Artistic directors may work freelance or for event management companies, depending on their specific choice and placement.
These individual are responsible for making sure that a concert or play (or a similar event) is run properly and without hitches from conception to the very end. Working as an artistic director is no child’s play as it requires a lot in terms of aesthetic sense and mental and physical hard work.
Typically, artistic directors work closely with all people involved in a production. This includes managers, performers, soloists, musicians, actors, backstage personnel, volunteers, and even suppliers. It is imperative for them to possess exceptional communication and coordination skills to be able to work on the same page with all these people. Of course, ability to determine and work with artistic detail, and great aesthetics are prerequisites of working at this job.
A degree in music or another art form is required to be able to do justice to the work of an artistic director. Some experience of working in a similar capacity, or even exposure to it in a volunteer position will go a long way in convincing a hiring manager to take your candidature seriously.
Artistic directors working for theater companies may find themselves looking at great challenges in terms of organizing stage space and performers to ensure that their organized events run faultlessly.
The following list has some of the main duties that an artistic director is expected to perform:
• Work with theater / event managers to determine event themes and decide what paths to take to acquire talent
• Conceive, develop and implement the artistic vision and focus of the company
• Network with other organizations, music directors and community members to increase visibility and encourage collaboration
• Organize annual performance schedules such as concerts, plays and outreach programs
• Design each performance’s theme according to the instructions provided for it
• Create and maintain effective liaison with technicians, musicians, actors, soloists and backstage personnel
• Manage communications and logistics for community performances, especially for out of state performers
• Conduct auditions on a regular basis to acquire required talent, and identify the need for hiring volunteers
• Select and coach soloists and small group ensembles and supervise mock performances
• Supervise volunteers’ coordinating travel, food and accommodation details for performers, and intervene to ensure that all areas are properly covered
• Identify concert and play themes, and ensure that appropriate music is researched for them, and that licenses and permissions are acquired