Community arts workers help local community groups to develop skills in the arts such as dance, theatre, music, video and the visual and literary arts, with the aim of improving quality of life and helping develop communities.
You could be:
working with community groups to adapt projects to their needs
designing and running activities in consultation with community groups to give people the chance to develop their creative potential
encouraging people to participate in the arts, particularly target groups such as prisoners, people with mental health issues, people who have a disability and those who are not in work
either providing projects across the arts or specialising in one aspect
advising on grants and writing bids for funding
advertising activities through newspapers, local radio and leaflets
working for local authorities, charities or voluntary organisations
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting salaries for community arts workers vary considerably but start at around £16,000 a year. With experience salaries may rise to around £20,000 to £32,000 and more for senior positions. Freelance work is common.
You may work in community centres, libraries, youth clubs, prisons, schools, residential or day care centres for older or disabled people.
You might work in one place or have to travel around a number of centres if you work with a large community.
Outdoor work may be necessary depending on the project you are involved in.
Hours can vary in community arts work, especially if you are producing performances for an audience, or work is open to the public.
You may have to work in the evenings and at weekends.
Much of the work is in short term funded projects which can range from a few months to a couple of years.
Most community arts workers are qualified in their specialist subjects, such as art, design, music, dance, drama or literature. They also have professional experience.
You usually require a Higher National Certificate (HNC), Higher National Diploma (HND) or degree in your chosen specialist subject. For entry to an HNC or HND you need 1 or 2 Highers, and for a degree, 4-5 Highers, including English. You may need to show evidence of ability in one of the arts – for example a portfolio of work.
There are currently no community arts courses available in Scotland.
Getting relevant voluntary work will improve your chances of entry to paid work in community arts. As with all jobs related to the creative or performing arts, the ability to make good contacts is vitally important.
You will require a satisfactory criminal record check from Disclosure Scotland to show that you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details on the type you would need.
A full UK driving licence is useful and sometimes necessary.
Creative and Cultural Skills is the Sector Skills Council for advertising, crafts, cultural heritage, design, music, performing, literary and visual arts.
Creative Choices is their career information website.