Our publications and programmes are designed to meet the professional needs of artists and the visual arts sector, identifying changing trends and responding to new needs. Founded in 1980, a-n the Artists Information Company is acknowledged as the leading UK agency for supporting artists and stimulating contemporary visual arts practice.
Through advocacy and information and from the perspective of artists, a-n's mission is to stimulate and support contemporary visual arts practice and affirm the value of artists in society.
Visual and applied artists are our largest constituency. We also attract participation from art and design students, arts officers, commissioners, cultural planners, curators, consultants, advisers, researchers and educators.
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We are a not-for-profit company earning 78% of our income through subscription, advertising and other sales. Arts Council England revenue funding enables us to keep subscription prices low for artists.
Our income is returned to the wider visual arts sector through our programmes including:
- AIR Artists Interaction and Representation as an integral ingredient in the a-n Artist subscription and membership.
- Jobs and opps as a 'recruitment agency' connecting artists and employers, promoting and analysing professional visual arts work and employment trends.
- Learning resources and toolkits for students, advisers and higher and further education tutors.
- Interface as a platform for new critical writing and professional development for writers.
- Artists' talking with artists stories, blogs and image bank of 8,000+ editorially-selected works
- Portfolio of specialist online publications and www.a-n.co.uk
Our policy is to stay small, flexible and responsive. Our work patterns and programmes are rooted in the context and concerns of visual and applied artists' practice. Many staff are artists, working on part-time employment or freelance contracts. We work extensively with artists and arts professionals throughout the UK, as freelance project and programme contributors and commissioning editors and advisers.
Research and collaborations
Our national and international networks include:
- Artesnet - Pan European HE network www.elia-artschools.org
- apd Artists Professional Development network www.apd-network.info/members.php
- Connected communities - AHRC-funded consortia of HEIs and arts organisations http://culturalintermediation.wordpress.com/about/
- CreativePeople - UK wide professional development for art and crafts www.creativepeople.org.uk
- N-Ten - US non-profit technology network nten.org/about
- Artworks - within the Navigator network of membership bodies www.artworksphf.org.uk/page/artworks-navigator
- Paradox fine art European forum http://paradox.wimbledon.ac.uk
As a specialist organisation, we provide evidence on visual arts matters to government and agencies including the Select Committee Inquiry on Markets for Art in 2005, the Arts Council's Turning Point advisory group in 2005/06, CCS Visual Arts Advisory Group since 2006 and the ACE RFO advisory group around reintroduction of peer review in 2008/09.
First published: a-n.co.uk July 2009, updated November 2012
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