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Empowering young creatives to pursue a career in the arts

Creative Careers in… Part 4: Art and Society


Art and Society

If you like helping people, putting the world to rights or getting political, there are plenty of creative jobs out there for you.

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Art Therapist

Art therapists help people to communicate difficult thoughts and feelings through visual media.  This could be drawing, painting, sculpting clay etc. You’ll need excellent interpersonal skills including empathy, patience, and a non-judgemental attitude. You’ll also need a good grasp of psychology and counselling skills, as well as artistic experience. To practice, you must be on a professional register, and this requires a recognised postgraduate qualification in Art Therapy.

Community Artist

Helping to improve the lives of people within communities, you may be working with specific groups such as ethnic minorities, young offenders, or people with disabilities – or on a specific theme or problem, such as environmental issues. You’ll be outgoing, good at managing projects and sourcing funding. You’ll also be great at getting people involved, building their confidence and helping them implement their ideas.  You will support people to work together and take pride in their joint efforts.

Charity Arts Administrator

Arts Administration roles are available in a number of areas, but there are certainly opportunities in charities and social enterprises. You could be looking after the day to day running of the organisation. You might arrange ongoing programmes of events, or work on a specific project. Administrators take minutes at meetings, book facilities and equipment, manage diaries and handle queries from outside the organisation. In smaller companies you may have a wide job description including some responsibilities for accounts, HR, public relations and so on. With a larger employer you will probably have a more specific role. You will need to be highly organised and good with office software, have strong communication skills, a positive attitude and ability to deal with problems.


A picture gets people’s attention much more than the written word. If you want to make people aware of what’s going on in the world, the right photo at the right time can have a great deal of power. You’ll need an interest in current affairs and strong technical skills, but also originality, quick thinking, and the ability to communicate a story visually. The work can be pressured and emotional, and is likely to involve regular travel.

Heritage Crafts Worker

If you’re interested in the history and culture of a society and are practical and creative, you may want to learn a traditional craft.  These include thatching, stonemasonry, boatbuilding or pottery, to name just a few. Such skills are in decline, yet are still needed for restoration projects, for learning about the past, and to celebrate our cultural heritage. You’ll need patience and commitment; you may need to enjoy working outdoors and doing physical activity, and you’ll be good with your hands.

Don’t forget – if you’re interested in any of these jobs, research them thoroughly. There are some useful links in the first post in this series, Introduction to Creative Careers.

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written by Beth Hammond

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