Three Tips for Aspiring Arts Administrators

Over the summer of 2019, I interned at the Pittsburgh Festival Opera as their arts admin intern. I met so many people and learned vital skills to help me in my future career. Here are three things that I learned:

  1. Everyone that I spoke to about pursuing a career by obtaining a graduate degree said: “EXPERIENCE TRUMPS GRAD SCHOOL”. In this field, I could definitely see this being true. Maybe putting yourself out there is exactly what you want to do next! If not, here’s a list of the 2020 Top Colleges for Arts Management.
  2. Jobs are everywhere if you just look. Have you ever heard the phrase, “There are few jobs for classically trained musicians”? Well, that is not true whatsoever, and the same goes for arts admin. Check out Indeed.com for a list of job postings!
  3. Get familiar with the tech side and artistic side of management. There were so many times when my mentor would send me over to help the lighting crew, and I had no idea what I was doing. You should also learn how to house manage, stage-manage, company manage, and basically everything else.  During your company’s season, especially if it’s a festival, you may have to step in for someone completely out of your department. This tends to happen more often than not when you’re an intern.

These three things that I learned change the way that I see arts administration. As the administration, you are the backbone holding everything together.

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