Welcome to Compass, a publication from a-n The Artists Information Company that aims to support your professional development and professional practice programmes.
As a student on the LifeWorkArt project at Newcastle University recently said:
Professional development is very important. You develop an awareness of how to develop your profession. You learn about the things that go on. You learn about the network.
Developed in collaboration with specialists and experts, this publication is intended to support professional development teaching within Higher Education and by signposting the UK network of organisations providing information and advice, to assist students to make the transition to professional artist.
There are no right and wrongs when setting out on an arts career. Everybody approaches it from a different direction and succeeds on their own terms. What may be right for some may not be right for others and vice versa, but what you can do to maximise your chances of success, is to research.
Mark Gubb, artist, writer and part-time lecturer, University of Derby.
A recent survey by the APD network of UK organisations involved in delivering artists' professional development programmes has revealed a tapestry of over 160 agencies, web-based resources and building-based organisations dedicated to enhancing artists' professional practices. Compass contains listings of this network, indicating how their various resources and programmes are relevant to undergraduates, new graduates, and emerging artists and designer-makers. It also includes other key resources that have been recommended by an HE advisory group. For more information on the organisations participating in the APD network, visit www.apd-network.info
As a tutor on the Site-Specific Professional Practice modules at Levels 2 & 3 the APD network is invaluable. I am acutely aware of the discrepancy in the training/learning experiences of many emerging artists. As an educator I believe I must prepare fine art students to be highly aware of the professionalism needed to survive. I use the information published by a-n The Artists Information Company extensively on these modules.
Liz Lemon, artist working to commission in public art, and part-time lecturer, BA Fine Art, Staffordshire University
For Compass, we have taken three popular professional development subject areas: Funding applications, Approaching galleries and Organising an exhibition, adapted from the Practical Guides series on www.a-n.co.uk, and created a set of teaching resources that can be copied and distributed to students. We have illustrated these resources with examples of a range of approaches to teaching these subject areas within undergraduate programmes.
Director of Programmes, a-n The Artists Information Company.
Subject: Funding applications
Generating financial support for your project can be very time consuming. Developing an efficient method of sourcing funds will make the best use of your time freeing you up to develop your actual practice &'#150; and will increase your likelihood of success.
Match what you are doing to the aims and objectives of funders. Don't waste time on applications which are unlikely to be successful. Draw up a top ten list of funders, and approach the top five, leaving the others as a contingency plan if you are unsuccessful.
Before applying it's important to establish:
- What is the potential funder interested in funding?
- What kinds of activity will it fund?
- What approaches will the potential funder expect?
- What kinds of funding does it offer?
- Are you eligible?
- Can you complete your project within the required time period?
- Do you have the financial and management skills, and can you prove it?
There are three main sources of financial support for arts projects:
1 Public funding
The arts councils of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland offer funding schemes across all art forms. Visit the relevant websites for current information. The Film, Design and Crafts Council also offer support through a range of artform-specific initiatives.
2 Grant-making trusts
These are charitable organisations. Trusts usually set out to create change, promote a better quality of life, or realise the potential of individuals and communities. This focus makes trusts as interested in small projects as large ones. Remember that the arts can take place within the remit of other, 'non-art' categories. Analyse each trust's criteria before applying.
3 Private companies
Support could be in the form of: donations, advertising (eg buying advertising space in your print material), staff secondment (most common among large companies), corporate membership or entertainment, media sponsorship (eg advertisement in return for promotion of that publication), sponsorship-in-kind. Companies will have specific reasons for sponsorship: to advertise a name or brand, improve their public image, make new contacts, reach a new client base, and give a good local image.
Think about a price for sponsorship. Research similar arrangements. Say how much money you need, and offer a sliding scales of prices.
- Establish why the company will want to sponsor you both parties need to benefit.
- Link the company's target market to your potential audience.
- State the advantages of involvement.
- Ask the company to sponsor an element of the project that is exciting or 'worthy' (eg education or commissioning of new work).
- Think about what you can give the sponsor in return (eg publicity, limited edition artwork, special events, promotion of a product to a specific market).
- Treat sponsors as one-off assistance, but at the same time don't burn your bridges.
- Think local first.
- Plan ahead.
Include a covering letter saying what is enclosed with your proposal, how you found the company and your contact details. Specify when you will call to follow things through. Draw up a written contract confirming any verbal agreement. Keep in contact with your local Arts & Business www.artsandbusiness.co.uk who look to connect companies and projects. They can also provide advice, and sometimes will be able to offer a matching scheme.
