Name this job in the Arts
August 1, 2010 12:54 AM   Subscribe

Name this job! My friend works a variety of skilled odd jobs in the arts, for wont of a better term. She needs help naming what it is that she does.

She does a lot of short term jobs, in which she helps organise cultural or arts events, doing logistics, marketing, grant writing, book keeping etc. Artists will hire her to help them produce/project manage their installations. Non-profit arts organisations get her on board to figure out processes and file management and manage their accounts. She stage manages at festivals and manages tours for artists and musicians.

What she does is so diverse and varied that she has a hard time identifying her job. So far, we've come up with "creative logistics", although googling that term came up with a bunch of courier/freight companies.

Is there an existing term that would describe what she does? If not, can you come up with one? She's kind of a consultant, producer, project manager for artists, musicians, festivals and non-profits. But that's too wordy for a business card!

Thank you!
posted by mooza to Work & Money (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Paging divabat!

My friend gretchin (also a MeFite) who does some part of what your friend does, on her website Scarlet Star Studios calls herself a "creative advocate."
posted by cgc373 at 1:15 AM on August 1, 2010

Dude, do I know you? Because this is almost exactly my job description!

I'm generally known as the Merch Girl (link in profile), though that's more a biz/persona name than a job description. Title-wise I say I am an Interdisciplinary Iconoclast: performance artist, production assistant, and creative producer. On my business card I have "Tiara the Merch Girl: Create More Awesome".

I would actually suggest going with the multi-title role, since this is essentially multiple jobs in one. Production and creative management, facilitation, and assistance. Making creative people's lives easier. Most Useful Person.

Or go the Wile E Coyote way and call yourself a Genius.
posted by divabat at 1:16 AM on August 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Creative Support Services ?

I think a slogan would be better, say something like, enabling artists to be creative
posted by quarsan at 1:18 AM on August 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

My card, which is admittedly more of a calling card than a straight-faced business card, describes me as "consultant &/or collaborator."
posted by soviet sleepover at 3:33 AM on August 1, 2010

I do a lot of that stuff too. I tend to go for "creative coordinator" or, depending on the job, "creative consultant." One of the joys and/or curses of freelance work is that you have no fixed job title – you can change it depending on the direction you want to nudge your CV.
posted by him at 3:53 AM on August 1, 2010

Art Concierge?
posted by prettymightyflighty at 3:58 AM on August 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

I would say freelance arts administrator.
posted by oulipian at 5:04 AM on August 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

She's kind of a consultant, producer, project manager for artists, musicians, festivals and non-profits. But that's too wordy for a business card!

OK, but does it have to be much less wordy than that? Why not shorten that just a little and say "Producer and Manager for Musicians, Artists, and Organizations"? Or something else with a list like that (similar to divabat's idea).

I think if she's any more concise, people will be left scratching their heads. For instance, "Arts Administrator" is very concise and theoretically includes everything you've talked about -- but "administrator" is rather bureaucratic, and "arts" would have musicians wondering if she has anything to offer them.

Or maybe give two or three titles ("Producer/Manager/Consultant"), and have some kind of slogan somewhere else on the card that mentions music/art/creativity.

FYI, it's "want," not "wont."
posted by Jaltcoh at 5:13 AM on August 1, 2010

And there's no law that says you have to have one business card. She can have a few with the job description/title tweaked slightly to hand out to the appropriate person.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:29 AM on August 1, 2010

I like the suggestions of listing multiple roles on a card or of coming up with a creative slogan that describes more conceptually what she does.

It might be easier, from that standpoint, to create a list of terms that shouldn't be used - Arts Administrator sounds like someone who works in a museum, and both Producer and Manager also imply very specific roles that it doesn't seem like she has much to do with.
posted by Sara C. at 5:40 AM on August 1, 2010

At some point, the title is Producer; the person who produces the event. For working with artists, the title is Manager. Both do have specific connotations. I like Arts Project Manager, and would recommend project management training.
posted by theora55 at 5:49 AM on August 1, 2010

In French, this line of work can be called "cultural engineering". It's stretching the definition a little bit but some of the stuff she does falls into this category.
posted by elgilito at 7:23 AM on August 1, 2010

I have an idea!

Orient the business card vertically. At the top, name [or business name], web site & phone number. At the bottom, with the words oriented sideways and with dashed lines in between each word, have "Producer", "Manager", "Consultant" (or whatever terms you like).

It would look like one of those signs you see on bulletin boards with the little tear-off pieces with the contact information. The implication being that the receiver would "tear off" whichever role they needed to fill (though obviously they would take the entire card). If you're brave you could even slightly cut between the words instead of using a dashed line, but I'd worry that it would tend to crinkle up or something.

You like?
posted by wwartorff at 7:54 AM on August 1, 2010

Your friend is a producer. Producers have no definite job description. Instead, they do whatever they can or are asked to do to make a project successful.

This sounds exactly like what your friend does.
posted by tylerfulltilt at 9:11 AM on August 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

Executive Arts Coordinator
posted by naplesyellow at 9:25 AM on August 1, 2010

I do a similar job, but for one organization not freelance. My actual title does not describe what I do at all so I tell people that I am an artist wrangler. Probably wouldn't put that on a business card though- for that I like elgilito's suggestion of "cultural engineer".
posted by entropyiswinning at 10:18 AM on August 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yay, so many great answers. It's wrinkling my brain. Thanks for the correction Jaltcoh, I used to get that one right.

I sort of like creative advocate or artist wrangler so far, we're into the single job title thing and producer/manager/etc feels a bit dry. If anyone has more biz card/slogan ideas would love to hear them, they are great so far!
posted by mooza at 2:30 PM on August 1, 2010

Artist wrangler! I consider my stage management work to be "herding cats" so that's a good one!
posted by divabat at 2:35 PM on August 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

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