London is the arts capital of the UK, home to many important British film companies, world-famous art galleries, Britain’s biggest record companies and of course, the West End.
Indeed, each year, millions of people visit West End theatres. Ticket sales reportedly reached £528 million in 2011, and rose even higher in 2012. An internally-renowned tourist destination, the West End has proved very resilient to recession and there are many employment opportunities to be sought.
There are also many art galleries in London, employing curators, administrators, fund raisers and marketing professionals. London’s inner-city areas have also given birth to a number of charities that use arts to promote education and equality – for example youth charities that visit schools and perform educational plays or conduct poetry workshops. There is often work for technicians too, be it in lighting or sound for example. Arts and film organisations often advertise for ‘installers’ as well, to help with the set-up of backdrops.
Many of the jobs in London’s arts sector are either freelance or contract, even when it comes to arts administration roles. Sometimes staff will supplement their income or take temporary jobs in employment gaps.
Artist/actor sourcing and casting tends to be handled by agents, management and casting staff. Recruitment agencies that specialise in arts often tend to focus on the arts administration/management or technical side of the industry. This can be extremely useful for busy arts managers that need fast access to capable professionals without the financial commitment of full-time contracts.