Funding is competitive, so define your project as an identifiable, unique project for which you have developed a practical plan of action.
Your proposal must communicate:
- A demand for your project.
- How you fit the funding criteria/profile of the funder.
- Why you are working with your chosen audience and artists.
- Who you are.
- Your goals.
- Your monitoring process.
- Detailed costs.
- Detailed time schedule.
- Sustainability ensure your project is a comma, not a full stop.
Not all funding programmes will have application forms. Follow this format to make sure that you communicate the right information:
- How the project came about.
- Justify your project.
- Introduce your timescale.
- Introduce partners.
- Remember the funder probably knows nothing about you.
- Describe your background and experience.
- Outline your current activities.
- If an organisation - describe your legal and financial status.
- What are your aims?
- What relevance does your project have?
- What do you hope to achieve?
- Who is it for?
- Time schedule.
- Working team and roles.
- How can you learn from your project?
- How can you measure if you met your aims?
- What is your expenditure (give accurate costings)?
- Where is additional income for this project coming from?
- Make sure your project has a clear end.
- How will you move on from this project? Funders like to feel that their input will have a long-term effect this will inspire confidence.
Funders filter applications and automatically reject those that do not fit their criteria. Also, any funder will need to have confidence that you can achieve what you set out to do.
- Ensure you have the full funding guidelines for each application.
- Analyse the funding criteria in detail before filling out forms.
- Always indicate why you are approaching each funder and adapt your case to the guidelines.
- Always type forms and application letters, and keep a copy for your own reference.
- Ensure any requested additional material is included.
- If visual material is requested follow the stated format and amount of material.
- Label each image and indicate which is the top, and never send originals.
- Submit applications to the deadline.
- Wait to hear from the funder rather than pushing them for an answer.
If a funder supports you there will always be terms and conditions. Make sure that you can fulfil your side of the contract before accepting the funds. Always involve your funder and cosset the contact for future applications. Thanking sponsors and providing them with full documentation is essential. It is good practice to send them an evaluation report whether requested or not.
Lisa Le Feuvre is a lecturer, curator and SpacePlace trainer. She writes for a number of international art magazines, is Associate Lecturer in Art Management at Birkbeck College and lecturer at Chelsea School of Art.
Subject: Approaching galleries
There is no set way of becoming represented by a gallery. Unsolicited approaches rarely work. Most commercial galleries prefer to make the choice of inviting you to show, as do the blue chip public galleries. Smaller public spaces might be slightly more approachable but this is unlikely. Artist-run spaces should be more approachable - but don't bank on it. University galleries and small independent galleries should be open to discussion. Galleries for hire can be useful for trying things out, but are not seen as appropriate spaces for commercial gallery people to visit. It could be much more useful to hire a non-art space in which to exhibit your work.
Visit galleries and begin to work out what each gallery is about. If you feel no affinity to the gallery and the work of the artists already represented by them, or think they can't do any of the things you want ie sell your type of artwork to the people you want it to be sold to, or place your work where you want it to be placed you are probably looking at the wrong gallery. If it's a young gallery building its profile, ask yourself, Will this gallery be around in two/five/ten years time? Will it rise in profile and will I rise with it?
Why would a gallery want to show you?
- It knows/thinks it can sell your work.
- You are already hot.
- Youve got what it doesnt offer.
- You compliment what it offers.
- It's passionate about your work.
- It likes you.
- You will do what it wants you to do.
- It knows it can't sell your work but you will make the gallery seem interesting and special.
- For a reason that it keeps to itself and you'll never know.
In reality, most artists are invited to show at a gallery based on an already established relationship or track-record, or on recommendation from another gallery or an artist already represented. So you need to establish a relationship with a gallery and the other artists it represents, and to develop a track-record in which it will be interested.
Tell. Demand. Engage. Succeed. (It is your destiny.)
It's all to do with your personality, ambition and ego. Some artists absolutely know that they deserve to be with a certain gallery in fact the gallery is lucky to even have the chance to show their work. If you're reading this guide then it's most likely that you don't fit into this category!
Be invited. Be introduced. Be recommended. (Be patient.)
This is the organic process of relationships with other people, and development of your work over a period of time. For this, you need to be seen. The other possibility is just to be lucky. But by making connections you increase your chance of being lucky by a massive degree. Being lucky is based on you being exactly what a gallerist or someone they know is looking for.
