Fine and visual arts
Art teachers provide art education in public or private schools, institutions of higher learning, community centers, or even human service organizations. Although teaching in a public K-12 school will require a teaching certificate, this may not be the case in private K-12 settings, college continuing education programs, museum education departments, community arts centers, or even service organizations focused on youth or community outreach. Teaching at a college or similar institution usually requires an MFA, but sometimes artist educators are hired based on their exhibition record or artistic merits.
Museum or Gallery Technician
A museum or gallery technician may perform various duties depending on the scope of the position and the needs of the organization, but generally the role involves preparing, installing, deinstalling, restoring, and/or maintaining objects of art of various media. Other similar titles may be art handler, registrar, conservator, preparator, or archivist. These positions usually require a combination of experience handling artwork and a bachelor’s degree in fine arts or museum studies coursework. Depending on the requirements of the position, an advanced degree may also be necessary.
A curator generally oversees and manages a collection, conducts research, makes recommendations for acquisitions, selects for exhibition artists and artwork, and often initiates publication of supportive materials. Exact roles depend on the size and focus of the organization. At smaller organizations, curators may oversee an entire collection, whereas at larger organizations curators may specialize in a specific discipline or period. Generally, a Master’s or PhD is preferred for these roles, but smaller institutions may only require a bachelor's degree.
Some artists make a living by creating work on commission, often being hired to create a specific piece for individuals, businesses, and government or public entities. Public art is a common form of commissioned work, where artists create site-specific work on permanent or temporary display. Public art opportunities usually require a formal proposal.
The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) defines art therapy as a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art-making to improve and enhance the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. Often, practicing art therapy requires graduate level education and passing certification tests required by state or other local government entities.
In addition to the standard sections of Education, Honors/Awards, Activities, and Professional Experience, you may choose to include sections for published recognitions of your work (“Bibliography”), exhibitions in which you have participated (“Exhibitions”), and publications, productions, or shows in which you have been involved (for the performing arts and for writers/authors). For artists seeking careers in academia, a Curriculum Vitae is preferred and may extend up to four pages in length.
Individuals in the fine and performing arts may benefit from a résumé styled to feature unique information such as performance roles, art shows, or specialized training. Make an appointment with a career advisor to discuss your situation and develop a strategy to best present your creative experience.
These organizations can be great places to make connections, learn more about the field, and search openings. Many have discounted student memberships. There are numerous professional associates tied to arts as a whole.
Arts administration resources
Desired skills & Characteristics:
Tips for Breaking into the Film Industry:
writing, editing, and new media technology skills
- attention to detail
- knowledge of media theory and history
- problem solving skills
- a "can do" attitude
- team player
- ability to work under pressure with strict deadlines
- technical and software skills (e.g. Basic Photoshop, Illustrator, After Affects, Windows Movie Maker, Adobe Creative Suite, Final Cut Pro).
- Get a Production Assistant (PA) Internship
- Learn the industry
- A helpful resource to learn film lingo: The New York Film Academy Glossary of Film Terms
- Develop a Creative Portfolio: Begin a portfolio or create a media page that demonstrates your visual expression and imagination. For example, include images that convey a story, such as paintings, drawings, or photographic images (similar to storyboard); creative writing pieces, film scripts, theater scripts, film/video animation or documentary (no more than 10-15 minutes total running time). Sample website creators: WordPress, Clippings.me, Pressfolio, Flavors.me, Portfoliolounge.com
The film and Media Studies Department (FMST) offers courses in media theory, production, and sociopolitical and cultural experiences. Please visit the FMST
webpage for more information.
Colgate's Digital Media Services department hires student workers as Media Interns and Media Monitors. To learn more, please visit Digital Media Services
Fine and visual arts resources
Performing arts resources
Current Title and Organization:
Co-Artistic Director/ Resident Playwright, Spookfish Theatre Company
Major at Colgate:
Theater Arts and Mandarin Chinese
MFA in Playwriting, Columbia University
Q&A with Ming
- What do you currently do? I am the Co-Artistic Director, Resident Playwright, and Founder of the critically-acclaimed Spookfish Theatre Company. I am also a current NYTW 2050 Fellow, and a member of the Obie-award winning playwriting group Ensemble Studio Theater's Youngblood.
Major responsibilities include:
-Author and produce grants, proposals, press packets, and copy for website.
-Co-design all media including posters, programs, and advertisements.
-Develop events (productions and fundraisers) from conception to completion.
-Author performance texts.
-Edit performance texts.
-Organize mailing list and database.
-Work with primary group of artists to develop original artwork for company.
- What was your first position out of Colgate and what did you do in that role?
I started my own company, Spookfish Theatre Company, in 2010. I served in my current position as the Co-Artistic Director and Resident Playwright. Responsibilities were the same as above.
I also worked as a Teaching Artist at The China Institute of America, where I developed and ran a Theatre/Chinese Language learning program for Children Ages 4-8, in addition to a program geared towards Highschool students.
- How can students prepare themselves while at Colgate to work in your field?
Read as many performance texts as possible. Participate in University Theater productions. Try to create your own work and organize theatrical events outside of the opportunities provided by the university and student theater community (ex: I directed a play set in one of the Townhouses.) If possible, go abroad with a non-Colgate abroad program focused on theatre arts. For example, Tisch NYU has programs affiliated with The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London and The Shanghai Theatre Academy in Shanghai, China. Both excellent programs. During Summer, enroll in any additional classes and/or intensive summer programs available for Theatre Arts. Some programs have a more all-encompassing approach to theater, while others specialize in specific elements of the craft (ex. acting intensives, playwriting workshops). I attended the Stella Adler Summer Acting Program, but there are many to choose from based on your needs. Make sure to fully research any program you are planning on applying to, or feel free to reach out to me with questions.
- What extracurricular activities, associated with your profession or not, were you involved with while at Colgate?
University Theater, The Swinging 'Gates, Kappa Kappa Gamma
The recruiting timeline for the arts as a whole varies greatly, due to the amount of sub-industries within art itself. Many jobs in the arts are acquired through personal connections and networking.
Arts administration resources
The recruitment cycle of a typical hiring process for film jobs and internships begins in January and terminates in June. Job Search Resources:
Fine and visual arts resources
College Art Association Job Board Employers with significant representation: For Studio space/opportunities/fellowships/residencies: General Graduate Program Resources: Art Therapy Graduate Programs: Art Therapy Graduate Program:
Performing arts resources
Below are some opportunities that may interest you from naviGATE
, Colgate's internship and job database.
The Liberal Arts Career NetWORK (LACN) is a database of internships and entry-level jobs posted by employers interested in hiring liberal arts students.
Connect to Careers
Latest stories about internships, workshops, professional networks, and more.