Industry Highlight: Arts

Exploring careers in the arts can be overwhelming because of the many subsets of the industry. To narrow down into concentrations, let’s think of art careers in these categories:


Performing Arts
Within the performing arts are artists such as dancers, actors, musicians, and singers—artists who use their body or voice to convey artistic expression, also playwrights, music writers, etc.  In addition, this includes many positions like choreographers, sound and lighting, costume designers, etc. that would work with a particular performing group or establishment.

Visual Arts
Art forms that create visual work such as painting, sculpting, ceramics, drawing, photography, video/filmmaking and more.

Arts Management
This field is considered the business of the arts with positions most often found in non-profit organizations that work with various forms of the arts, such as museums, theatres, performance spaces, galleries, studios or education programs. Functional roles could be in fundraising & development, education programming, marketing & advertising, finance & accounting, event planning and more. Also included in this area is entertainment management for example, working in the music industry with an artist.

Art Education
This area combines art and teaching into a single profession. It’s not limited to teaching art in an elementary, middle, or high school, but also community art programs or designing educational programs and events at a museum.

Applied Arts
A branch of the visual arts, this area focuses on the application of design and decoration to everyday objects to make them aesthetically pleasing. Different fields under this area include industrial design, graphic design, fashion design, interior design and decorative arts. The field of architecture would also be considered an applied art.

As you think about seeking opportunities in the arts, consider these resources to research specific areas within the arts:

Association of Performing Arts Presenters

American Alliance of Museums

New York Foundation for the Arts

National Guild for Community Arts Education

Dance USA

Art Search (inquire with Career Services for password)

Work in the Arts


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