First, you need to meet somebody who knows somebody else. This person could be an artist, writer, lecturer, collector, curator, gallerist, gallery assistant, gallery technician, a gallerist's dentist, somebody connected to the art world, or somebody not connected to the art world that you are interested in you may be surprised how things come around. Its crucial that you meet this person for a valid, genuine and good reason and for an outcome other than you being signed up to a gallery.
Try and identify a represented artist whom you would like to meet to talk about your/their work.
Try to contact them without going through the gallery. Otherwise contact the gallery and plainly outline why you want to meet this person. You may want to visit this artist in their studio or office, invite them to your studio, to an exhibition of your work, or to introduce them to another artist you know.
Or you could invite them to be in an exhibition with you. Approach artists youve already met and ask them to suggest other people.
Go directly to galleries and ask to contact one of their artists. The bigger the gallery and artist the harder it will be. The longer your track-record of shows and connections to other artists the easier it will be.
Remember that the gallery could be looking to 'find' you. Two exhibitions on your CV in which recognised artists have participated will be far more attractive than twenty exhibitions where the gallery doesn't recognise a single name. To find out how the gallery has picked up artists before, ask to see one of their young artist's CVs. A gallery may like the fact that you have a stock of work available to sell or it may be more interested in how quickly you make work and how you intend to develop your ideas. Being consistent but seeming to involve risk would be a perfect balance for a commercial gallery.
When introducing your work to another artist or gallerist stick with a matter of fact introduction but not one that only focuses on the materials that you use. Be playful and introduce your work as a project dealing with a certain issue/problem/question. Only write statements about your work if you feel very comfortable with doing so. Get someone else to write something for you or with you so that you get some distance from your work. Make it short and concise and leave it open to further possibilities and interpretation.
Getting a gallery to represent you is all about the work and you who you know or dont know, who the gallery knows and chance. There are no set rules, but there are some common experiences. The old clich' of being true to your work and your goals is completely true. Ignore networking opportunities to your loss its just about meeting interesting people. Push yourself into challenging situations. You will either rise to the challenge or just have to come up with another strategy. It's the way of the world!
Gavin Wade is an artist-curator. Author of Curating in the 21st Century, published New Art Gallery Walsall, In The Midst Of Things, published August and STRIKE published Alberta Press.He has curated projects in gallery and non-gallery sites. He's not represented by a gallery, but knows a lot of artists who are!
Subject: Organising an exhibition
Aims and objectives
There are many reasons for organising your own exhibition:
- To take control of the presentational context of your own work.
- To create further sales and exhibition opportunities.
- To collaborate with others.
- To gain valuable organisational skills to use in your future career.
Working with others
Especially if you are inexperienced in organising projects yourself, there are both positive and negative aspects to working with other people.
- Creating a support structure for your own practice and overcoming the isolation of working on your own.
- Someone else is there to maintain the momentum when you can't.
- Other people can offer specialist skills or useful contacts.
- You may have to compromise your personal vision for the greater good of realising the exhibition.
- Another person's initial commitment to the project can change.
- Other people may not have a realistic perception of what they are actually capable of one person should have overall responsibility.
Development and planning
Define the project itself and compile it into a written proposal covering the different artistic and practical aspects:
- What is the artistic rationale of the exhibition?
- Where will the exhibition take place?
- What is a realistic timescale for you and others you need to work with to plan and stage the exhibition?
- Who are involved as organisers, exhibitors or participants?
- Who takes responsibility for overseeing the different aspects of the project?
- What are the greater ambitions for the event in terms of profile building, further selling or exhibiting opportunities and personal skills gained?
- How will you be constituted what is the formal and legal status of the organising group?
- Set a realistic budget for the project.
Always have a Plan B in case things don't work out as expected.
In drawing up a budget it's important to cover every possible expense:
- Administration: your time, phone, stationery, photocopying, postage, research (including travel).
- Artists expenses: materials, presentation, transport and packaging, insurance, travel and accommodation, exhibitors fee.
- Venue: rent, rates, light and heat, service charges (eg cleaning), building and public liability insurance, invigilation.
- Publicity: press releases, invitations, postage, poster, catalogue, press listings, advertising, website, photography.
- Exhibition: installation (labour and materials), equipment hire, audience interpretation materials.
- Private view: drinks, glass hire, snacks, bar staff.
