Reports to: Artistic Director

Hours: 22.5 hours per week

Salary: £19000 p.a. pro-rata

Dorchester Arts is seeking a part-time Programming Assistant to support the work of the Artistic Director (AD). The AD will continue to take the lead on programming but this new role will provide vital administrative and practical support for this busy and hugely important area of our activity. Depending on experience, the Programming Assistant may take the lead with specific areas of programming.

Main responsibilities

Supporting the Artistic Director in:

  • Developing the programming mix for each season and exploring new strands of programming
  • Proactively seeking out the right artists and performances for the programme up to 12 months in advance
  • Assessing and filtering incoming performance offers
  • Liaising with our partner venues and other arts organisations to expand knowledge of artists available and explore co-programming possibilities

Specific areas of responsibility:

  • Liaising with Dorchester Town Council (DTC) regarding the availability of venues (in particular The Corn Exchange) and ensuring that DTC are informed of our confirmed bookings
  • Seeking alternative venues as required
  • Keeping the programming spreadsheets up to date (including pending bookings) and communicating this information to the relevant members of staff and DTC employees as required
  • Issuing outgoing contracts and processing incoming ones
  • Following up with agents/artists on technical requirements and riders for the performance day, and agreeing these in accordance with agreed budgets
  • Discussing technical requirements with freelance sound and lighting technicians + others as required (piano tuners, piano movers, hire equipment suppliers etc) and booking their services in a timely manner
  • Liaising with DTC staff, in particular the Town Hall Keepers team, to ensure they are fully informed of seating layouts, technical requirements, special requirements etc.
  • Liaising with Administrator/Bar Manager re backstage riders, bar requirements, special catering arrangements etc
  • Liaising with the Marketing Manager regarding information for the website and box office, and agreeing on-sale dates
  • Liaising with agents/artists on the day of performance, from get-in, through set-up, to handover to Duty Manager OR arranging this if not a weekday or a working day for Programmer
  • Providing feedback to visiting companies as requested
  • Creating audience reports for the Artistic Director to assess the success of individual events and strands of programming (supported by the Finance Manager)

Person specification


  • Prior experience of working in the arts sector
  • Evidence of an interest in the arts, particularly live performance
  • Knowledge of the technical requirements for live theatre and music events
  • Ability to work to set targets
  • Experience of managing events calendars and budgets
  • Ability to work both independently and within a team
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and to deadlines
  • Ability to work flexibly when required (some evenings/weekends)
  • Ability to manage competing priorities
  • IT skills (in particular MS Office)


  • Experience of programming a variety of live performances, including theatre, music and comedy
  • Experience of working in a live performance venue
  • Experience of handling contracts with performers and agents

Applications must be made by 9am on Monday May 8th. Interviews will take place in the week commencing May 15th. A full job description can be downloaded via the links below or by calling 01305 266926 and requesting a job description by post.

Programming Assistant JD (MS Word)

Programming Assistant JD (pdf)

Applications should be made by submission of a CV and covering letter to the Artistic Director at or by post to:

The Artistic Director

Dorchester Arts

The Corn Exchange

High East Street

Dorchester DT1 1HF

Please mark postal application ‘Private and Confidential’

Closing date: 
Monday 8th May 2017
Opportunity type: