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Arts administration and leadership careers blend the worlds of art and business, focusing on the management and operations of art and cultural institutions. This includes nonprofit cultural organizations, such as galleries, museums, universities, festivals, venues, ensembles, auction houses, and even arts & cultural offices in state or local governments. If you are interested in managing artists or being in the popular music or film industry, see our ‘Entertainment’ section.
Roles within arts management include:
Prepping for a career in arts leadership can start with taking some basic business classes, interning for a local nonprofit organization, and building a network. In addition, potential employers often want to see experience in and continuous participation with the arts by being an active artist or volunteering and attending cultural events. When applying to an internship or job in arts administration, you can expect the traditional application and interview process. However, sometimes the application will also require samples of your work, such as proof of a play that you directed, poster designs and social media posts, or past curriculum utilized in education initiatives.
Degree programs are gradually becoming more popular and sometimes required. One can find both undergraduate and graduate studies (MA) in this field. Note that if a degree program is simply labeled “Arts Administration” or “Arts Management” it focuses on all nonprofit organizations. This means students will learn how to handle everything from museums to theater or dance companies to orchestras, no matter what their artistic background may be. Currently, degree programs are being created that specialize in cultural organizations in a particular artistic field (i.e. Eastman’s M.A. in Music Leadership).
By Marina Harss
To the layperson, the idea of working in arts administration may sound dry, but, as Sonja Kostich makes clear, it is anything but. The potential for big, transformative ideas is everywhere. Kostich, who in August 2022 was …
By Jane Hsu and Trinity Villanueva
Mapping out a career strategy in the arts and culture sector can be overwhelming for the emerging professional, as possibilities can be broad and opportunities to connect with a prospective employer may be difficult …