- Evaluation: photographic documentation, audience questionnaires (useful for future fundraising).
- Contingency: to cover unforeseen expenditure (should be around 10% of the overall budget).
Your budget should also include your expected income (the money you plan to raise). This figure should match your expenditure. Remember to include things you get for free as in-kind and sponsorship support. As you're unlikely to raise the whole of your 7#145;dream budget, have a contingency plan. Constantly re-evaluate your finances and be prepared to scale down your project if necessary.
Once you have a written proposal and budget you can approach potential supporters for your project. Remember, no funding comes without conditions attached and some may be more trouble than they are worth. Don't let your project become funding-led. Evaluate if the relationship is one that you are comfortable to enter in to.
You'll need a bank account in the name of your project or group. Such accounts are usually available free from banks if you are constituted as a voluntary or not-for-profit organisation. However, you will not normally be granted an overdraft facility or chequecard. This means cash withdrawals for instant purchases and ultimately can cause cash-flow problems if payment of a final instalment of a grant is conditional on submission of proof of total expenditure. Alternatively, you may be able to persuade an established arts organisation to act as banker for you.
Once you're confident your exhibition can take place:
- Check everyone involved is clear about any changes to the original proposal.
- Set deadlines for completing tasks allowing time for unforeseen delays.
- Maintain regular communication with all partners in your project, at all stages.
- Start to promote your exhibition to others.
If you dont have your own mailing list you may be able to include your material with another organisations. Expect to take your publicity to the organisation under data protection rules it should not hand over mailing lists to you.
- Send press releases, with images if possible, to all interested parties such as press, radio and TV. Find out the name of the person to send it to first.
- Magazines will need several months notice of an event if they are to cover it while it's running. Alternatively, they may review an event at a later date.
- Follow up with a phone call a few weeks after sending a press release to check that it was received and gauge if there is any interest. Be polite but assertive adopting a hard-sell approach can have a negative effect.
Send private view invites out around two weeks in advance any earlier and people may forget, too late and they may have other commitments. Distribute promotional material to other venues where it may be seen by potential audiences.
- Send invitations to everyone to whom you sent a press release (to jog their memory).
- Invite everyone supporting the event and those who may in the future (even if they said no this time).
- Invite family, friends, other artists and colleagues (even if you have already told them).
It might be productive to offer one-to-one meetings to show key people around. Remember to document your project professionally dont leave this until the last moment!
Funders may require a report from you to release the final grant payment. Even if they dont, a brief report with images, press cuttings, audience figures etc could help you gain support from future funders. Even though a formal evaluation may not be required, its valuable to take time yourself to assess your project's strengths and weaknesses and how you might approach things differently in the future. Properly archive all image and text documentation of your project this is the stepping stone to the next one.
Paul Stone is an artist and director of the contemporary art agency Vane, based in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Approach: Funding applications
The ability to make successful funding applications and proposals is an essential professional skill for artists. Ideally, in any course activity or module, undergraduates should be given progressive learning tasks that develop their confidence and skills. A surface approach which involves mass presentation of generic material to the whole cohort of students does not help students to contextualise this for their own practice. They may take notes, but if they do not have an opportunity to put their learning into practice, knowledge gained will soon be forgotten.
At Dartington College of Arts, second-year arts management students can undertake a module which requires them to make a proposal to the Dartington College fund for an arts project in the community. Guidelines and application forms are provided. Students attend seminars on making proposals. Independent study involves researching their practice, making a proposal with a budget. They present a written application and a short presentation to a panel of tutors and external advisers. Both presentation and written proposal are graded and written feedback is given.
Learning activities need to include the opportunity to:
- Research funding in relation to their own practice
- Research the criteria for success
- Identify a source of funding specifically suited to their practice
- Practise making an application or proposal on paper with a budget
- Evaluate the potential success of the application, preferably through peer-evaluation in small seminar groups in which students learn from each other as well as from tutors.
If possible, involve arts officers who are involved in selecting applications to talk to students about how to make a successful application and involve them in the assessment process as a member of a panel.
If you are looking for course activities which encourage students to be resourceful divide students into groups at the research stage (by artform?) and give them the task of researching what makes a successful application, which could involve them in primary research contacting/interviewing successful applicants; arts officers; interviewing the previous student cohort? Secondary research could involve trawling the Knowledge Bank on www.a-n.co.uk and other resources, for examples of the kinds of projects and proposals that have succeeded. In the timetable for the module, organise student group presentations on what makes a successful application to the rest of the group here students are in the mindset of consultants. This can be a useful exercise before embarking on writing an outline proposal.
