Arts administrators (alternatively arts managers) work for arts and cultural organizations such as theatres, symphonies, "...art galleries, museums, arts festivals, arts centers, arts councils, regional arts boards, dance companies, community arts organizations, disability arts organizations, and local authorities."
An arts administrator in a small organization may do marketing,
event booking, and handle financial issues. An arts administrator for a
larger arts organization may be responsible for buildings and
facilities, creative staff (e.g., performers/artists), other
administrative staff, public relations, marketing, and writing reports.
A senior level-arts administrator may advise the Board of Directors
or other senior managers on "strategic planning and management
decisions. An effective arts administrator must also be knowledgeable in
local, state and federal public policy as it relates to human resources, health insurance, labor laws and volunteer risk management."
There are several notable professionals in the field. Philippe de Montebello was curator of New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art
from 1977-2008. On his retirement, he was both the longest-serving
director in the institution's history and the longest-serving director
of any major art museum in the world. Michael Maddox co-founded the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, home to Bolshoi Ballet and Bolshoi Opera,
which are amongst the oldest and grandest ballet and opera companies in
the world. Another notable figure in arts administration is John Lane
of John Lane's Ogunquit Playhouse in Ogunquit, Maine. Lane acquired the
playhouse in 1950 and successfully ran the organization, still
considered to be "America's foremost summer theatre," until his
retirement in 1994.