Arts administration

Typical activities

In this role you’re likely to carry out a range of varied tasks relating to most aspects of an organisation, which could include marketing, events organisation, managing performers, human resources, fundraising and administration.

The work varies considerably depending on the type and size of the organisation. Arts administrators in small galleries may be responsible for the whole day-to-day running of the venue. In large organisations, they may need to contribute to work in several areas.

Entry routes

Although you don't need to be a graduate for a career in arts administration, the majority of administrators are graduates. Your degree subject isn't always significant, but can be an advantage.

Graduate entry programmes are extremely rare and most people enter the field through applying for entry-level roles.

Postgraduate study isn't necessary for working in arts administration but it’s likely to help build relevant knowledge, insights and contacts.

Getting experience

Get involved in student drama productions/concerts, look for part-time/temporary jobs in theatres, cinemas, or in the bars of arts centres and theatres.

The organisers of arts festivals often need temporary/volunteer staff to help with administration and publicity. Visit The Performing Arts Yearbook and the A-Z listing on The British Arts Festivals Association.

If you can't find the opportunities then make them - send speculative applications to galleries, festivals, and theatres.

Some organisations have offered internships in the past so check their website and do your research to find these opportunities. Previous internships have been offered at The Royal Opera House, The Barbican Theatre and The National Gallery.

The University of Birmingham offers work experience bursaries for all undergraduate students of all years, including international students. For more details visit the internship funding pages.

Careers Network advertises internships on Careers Connect.

Finding a job

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