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Career and Education Opportunities for Artistic Directors in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Artistic director career and educational opportunities abound in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. There are currently 540 working artistic directors in Iowa; this should grow by 12% to about 600 working artistic directors in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for artistic directors are expected to grow by about 9.8%. In general, artistic directors audition and interview performers to select most appropriate talent for parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions.

A person working as an artistic director can expect to earn about $22 per hour or $45,840 annually on average in Iowa and about $30 hourly or $64,430 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for artistic directors are the same as in the overall category of Theater, Film, and Television in Iowa, and the same as the overall Theater, Film, and Television category nationally. Artistic directors work in a variety of jobs, including: production director, casting director, and artistic associate.

There are thirteen schools of higher education in the Cedar Rapids area, including three within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can get a degree to start your career as an artistic director. Given that the most common education level for artistic directors is a Bachelor's degree, it will take about four years to learn to be an artistic director if you already have a high school diploma.


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 Cedar Rapids 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.
  • 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.


Coe College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Coe College, 1220 First Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-5092. Coe College is a small college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,326 students and an admission rate of 63%. Coe College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated one student in 2008.

Cornell College - Mount Vernon, IA

Cornell College, 600 First St. SW, Mount Vernon, IA 52314-1098. Cornell College is a small college located in Mount Vernon, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,115 students and an admission rate of 44%. Cornell College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated one student in 2008.

University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA

University of Iowa, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316. University of Iowa is a large university located in Iowa City, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,475 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Iowa has 4 areas of study related to Artistic Director. They are:

  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree which graduated eleven, zero, and twelve students respectively in 2008.
  • Directing and Theatrical Production, master's degree.
  • Film/Cinema Studies, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated nine, three, and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Cinematography and Film/Video Production, master's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.


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For more information, see the Project Management Institute website.


Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.