The next stage is the real thing in which individual students or collaborative groups of students make real life applications, for example to a college fund for funding and staging a group exhibition, or whatever is appropriate for their practice.
Finally, following feedback, reflection on the exercise as a whole is important so that students can articulate clearly what they have learned from the exercise. Questions could include what they have learned about making applications, what new skills they developed and what they would do differently next time? Complete the cycle by asking students to brief the next cohort and provide the rationale for learning.
This model can be applied to any course activity as a learning framework with the following checklist for course design:
- Is there a rationale do students know the wider value of the activity?
- Are the learning outcomes made explicit?
- Are there opportunities to experiment and rehearse, then reflect?
- Are there opportunities to put the learning into practice the real thing?
- Is self, peer and external assessment of the outcomes present?
- Does reflection and feedback take place? How are students able to articulate and value what they have learned on a range of dimensions: knowledge; understanding; application of learning; professional skills etc?
Linda Ball is an independent consultant, writer and researcher. She has taught business and professional practice in art and design disciplines for many years and published resources for students and graduates. She works with individuals, arts organisations and higher education institutions.
Her three interactive professional development guides for a-n The Artists Information Company are published on www.a-n.co.uk.
Approach: Approaching galleries
My approach to professional development teaching at Staffordshire University has evolved over a number of years in collaboration with artist and lecturer Phil Sayers and now includes: the Professional Profile Document, Site-Specific Module and Graduate Exhibition Proposal. The Professional Development Document (Level 2 Fine Art) prepares students to represent their practice in the form of an A4 folio containing text and images. The document outlines the conceptual genesis of their practice, a rationale for the particular mode of expression and their contextual references: eg historical, contemporary art(ists), literary, philosophical, theoretical etc. It is intended that this document is accessible and can communicate the essence of their practice to galleries, commissioners etc.
The Site-Specific Module (Level 2) is designed to introduce students to proposing work in a 'live' context. To this end we collaborate with external institutions eg New Art Gallery Walsall, Tate Liverpool, Maritime Museum, Liverpool, Imperial War Museum North, Salford, and Etruria Industrial Mill, Stoke-on-Trent. The module in Semester 1 introduces students to the site and staff in the host institutions, culminating in a specific proposal (A4 format), for the site. In Semester 2, those students who choose to continue to refine and develop their proposal, and the host institution selects one a few works to go forward for exhibition at the gallery/museum. The whole process from proposal through to resolution involves the students in discussion/negotiation with professionals from these institutions. They are required to make work professionally to exhibition quality with detailed costings and time schedules, and write interpretation panels to accompany work.
The Graduate Exhibition Proposal (Level 3) is specifically designed to propose work for the students' graduation exhibition. This comprehensive document is a more refined and specific version of the Level 2 Professional Profile Document. The document covers all aspects of exhibiting in a gallery context; concepts, rationale for selection of space required, costings, applying for sponsorship, artist's statement/interpretation and press releases. The document is subsequently used by students to apply externally for exhibitions, MA courses, sponsorship etc.
Liz Lemon is a Nottingham-based artist working to commission in public art. She teaches two days a week on Professional Practice and Site-Specific Modules in the Fine Art Department at Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent.
Approach: Organising an exhibition
The Modus Operandi exhibition at Globe Hub gallery, North Shields was part of LifeWorkArt at Newcastle University. LifeWorkArt is an action research programme developing professional practice as an integrated element of studio teaching throughout the four years of the Fine Art BA. It is supported by HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) through its Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning. LifeWorkArt is delivered mainly through live projects. Modus Operandi was a optional project for final-year students who were able to make use of the opportunity offered by Globe Hub gallery throughout 2003-04 for artists to programme and manage one of the gallery spaces.
Students formed a collective, Normalife, which managed the whole project: communicating with the gallery director, selecting work from student proposals, installing work, marketing (mailout, press releases, two weblogs), documentation, organising an opening and closing event etc. Some students focused on organisation but some also chose to make proposals for the show.
The key factor for a project like this is that it is not something students go away and do, find very interesting but that remains separate to the normalife of being an art student. It is also important for a partner organisation like Globe Hub gallery that the project stands up within its own frame of reference.
