Changes and Challenges                   Ways Into the Field

Cultural Management

Cultural Managers

What do cultural managers do?

Whether you are the sole staff person in a cultural organization or part of an administrative team, you will be called upon to contribute to the many essential tasks and activities that make an organization healthy and successful. Indeed, the management and administrative tasks involved in running arts and heritage organizations are diverse and require creative solutions. The broad task areas are listed below.

But don’t think that you need to be able to do all of these things to begin a career in arts and heritage management. Many of the people profiled on these web pages have brought some skills to the job and learned many more over years in the cultural sector. In fact, being able and encouraged to bring your own experience into cultural management – including your culture and heritage, and artistic passion – is one of the exciting drawing cards in this field. You can be sure you will not be bored!

What Do Cultural Managers Do?

Market the organization's products

  • Conduct market research
  • Develop marketing plan
  • Ted tours, box office, retail sales, etc
  • Establish marketing budget
  • Produce marketing materials
  • Promote positive customer relations
  • Review previous marketing results

Manage fundraising and development

  • Develop fundraising plan & budget
  • Direct special events & fundraising activities
  • Nurture donor relations
  • Research fundraising opportunities
  • Solicit funds from governments & private sector

Support production

  • Contract production personnel
  • Establish production budget &schedule
  • Obtain required equipment
  • Supportongoing programs or exhibits
  • Supportthe development of an artistic vision

Manage facilities

  • Ensure proper maintenance of the facilities
  • Maintain personnel & building security
  • Manage facihties use
  • Plan & develop appropriate facilities

Manage financial resources

  • Manage cash flow, payables and receivables
  • Prepare, monitor & revise budgets
  • Prepare & monitor flnancal policies & procedures
  • Prepare operating, capital & cash-flow budgets

Manage human resources

  • Encourage collaboration Malin the organization • Facilitate Board governance
  • Identify human resource needs
  • Prepare HR plans, job descriptions, etc.
  • Prepare & monitor policies & procedures
  • Provide leadership & encourage teamwork
  • Recruit, orient, direct, train staff
  • Support, evaluate & provide feedback to staff

Manage information technology

  • Establish & maintain information systems
  • Maintain computer hardware
  • Maintain & use a range of computer applications

Manage administrative functions

  • Contract for goads, services & supplies
  • Ensure bylaw and policy compliance
  • Ensure compliance with government regulations
  • Establish office procedures

Manage myriad other key activities

  • Assist in intemal & public policy development
  • Conduct research & share findings
  • Develop & support program planning
  • Facilitate the use, review & revision of bylaws
  • Facilitate the use of strategic & long-range plans
  • Manage ongoing & special projects & programs
  • Manage public relations & communication
  • Monitor & evaluate plans, process. & projects
“Working in the arts is always challenging and rewarding. My work contributes to the enrichment of my community. I have had the opportunity to discover and meet some of Canada and the world’s most important and influential authors. Individuals interested in cultural management should take the opportunity to experience as much as their local arts community has to offer. Meeting artists and managers involved in the arts as well as volunteering with a local art group or event will give you a taste of what is involved.”
Daniel Rondeau, Marketing and Development Coordinator, Harbourfront Reading Series and International Festival of Authors, Toronto
“I am in the enviable position of combining almost all of my personal passions and professional skills in one great job. I work on a wide range of fine craft activities and projects – exhibitions, marketing ventures, web sites, publications, business training, export development, government advocacy, events – all focused on career development for professional and emerging craft artists. Like most cultural professionals, I could probably make more money doing something else but I do what I do by choice. I am motivated by the creativity of the people I work with and for, and challenged by generating fame and fortune for them.”
Tom McFall, Executive Director, Alberta Craft Council