Who can apply: a-n Artist members, Joint (Artist and Arts Organiser), Arts Organiser members.
What: 4 x 1 hour fully subsidised mentoring sessions with visual arts mentors.
When: Mentoring sessions will start in November 2019 and take place over 1 year. When each session takes place is for you and your mentor to decide.
Deadline for applications: 12 noon, Thursday 12 September 2019.


Following the success of a-n’s previous mentoring and one-to-one advice programmes in 2017 and 2018, the a-n Mentoring Programme continues to offer professional development support for a-n members.

a-n is working with our independent visual arts mentors to offer a year-long programme of one-to-one sessions for both artist and arts organiser members.

Mentoring sessions are offered remotely, with contact either by phone or video call making sessions flexible and accessible. Each of the 4 sessions will last 1 hour and will be undertaken over 1 year from November 2019.

Alongside this mentoring opportunity, a-n is also offering a 3-6 month Coaching programme. Mentoring and coaching are sometimes discussed as though they are interchangeable, but this isn’t the case. To help understand which might be the best fit for you, find out more about the benefits and differences between mentoring and coaching in a-n’s Resource guide Coaching or Mentoring: which is right for you?.


Mentoring is a supportive, long-term relationship between two people – an experienced ‘mentor’ and less experience ‘mentee’. A mentor takes an advisory role to support you in developing your professional career, with a longer-term view in developing and articulating future goals.

Mentoring can provide you with an opportunity to think about how you might progress in your artistic career and get advice on professional development related issues. You will benefit from their knowledge, insight and experience in the visual arts. A mentor can act as a sounding board, prompt you to consider different perspectives, guide you towards solutions or challenge you to think and behave differently. Your mentor may set you goals or tasks to complete between sessions to progress your development.

The a-n Mentoring Programme offers four one-hour sessions with a mentor over a 12-month period concentrating on the professional side of your practice, rather than focusing solely on how or why you make the work that you do.

Based on your application we will match you to the mentor we feel best suits your needs.  Your mentor will prepare for the sessions using the information provided in this application, and a brief survey we will send prior to the programme commencing.

The focus of the first meeting will be getting to know each other, agreeing mutual expectations of the mentoring and the mentee’s goals. The last meeting will focus on review and setting ongoing objectives.

Areas you might want to explore are (but aren’t limited to):

  • Career review and guidance
  • Review of online representation
  • Guidance in proposing work for exhibition
  • Sustaining an arts practice
  • Fundraising as an individual or for a project
  • Writing for your practice
  • Working collaboratively
  • Working in the public realm

At an early stage in your career, or following a career break an experienced mentor can help you navigate a range of concerns and challenges. If you aren’t sure of a particular need and are looking for general advice and development support this might be best suited to a mentor. They can offer broader advice on navigating the visual arts and your professional development in the sector.

Deadline for applicants: 12 noon, Thursday 12 September 2019.

How to apply

Applications are submitted via this form

You must be logged in to access the form. Only current Artist, Joint (Artist and Arts Organiser) and Arts Organiser members can apply. The form is available until Thursday 12th September 2019, 12 noon.

You will be asked for the following:

1. Your contact details.

2. Provide a short artist statement about your practice (up to 150 words).

3. Why is taking part in this mentoring programme critical to your artistic and professional development? (up to 150 words).

4. Why is now the right time for you to take part in this mentoring programme? (up to 150 words).

5. What would you like to achieve through these mentoring sessions? Please be specific as this will help us to match you with the mentor we feel will be best suited to you. The more specific you are with your goals, the easier it is for us to match you with someone appropriate.

6. Which areas of your career do you particularly need support with? Areas you might consider but are not limited to are:
Career review and guidance, Review of online presentation, Guidance in proposing work for an exhibition, Sustaining and arts practice, Fundraising as an individual or for a project, Writing for your practice, Working collaboratively, Working in public realm, Commissioning, Developing event and performance based projects.

7. Health or access needs. Please let us know if you have any health or access needs that you want a-n and the allocated mentor to be aware of. This information will be treated confidentially. a-n asks that you take full responsibility and care for your physical and mental well-being during the mentoring programme.

8. Upload of your current CV (in pdf format – max file size 5mb) and link to your website.

9. Equality and Diversity monitoring information (this information is separated, anonymised and does not form part of the selection process).

Further information

1. Who can apply?

Current a-n Artist, Joint (Artist and Arts Organiser) and Arts Organiser members.

Become an a-n member here.

Alongside applying for the a-n Mentoring programme, a-n members are also welcome to apply for the a-n Coaching and Writer Development Programme opportunities currently available. However successful applicants will only be offered a place on one of these programmes.

2. What is the selection process?

Applicants will be reviewed against the following criteria:

  • The impact mentoring will have on the applicants practice and continuing professional development.
  • The need for support, is this the right time for the applicant to benefit significantly from mentoring.
  • Does the applicant have clear goals for the mentoring programme?
  • Applicants will hear back if their submission has been successful or unsuccessful by 11 October 2019.

3. Why does a-n offer mentoring?

a-n member opportunities such as mentoring aim to:

  • Support members’ practices and ongoing professional development.
  • Enable members to self-determine and tailor professional development to their needs.
  • Maintain and develop a more diverse, engaged and resilient professional membership.

4.  What can’t be supported?

  • Application from students on an undergraduate course.
  • Applications from members without a current a-n membership.
  • Applications from members who have already accepted an a-n Artist Bursary 2019.
  • Any incomplete applications or applications received after the deadline of Thursday 12 September 2019, 12 noon.

5. Conditions and notes:

  • In submitting an application, you confirm that you meet the eligibility criteria (See FAQ ‘Who can apply’) and are not excluded by any of the exclusions (See FAQ ‘What Can’t Be Supported?’).
  • Unfortunately, a-n can’t respond to requests for advice in shaping applications.
  • We advise not leaving the sending of your application to the last day.
  • The decision to award or not is at the discretion of a-n The Artists Information Company
  • Accepting an offer of mentoring comes with the obligation to produce a blog. The blog is not about the sessions themselves but about your practice and its development to enable shared learning and progress with the artists’ community on a-n.co.uk/blogs. Blogs can be completed by text, video, audio and/or images – guidance will be sent to successful candidates.
  • Accepting an offer of mentoring comes with the obligation to commit to four x 1 hour sessions during the programme. a-n will share guidance for mentors and mentees to all successful applicants to clarify expectations and boundaries for the sessions.
  • Successful applicants will be asked to complete a short survey prior to the sessions beginning to set a baseline for evaluation.
  • By accepting a bursary offer you commit to taking part in evaluation of the bursary programme and providing feedback following activity completion.
  • All conversations between a-n members and coaches will be treated privately.
  • a-n members will only be able to accept one a-n member opportunity each in 2019.