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Career and Education Opportunities for Artistic Directors in Birmingham, Alabama

If you want to be an artistic director, the Birmingham, Alabama area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 690 people are currently employed as artistic directors in Alabama. By 2016, this is expected to grow 13% to about 780 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for artistic directors are expected to grow by about 9.8%. Artistic directors generally audition and interview performers to select most appropriate talent for parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions.

The income of an artistic director is about $23 hourly or $49,240 per year on average in Alabama. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $30 per hour or $64,430 annually on average. Artistic directors earn the same as people working in the category of Theater, Film, and Television generally in Alabama and the same as people in the Theater, Film, and Television category nationally. Artistic directors work in a variety of jobs, including: contestant coordinator, entertainment agent, and talent agent.

The Birmingham area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree as an artistic director. Artistic directors usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying to be an artistic director if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Artistic Director

In general, artistic directors audition and interview performers to select most appropriate talent for parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions.

Artistic directors decide on performers for roles or submit records of suitable performers to producers or directors for final selection. They also inspect performer data such as photos and union membership, so as to decide whom to audition for parts. Equally important, artistic directors have to audition and interview performers so as to match their attributes to specific roles or to increase the pool of available acting talent. They are often called upon to read scripts and talk with producers in order to establish the types and numbers of performers required for a given production. They are expected to attend or view productions so as to maintain knowledge of available actors. Finally, artistic directors contact agents and actors in order to furnish notification of audition and performance opportunities and to schedule audition times.

Every day, artistic directors are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for artistic directors to ready actors for auditions by providing scripts and data related to roles and casting requirements. They are often called upon to serve as liaisons between directors and agents. They also manage and/or layout screen tests or auditions for prospective performers. They are sometimes expected to maintain talent files that include data such as performers' specialties and availability. Somewhat less frequently, artistic directors are also expected to locate performers or extras for crowd and background scenes, and stand-ins or photo doubles for actors, by direct contact or through agents.

And finally, they sometimes have to negotiate contract agreements with performers or between performers and agents or production companies.

Like many other jobs, artistic directors must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Actor. Play parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions for entertainment, information, or instruction. Interpret serious or comic role by speech, gesture, and body movement to entertain or inform audience. May dance and sing.
  • Director. Interpret script, conduct rehearsals, and direct activities of cast and technical crew for stage, motion pictures, or radio programs.
  • Film or Videotape Editor. Edit motion picture soundtracks, film, and video.
  • Music Composer. Write and transcribe musical scores.
  • Music Director. Direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups.
  • Producer. Plan and coordinate various aspects of radio, television, or motion picture production, such as selecting script, coordinating writing, directing and editing, and arranging financing.
  • Program Director. Direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in preparation of radio or television station program schedules and programs.
  • Radio and Television Announcer. Talk on radio or television. May interview guests, act as master of ceremonies, read news flashes, identify station by giving call letters, or announce song title and artist.
  • Singer. Sing songs on stage, radio, or motion pictures.
  • Technical Director. Coordinate activities of technical departments, such as taping, editing, and maintenance, to produce radio or television programs.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Artistic Director Training

Birmingham Southern College - Birmingham, AL

Birmingham Southern College, 900 Arkadelphia Road, Birmingham, AL 35254. Birmingham Southern College is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,458 students and an admission rate of 69%. Birmingham Southern College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated two students in 2008.

University of Montevallo - Montevallo, AL

University of Montevallo, Station 6001, Montevallo, AL 35115-6000. University of Montevallo is a small university located in Montevallo, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,030 students and an admission rate of 78%. University of Montevallo has 2 areas of study related to Artistic Director. They are:

  • Radio and Television, bachelor's degree which graduated 20 students in 2008.
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Samford University - Birmingham, AL

Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229-2240. Samford University is a small university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,469 students and an admission rate of 89%. Samford University has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated twelve students in 2008.

University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL 35294-0110. University of Alabama at Birmingham is a large university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,149 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Alabama at Birmingham has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated nineteen students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Program Management Professional: Project Management Institute's newest credential is specifically developed to acknowledge the qualifications of the professional who leads the coordinated management of multiple projects and ensures the ultimate success of a program.

For more information, see the Project Management Institute website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.