Working at An Lanntair: Head of Marketing

  • Published on: 26th September 2016
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Tumadh Exhibition, commissioned by An Lanntair as part of Generation in 2014.

With one week to go until the deadline for this opportunity, the current Head of Marketing, Kathryn Lamont Smith has written this blog giving a little insight into her time as An Lanntair’s Head of Marketing…

Name: Kathryn Lamont Smith
Job title: Head of Marketing, An Lanntair Arts Centre, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis

How did you get into arts marketing? I have worked in a huge number of jobs within the arts and have loved nearly all of them. I was working in museum education following finishing my undergraduate degree and after some travelling and time out I knew I wanted to go in a new direction. I went back to Glasgow University and did my post grad and it was the best thing I ever did. From there I moved to London where I worked in Visitor Services at Tate Britain before moving to Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres. Though Maggie’s is a cancer charity they recognise the importance of art, architecture and design as a central part of health and wellbeing. This role gave me so many opportunities; from collections development, archiving and project and event management, to working directly with some of the world’s most renowned architects and designers. I loved travelling to all the centres throughout the UK but I missed Scotland so I was delighted when I was able to relocate to the Glasgow office. Not long after my return to Glasgow I was still finding city life hard so when I saw the Head of Marketing job at An Lanntair I jumped at the chance to return to island life. Once an islander, always an islander. An Lanntair had a huge influence on me growing up in Lewis and I had always wanted to work there. Island culture is really unique and I am so proud to be part of a team who work to promote it all over the world.

What’s a typical day like? No day is ever the same. This is one thing I love about my job. My role means I have to work across all departments in An Lanntair. This means I can be working with the Visual Arts Team on the latest exhibition, working on our social media and website, getting our latest print material out or meeting with local businesses or partners to develop new projects or corporate initiatives. I also manage the Box Office so I need to ensure all our sales are going well and the team are all okay. It can be crazy at times but I love the challenge.

What do you like most about your job? The fact I get to be involved in everything! I love working in our team to put on events such as Faclan, The Hebridean Book Festival, working with journalists and freelancers to write about and promote our upcoming commissions, festivals and projects. I am very proud to be able to work with local artists, writers, musicians and more to celebrate the culture of the Outer Hebrides.

And what do you find challenging? That there is just me. I manage the marketing across the entire arts centre and that can be tough. I have to be extremely organised and plan ahead as much as possible. Luckily I love a good list.

What’s your career highlight so far? I have learned and done so much since I started at An Lanntair. I have to say launching the new bilingual An Lanntair website and seasonal brochure after only being here for a year was a good point. There have been so many others but that one definitely stands out.

What would you be doing if you weren’t in arts marketing? Landscape gardening. Working with Charles Jencks and other landscape architects at Maggie’s had a huge influence on me. I dream of having a huge sculpted garden one day.

And finally, how does your day end? I love yoga and swimming, I am also a big sewer and love making my own clothes. I am also a huge Netflix and film addict, having a projections husband does not help! We can spend hours binge watching.

Sum up your role in three words: Just keep juggling.