In debriefing the project what came through most strongly is the value of a fluid dynamic within teaching and learning between the academic strictures of a degree course and the pragmatic pressures of a live project.
One student said that Modus Operandi: lifted some kind of veil and helped my thinking patterns change. Other students agreed and that consensus was around both how you think about/make work and where in relation to others (ie public and artistic networks) you place your work and yourself as an artist.
The exhibition had an opening and a closing event. The opening took a traditional preview format. The closing was an evening of live art a performance from a train relayed by mobile phone, karaoke viewed from the street, a sound and a film piece in the gallery, DIY pancakes throughout the evening. The differing dynamics of the two, and the experience of invigilating a gallery show, have had an enormous impact on students perceptions of developing a relationship with an audience through the work and the space (ie rather than as straightforward marketing).
A major problem was not designing a long enough run-in time into the project. This could have allowed for better consideration of how the space was used, increased the possibilities of making new work specifically for the space and maybe most importantly developing better strategies for dialogue with audiences (eg using the gallery as a base for developing a range of work such as exhibition, one-off events, off-site projects, participatory formats etc). However, it is easy to make such judgements in retrospect and sometimes a short-life project (this was six weeks) has an energy that would be dissipated by more time. Importantly, students were well able to critique the project and identify what could be learned for the future and they saw that as a positive outcome rather than thinking I wish I had done this differently.
Normalife will continue as a collective. Currently there is a debate about how that is described to others but there seems a clear agreement as to how it will function - as a network that will provide the logistics to realise ideas (both their own and those of others). This is based around seeing what happens when you work together sharing ideas, skills and tasks. Most importantly, they want to assert that making art is a normal thing to do.
Approach: Making site-specific work
Students are asked to identify a space, building or environment and to make an artwork using the medium of ceramic or brick. They are given a list of possibilities ranging from environmental sculpture, an architectural feature on a new or existing building, an installation for a specific site such as a gallery or derelict building. The first six weeks of the project are spent identifying the space, researching the area and looking into the historical, social and economic aspects of the site by interviewing the public. Students are asked to develop an idea and present this to the group, as if they were the client. The presentation is 40% of the mark and includes: a sheet of preliminary sketches, photographs relating to the site, research into the site and its history, a photomontage of the site showing a rendering of the artwork in situ, a series of maquettes and an artist's statement.
This module also enables the student to work within industry to make the actual artworks. Two of the major sponsors are Hanson Brick and Ibstock Brick Cannock. Both of these factories allow students wanting to work with brick to work within the specials department to produce the work. As part of the course, the students are taken to visit Ibstock Hathernware and also Redbank. The students are encouraged to approach a prospective client to see if the artwork can be sited. This is initiated with a letter stating the artists idea and how they would intend to go about the project and is followed up within the week with a phone call.
The remaining 60% comprises the final artwork built to actual size or a maquette and an actual section built full size, showing the quality to be achieved. The project has been run as a competition in collaboration with a specific venue. One such was a Cardiff junior school, another The Museum of Welsh Life Saint Fagans museum where the students chose an aspect of the museum and responded to the different buildings and the collection housed within. In this instance, Ibstock actually delivered bricks to the museum and the students worked on site. The bricks were then sent back to the factory to be fired. Alternatively, the students can choose their own sites within the town or places which held specific interest.
Gwen Heeney is an artist, working to commission in public art, a writer and senior lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton.
Contacts: Organisations and Agencies
The Subject Centre for Art, Design & Communication (ADC) is part of the Learning & Teaching Support Network (LTSN) established by the Higher Education Funding Councils for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to promote high quality learning and teaching in subject communities.
The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Aims to promote and support excellence in research in the arts and humanities.
a-n The Artists Information Company
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.
a-n The Artists Information Company publishes a-n Magazine and www.a-n.co.uk
An intelligence and exchange forum for organisations that are proactively developing information, advice, training and professional development services for visual and applied artists. APD is the visual arts partnership group of CreativePeople.
The UK's national organisation for the promotion of contemporary crafts, responsible for promoting fine craftsmanship, encouraging high standards and increasing public awareness of contemporary crafts and applied arts.
A network providing information, advice and guidance to support all those who work in arts and craft industries in making the most of their careers.
The Design Trust
Promotes the excellence of British design and helps designers with business training after they leave college. The site is aimed at students and recent graduates planning to set up their own business. It includes a Business Start-up Guide and a newsletter containing information on awards, competitions and other news.
