a-n is partnering with LeftCoast to deliver a series of free Professional Development workshops for artists and creative practitioners who live, work or study in the Blackpool and Wyre area.

The series of four full-day events includes two brand-new workshops that offer insight and strategies on starting out as a freelancer and managing a project. On offer for the first time, these sessions have been specially devised following research into the professional development needs of artists and makers.

The four sessions run alongside a larger programme of free workshops commissioned by LeftCoast with funding from Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places programme.

LeftCoast, an independent organisation led by a steering group comprised of community representatives and partner organisations, sees the professional development series as a springboard to support artists and creatives from the Fylde Coast area to take the next steps in their careers.

“We firmly believe that supporting the development of Blackpool and Wyre-based artists and creative people is crucial in creating the right conditions for the growth of the arts scene in the area,” said Julia Turpin, executive director of LeftCoast.

“This series of professional development alongside our existing financial investments into artists and arts organisations will give people the skills and knowledge to take their artistic work and business acumen to the next level – that is where the future lies.”

Freelance and funding strategies

First in the series is Starting out as a freelancer – managing a portfolio career (Friday 3 July) with Hen Norton, which looks at all aspects of freelancing. This new one-day workshop covers areas such as: how to set up as a self-employed person, managing your accounts, making business plans, time management, financing your practice, identifying, building and developing networks and audience, marketing strategies, and building a brand as a creative practitioner. This event is suitable for all career stages.
See Events for further information and to book a place.

Emilia Telese‘s popular Dodge the Shredder© (Monday 6 July) is a full-day workshop empowering artists and individuals to fundraise effectively and create a financial strategy for their projects. Created, developed and delivered by Telese, the session looks at approaching galleries and funding bodies with a great proposal, minimising rejection when applying for funding, creating a financial support strategy for your projects, and writing about your practice effectively. The session is aimed at practitioners with little to no experience of fundraising, or those who need a refresher course in current strategies.
See Events for further information and to book a place.

Showing work and managing projects

Particularly useful for visual artists and early career practitioners, curator Lucy Day (Day + Gluckman)  leads Navigating the art world and getting your work shown (Friday 17 July). This one-day seminar demystifies the art world and provides concrete ideas for getting your work in front of the people most pertinent to your practice. The session considers the roles of curator, gallerist and commissioner as well as other key players in the art world. It identifies strategies and tools for approaching galleries and curators and provides the background to setting up your own exhibitions, from pop-ups in empty shops to longer-term projects.
See Events for further information and to book a place.

The series ends with, Managing a Project (Thursday 30 July) a new one-day seminar led by Frances Lord that enables artists and arts organisers of all career stages to gain insight into running successful projects, setting up artist-led and temporary spaces, and multi-partner project working. The session will cover topics such as how to make a strong proposal, managing budgets, contracts, project and time management, working to briefs and creating your own, and copyright and legal issues.
See Events for further information and to book a place.

a-n welcomes offers to host and partner on similar events around the UK. Contact [email protected] with your proposal