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Cultural managers are responsible for the policies, projects and programs related to arts and heritage in a community. They identify common interests around their town, city or region and provide opportunities for groups and individuals to learn about and celebrate their culture. Cultural managers might also be known as cultural arts coordinators or cultural programs managers. They may work for museums, theaters, galleries, departments of cultural affairs, non-profit organizations or arts councils.
Learning and Multitasking
Cultural managers typically need a valid driver’s license and a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in public or arts administration, art history, recreation, social science or a closely related field. They should have experience in public relations, public programming, word processing, marketing, fundraising and budgeting. Cultural managers frequently walk, stand, sit, bend, crouch, kneel and crawl, and periodically move or lift up to 50 pounds of force. To do the job effectively you should be decisive, creative, analytical, flexible and have strong interpersonal skills.
Launching Heritage Activities
Cultural managers handle all aspects of researching, preparing and promoting community events or programs related to heritage or the arts, including lectures, classes, camps, concerts and performances. They present program ideas to commissions, councils and community organizations to gather sponsorships, grants and funding sources. Cultural managers issue informational materials such as brochures, newsletters or press releases. They book visual, performance or literary artists for events and typically collaborate with other event stakeholders to go over important details.
Handling Important Details
Cultural managers study changes and trends in the community to determine if they should modify their offerings. For example, as people spend more time working and less time on leisure activities, managers might work to provide more engaging and focused programs or events designed to help people forget about their daily routines. They’re also in charge of responding to questions, comments and requests from the media and the public. In addition, cultural managers interview, hire, train and coach teams of volunteer, part-time and full-time staff members. They might also schedule and oversee service, maintenance and janitorial activities for cultural centers or events.
Advancing and Earning
Cultural managers may take on additional duties as they gain experience. For example, those who work for the city may be put in charge of displaying cultural artifacts in the city’s museum and organizing museum tours. A cultural manager's pay depends on her employer and location. For example, the California Arts Council offered between $102,528 and $128,160 annually to the heritage and cultural arts manager of Dublin, California in September 2011. In August 2013, the city of Evanston, Illinois offered between $69,637 and $100,974 a year to its cultural arts coordinator.