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Community arts worker

Community arts workers help local communities plan and take part in activities like drama, dance, painting, and photography.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £16,000 to £28,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll usually need qualifications and experience in a specialist area of the arts like music, visual arts, dance, drama, music or creative writing.

Paid or unpaid work experience in education, or event or project management would be helpful.

A college or university qualification in community arts might also be useful, but isn't essential.

You'll need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • strong communication and 'people' skills
  • enthusiasm and self-motivation
  • the ability to organise your time and work to deadlines
  • project management skills
  • the ability to motivate community members and build up their confidence
  • the ability to use initiative and be creative

3. What you'll do

You'll work to improve the quality of life in communities where there may be social or cultural issues.

You'll be involved in practical creative work, or be responsible for recruiting and managing others.

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • working with local community groups to identify needs and concerns
  • developing new groups and activities
  • creating artwork and helping community members develop their own ideas
  • promoting and organising input from other arts workers
  • leading meetings and training activities
  • advising on grants, sponsorship and other sources of funding
  • writing funding bids and proposals, managing budgets and general administration
  • publicising activities through the press, local radio, leaflets and social media
  • managing and assessing projects

You'll often work with organisations like health, housing, youth and education services.

4. Salary

Starter: £16,000 to £18,000

Experienced: £24,000

Highly Experienced: £28,000

Contracts are often short-term or part-time.

If you're freelance, you'll usually charge a daily rate and the amount you get may depend on your experience and the budget.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

Your working hours will depend on the needs of the community and the projects you're involved in.

Weekend and evening work is common, and longer hours are often needed as you get close to a deadline or a performance.

You'll be based in places like community centres, libraries, youth centres, schools, prisons and care homes.

You may be involved in outside events like festivals, carnivals and street theatre.

Travel between sites may be required.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could work freelance and run larger projects with bigger budgets.

In larger organisations, you could progress to a more senior or management role.

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Last updated: 14 September 2017