Careers in Arts, Audio/Video Technology, and Communications focus on designing, producing, exhibiting, performing, writing, and publishing multimedia content including visual and performing arts and design, journalism and entertainment services.

The Arts can be divided into Performing Arts, Visual Arts, and Arts Management. The Performing Arts describes a diverse range of human activities and the products of those activities, such as music, theatre, dance, and interactive media. Visual Arts create works which are visual in nature, such as ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, crafts, modern visual arts (photography, video, and filmmaking), and architecture. Arts Management involves facilitating the day-to-day operations of the organization and fulfilling the mission of organizations, such as theaters, museums, symphonies, art galleries, symphonies, and music companies.

How to Get Started

4 steps to get you started in the Arts

  • Join a student organization related to the arts, such as AIGA, GMU Printmaker's Guild, and Graduate Arts Management Society.
  • Volunteer at an art organization of interest to make yourself more competitive for internships and jobs. You can search for volunteer opportunities with art organizations at VolunteerMatch (browse Arts & Culture). 
  • Complete at least one internship at an art organization/department before graduation. Many employers offer full-time positions to their interns.
  • Join a professional association related to the arts in which you are interested. See the Associations Unlimited database for a full list of professional associations.


Skills needed for a career in the Arts

  • Communication Skills
  • Analytical, Critical and Research Skills
  • Design Skills
  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • Time Management and Organizational Skills
  • Self-presentation
  • Self-awareness
  • Resilience
  • Open to constructive criticism
  • Multimedia Production/Editing
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • HTML
  • Marketing
  • Project Management
  • Grant Writing

Degrees and Certifications

Degrees and Certifications for this industry

  • View relevant degree programs at Petersons
  • George Mason School of Art degree options 
  • Arts Management is a developing field established to meet the ever-growing demand for leadership and organizational expertise within arts and cultural organizations, both private and public. Arts managers bridge the worlds of performing and visual arts with applied managerial, financial, and programmatic skills. Learn more about the Arts Management program at Mason and how it can position you for a successful career in the arts!" 


Job Functions


Actors usually interpret the work of a writer under the instruction and support of a director, create a character or improvise the reactions of a character to a situation.


Dancers use movement, gesture and body language to portray a character, story, situation or abstract concept to an audience, usually to the accompaniment of music. This normally involves interpreting the work of a choreographer, although it may sometimes require improvisation.


A musician is an instrumentalist, composer, or singer who creates and performs music. This can be recorded in a studio or performed live, either as a soloist or in a group of musicians. Musicians may be salaried or work freelance.

Stage Manager

Stage managers coordinate all aspects of a theatre company to ensure the successful delivery of the performance. This involves managing rehearsals, actors, technicians, props and costume fittings, as well as liaising with front of house staff and the director.


Directors coordinate the practical and creative interpretation of a dramatic script or musical score. They are involved at all stages of the process, from the budget, design and pre-production stages and rehearsal right through to the final performance.

Fine Arts

A life in the fine arts (including drawing, painting, graphic design, etc.) can be hard, involving solitary work, the misunderstanding of family and friends, and low pay. But, artists tend to do what they love, set their own hours, and feel as if they are positively contributing to the world.


Filmmakers write scripts, scout for locations, cast actors, secure funding, buy and manage equipment, and film or tape the movie himself or herself. Filmmakers range from all levels – from small independent filmmakers to Hollywood names like Martin Scorsese.