Why Work for an Arts and Culture Charity?

3 minute read

Most people don’t realise that many art foundations and museums are actually charities and non-profits. They rely on private donations, government funding and the support of their local community. And they’re always after bright, eager candidates to join their team and help them to continue to flourish.

Working for an arts and culture charity can offer an unparalleled level of job satisfaction and sense of fulfilment. Wherever your passion lies, whether it’s music, painting or ballet, you can follow it. And working in an area you’re genuinely interested in will make you the best champion of your cause.

Think a job in an arts and culture charity may be right for you? Let’s take a closer look.


What is an arts charity?

Arts charities can be anything from museums and galleries to theatres and world heritage sites. They include places like the Tate Gallery, the National History Museum and the National Youth Theatre. They also include organisations that use art in community outreach and aid.

Why Work for an Arts and Culture Charity?

Why do they need funding?

The short answer: to keep the doors open. The big national bodies wouldn’t be where they are today without the donations that enable them to be at the forefront of their fields. Funding is what allows the Royal Shakespeare Company to put on the finest productions of Shakespeare’s plays. Donations mean galleries can attract great talents and nurture new ones.

Many arts charities put their funding into research, supporting artists and bringing the arts to those for whom they might not be quite so accessible, such as in lower-income and deprived areas. Through outreach work, they champion the talents of those who may not have otherwise been recognised. Additionally, a number of arts charities acknowledge the therapeutic and transformative qualities of art and bring them into people’s lives for the better.

There’s a whole spectrum of charities who use the arts to lift the spirits of those in hospital, to give carers a break or moment of relief, to bring change to those in prison, and to boost self-esteem and support in marginalised communities. Whatever work it is they undertake, raising funds is absolutely crucial to enable them to do it.

What roles are available?

There’s a large diversity of roles available in arts and culture charities. So there’s bound to be something that fits your passions and skillset. If you’ve been working in the corporate sector, many of your skills and experiences will be relevant for the charity sector. Charities often need marketers, finance professionals and data analysts, to name a few.

Arts and culture charities also employ for charity-specific roles such as fundraising and event management. They’ll occasionally need more specialised roles as well. For example, a tour manager for a music theatre, or a filming manager for a large historic estate.

Why Work for an Arts and Culture Charity?

Why get involved?

If you’re passionate about art, working for a charity that promotes and preserves it is a bit of a no-brainer. For fundraisers and marketers, it’s easy to get excited about what already interests you. You can pass on that enthusiasm much more readily when encouraging others to donate or participate in events. Working for an arts charity can also often mean access to great assets such as event spaces, wonderful buildings and artists themselves―making putting on a fundraiser a whole lot easier!

There are many people who love arts without being involved as an artist themselves. If you’re one of them, then working for an arts and culture charity is a great way to carve out a career based on your interests. You may find that attending cultural events is part of your job, so if that’s something you enjoy anyway, then great! It can even be an amazing backstage pass to meet your heroes, particularly if it’s a theatre, orchestra or gallery you’re working for. In the world of arts charities, it’s easy to find your passion and your work seamlessly colliding.

Think this may be the right career path for you? Take a look at what jobs are available at arts and culture charities and starting applying today.


This post was originally published in 2019. We’ve updated it to ensure relevance and to reflect the current job seeker experience.


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