to the public
  • make recommendations on cultural grants
  • ensure compliance with corporate and legal requirements
  • provide support in policy development and report to the board of directors.

Working conditions for a Arts Administrator

The duties of arts administrators vary according to the type of cultural or artistic environment in which they are employed, the level at which they are employed and the size of the organisation. In small organisations, arts administrators may be involved in all aspects, whereas in large organisations they usually specialise in one particular area such as marketing, education or seeking sponsorship.

Employment Opportunities for a Arts Administrator

Arts administrators may work for national performing arts companies, local councils, regional community arts centres, museums, galleries, orchestras and entrepreneurial organisations such as concert and theatrical promoters. They also work for government departments and funding organisations such as the Australia Council for the Arts (www.australiacouncil.gov.au). Some are self-employed, while others work in partnerships. Opportunities will vary depending on the level of activity in the arts and media industries in regional and metropolitan centres. The long-term job prospects for arts administrators are affected by the level of government funding and corporate sponsorship.

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