The leading international association for gallery educators, artist educators and other arts and education professionals.
NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts)
Gives individuals the time, space, money and support to push at boundaries of knowledge and practice.
New Work Network
A membership organisation bringing together artists, producers and venues working in live art, new media, installation and video for professional development and critical debate.
PVA Media Lab
Working throughout the UK and internationally to activate and support the research, production and distribution of new art out of interdisciplinary practice and the use of creative technologies.
Arts Council England
The national development agency for the arts in England, distributing public money from government and the National Lottery.
A studio provider running professional practice and enterprise training programmes in London.
ARC: Aspex Artists' Resource Centre
Aims to develop a strong network of artists and encourage the sharing of information and ideas through a programme of one-one surgeries, professional development seminars and critique groups and by offering access to practical information and research skills. Based in Portsmouth.
A two-year project, initiated and managed by Chrysalis Arts, to develop and support creative businesses in the visual arts, crafts and public art sectors across North Yorkshire.
A comprehensive advice and information service to London's visual arts professionals at all stages of their careers. The site provides information relating to the presentation and selling of work; research and development of new work practices and techniques; financial advice and ongoing professional development and training opportunities.
An unusual hybrid of producer, administrator, facilitator and promoter. Artsadmin provides a comprehensive management service and unique national resource for contemporary artists who cross the spectrum of new theatre, dance, music, live art and mixed media work. Artsadmin provides a free advice and information service based in London.
A testing ground and source of practical information, including the Artists' Information Pack, giving up to date information on studios, venues and organisations, suppliers and services for artists in the north west. The gallery programmes talks, seminars and meetings for artists and curators wanting new skills and advice.
Provides advice and development support for creative practitioners, freelance artists and micro businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber region.
A specialist business support organisation which champions the development of the creative and cultural industries in Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham through offering free support to individuals and organisations through advice, training, investment, promotion, links and networking.
Studio complexes in Holborn and Deptford provide workspace and business support for London-based designer-makers. Cockpit Arts encourage opportunities for designer-makers at different stages in their careers through education, training and marketing initiatives enabling interaction and exchange of knowledge and ideas, including professional development training.
A visual arts organisation promoting and supporting a broad range of activities for artists including commissions, projects, residencies, fellowships and professional development programmes.
Creative Skills Consortium
Accredited training, business support, contacts, information, networking, professional development, resources, seminars, skills funds and training needs analyses for practitioners in Cornwall.
ETA (Education Through Art)
A development organisation that creates opportunities for visual artists of all types in South East England.
The Enterprise Centre for the Creative Arts
Online and one to one London-based business support and advice for art, design and media students, graduates and practitioners considering or already involved in business activities in the creative industry sector. Facilities on offer include advice, workshops, weblinks, information, training and invitations to creative industry networking events.
A gallery and Artist Resource, a free drop-in information resource library and events programme in Brighton, for artists and those who wish to work in arts management & education.
Live Art Development Agency
Offers a portfolio of resources, professional development schemes and projects and initiatives for the support and development of live art. Based in London.
Making Art Work (Suffolk County Council)
Tailored training and networking programmes.
A catalyst project to co-develop regional, national and international projects with artists in the West Midlands.
NCSP (Northern Cultural Skills Partnership)
NCSP is a group of cultural and creative organisations and individuals dedicated to helping practitioners access appropriate professional development. The site includes tools for planning your professional development, identifying your training needs and development options.
Public arts commissioning and consulting agency working in Yorkshire and beyond. Offers an integrated programme of workshops, seminars, site visits, skills exchange, residencies, publications, exhibitions and research.
Provides affordable studio space to over 400 artists over 16 sites, plus a training and resource centre which can offer access to digital art and video editing facilities, project space and exhibition space in London.
Supports visual artists and craftspeople by providing affordable studio space and many support services. Offers administrative support, training, marketing and work opportunities - including residencies and commissions - to studio holders and other members. Acts as an agency putting commissioners in touch with artists and makers and through a visual arts information service to the city.
Scottish Arts Council
An executive non-departmental body and one of the main channels for government funding for the arts in Scotland.
First published: a-n.co.uk November 2005
© the artist(s), writer(s), photographer(s) and a-n The Artists Information Company
All rights reserved.
Artists who are current subscribers to a-n may download or print this text for the limited purpose of use in their business or professional practice as artists.
Parts of this text may be reproduced either in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (updated) or with written permission of the publishers.