The field of arts management is one way to promote, support and be involved with the visual and performing arts without having to become a professional artist. Read on to learn more about a career in arts management, including how much you can earn and how much education you'll need to enter the field.
Is Arts Management Right for Me?
Arts management, also referred to as arts administration, provides a way for those with a love of the arts to parlay their passion into practical careers as advocates and leaders in various types of art organizations. According to the Association of Arts Administration Educators, they play key roles in linking artists and their work to the public (www.artsadministration.org). Their responsibilities may include a variety of public relations and administrative tasks, such as organizing and marketing programs, booking events or conducting community outreach. If you possess business acumen and a desire to help make art more accessible to the public, you may be well suited for a career in arts management.
Professional Titles and Potential Employers
Arts management pertains to a wide range of administrative, managerial and leadership roles within the arts industry. Many positions in this field involve developing educational programs, raising funds and writing grants for nonprofits and public institutions. For instance, you could work for arts advocacy organizations, community centers, art councils or government institutions, including the National Endowment for the Arts. Private sector jobs are available at art galleries, museums, theatrical studios or performing arts companies. Entry-level jobs include working as a program coordinator, museum assistant or theater assistant, while more advanced job titles may include arts education manager, project manager or theater production manager.
Employment Outlook and Salary Statistics
While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide employment statistics specific to arts management professionals, it has projected an average increase of 13% in jobs for public relations and fundraising managers nationwide between 2012 and 2022. During the same 10-year period, archivists, curators and museum workers will see a similar rate of growth. As of May 2013, public relations and fundraising managers had median annual salaries of $98,700, while archivists earned median wages of $49,110 (www.bls.gov). According to Salary.com, compensation for arts managers ranged between $57,726 and $109,245 in 2014.
How Can I Work as an Arts Manager?
Many schools across the country offer bachelor's and master's degree programs in arts management or administration, as well as related certificate programs. While a bachelor's degree in arts management may qualify you for some jobs, the majority of arts administrators earn graduate degrees in arts management, according to the BLS. A few schools offer doctoral degree programs, including those in closely related fields, like fine arts and visual arts. You may also consider earning a doctoral degree in business administration with an emphasis in management.
Arts management program curricula are usually multidisciplinary in nature and cover topics in art, business and communications. In particular, you may have a chance to study art history, marketing, public administration and cultural policy, as well as financial management, economics and business law. Many programs are flexible, which can allow you to pursue individual interests and career goals. Some arts management courses are also available online. Both bachelor's and master's degree programs may include opportunities for internships and practicums and the chance to acquire some hands-on experience in the field.