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Community arts worker: Job description

Community arts workers collaborate with a wide variety of local groups, encouraging the use of artistic activities to support their development and improve their quality of life. Generally, they work in areas where there are social, cultural or environmental issues to be addressed. They use a whole range of art forms to engage with these different community groups, including visual arts, theatre, dance, music, craft, creative writing, carnival arts and film.

Community arts worker is more of an umbrella term as job titles tend to relate quite closely to the role or type of work, for example arts development officer, youth engagement officer, youth arts practitioner, and community projects assistant. Creative practitioners are usually freelance creative professionals.

Project work may fall into categories such as race, gender, disability, health and the environment, and may focus on the following groups:

  • young people, especially those at risk;
  • young offenders;
  • homeless people;
  • people with disabilities and mental health conditions;
  • ethnic minorities;
  • the elderly;
  • drug and alcohol users.

Depending on the role, the work varies considerably between the facilitation and delivery of creative projects and more administrative responsibilities.

Typical work activities

The work may vary between arts development, arts outreach work and youth arts and education. In some local government positions, the role will have more of an administrative and project management focus and the artistic input will be provided by freelance community artists or professionals.

In arts companies, agencies or charities, the community arts worker will coordinate, project manage and may also deliver alongside freelance artists.

Community artists who work on a freelance basis may be involved in all aspects of the project including managing, delivery and fundraising.

Typical activities, depending on the nature of the role, include:

  • working with a wide range of community groups to identify their needs and then adapting projects to meet these needs;
  • negotiating with community groups to see what art form they would like to use for the project;
  • designing and delivering programmes and workshops to engage different communities;
  • teaching different art techniques through workshops and classes;
  • helping groups to develop artwork for their own community;
  • project managing one-off events, such as festivals, and longer-term projects, including the setting up, monitoring and evaluation of the project;
  • building up a pool of arts professionals to hire in or work with for projects;
  • administrative duties including bid writing, fundraising and managing budgets;
  • offering advice and support to community groups on fundraising and forming projects;
  • liaising with a wide range of people and organisations including local authorities, schools, companies for sponsorship, freelance professionals and specialist workers;
  • marketing and publicising projects via social media, the press, etc;
  • managing and supporting volunteers.
 
 
AGCAS
Written by AGCAS editors
Date: 
December 2013
 

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