Job Description: Marketing and sales staff publicize performances and sell tickets. In a smaller organization, the marketing and sales department may double as the box office and public relations department. However, larger companies may divide employees into teams that specialize in marketing, media relations, publications, group sales and public relations.
Training and Educational Qualifications: Almost all arts administrators have completed four years of college, and the majority possess a master’s or a doctoral degree. Experience in marketing and business is helpful because promoting events is a large part of the job. Many higher education institutions offer master’s degrees in arts administration or master’s of business (MBA) degrees with a concentration in arts administration.
Job Outlook: Wage and salary jobs in arts, entertainment, and recreation, in general, are projected to grow about 25 percent over the 2004-14 period, compared with 14 percent for all industries combined. However, the exact job outlook for arts administrators in particular is not provided.
Salary: Salaries vary greatly depending on the size of the hiring organization. Average earnings for marketing managers in the performing arts are $85,340, and average earnings for sales managers are $93,940.
Where are the best cities to live to find jobs like yours?
Every city larger than 50,000 and most campuses have positions for arts managers.
What is your typical day like?
My job entails a lot of correspondence email and phone calls are a part of the day since they are vital to moving projects along. I’m involved in a couple of strategy sessions per week and I do updates in budget as well as meet with the two staff members who report to me.
What are your job responsibilities?
I manage artist contracts, help with visa issues for foreign performers, watch the budgets of the facility and manage funds flow
What is your favorite part of your job?
Heading to performances as a spectator knowing that I had a small part in making it happen.
What do you dislike about your job?
My current position required that I give up teaching ballet class, and I miss the student contact.
Have you had any turning point or “light bulb” moments in your career that have helped you get to where you are today?
Not really, but ending my dance career certainly forced me to focus on what’s next.
How did you know you wanted to pursue this career?
I got involved in dance in college and I also attended the Joffrey Ballet School. I knew then that I wanted to be a part of the arts in some way always.
How did you get into this industry?
I retired from dance at the ripe old age of 27, wanted to move into management, but made the decision to go to school to get a degree first. My most recent job came from the university making a $64 million
investment in a new facility and I moved over from the old facility to the new one.
What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishment?
I am very proud of a short but enjoyable dance career. I have also been proud of developing an audience for theater at Notre Dame. In 1998, we ran over 90 percent capacity for the season.
If you weren’t doing this job, what similar careers might you consider?
I would very much enjoy working with a dance company.
What professional publications do you read?
Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), International Ticketing Association (PNTIX), Venues Today.
What advice do you have for others who would like to pursue this career?
Find an MBA in the arts program.