Worcestershire Arts Partnership Blog

Thursday, 20 April 2017

CALL FOR ARTISTS / ARTS ORGS - Commission opportunity

Artists/Arts Organisations Commission:


Elliot Foundation Arts Ambassador Schools Network




Deadline:  Wednesday 3rd May 2017, noon


‘I am me, we are us’ Brief:

We are looking for a digital artist or an arts organisation to work with 8 schools across Birmingham and Walsall. Through 'I am me, we are us' we are hoping to explore digital arts practice in our schools in order to inspire young people and help celebrate their local identities. The programme will culminate in a sharing and celebration on Friday 8th December 2017.


Our primary focus is digital, especially film, photography and music production. We are also interested in how the performing arts might be included in the approach, in particular, spoken word, drama or dance.



The Elliot Foundation is a charitable multi-academy trust specialising in primary academies. This commission will bring together 8 schools from across the area.


The Elliot model starts with the school and its unique context. We expect all their schools to actively support each other and to share emergent and best practice for everyone’s benefit. We want each school to assert and celebrate its distinctive identity within this community of academies.


Arts Connect is an initiative of the University of Wolverhampton tasked to deliver the Bridge programme in the West Midlands to improve arts and cultural engagement of children and young people. For further information visit: www.artsconnectwm.co.uk


Our Arts Ambassador School Network programme involves established school networks (e.g. Multiple Academy Trusts) working together to develop teachers as leaders (i.e. as Arts Ambassadors), to achieve an Artsmark as part of a whole network focussed programme on the arts. This involves working with arts, culture and heritage sector, CPD for teachers, Arts Awards, and a celebration event.





The ‘I am me, we are us’ Programme:

The commission was created in response to our collective ambition to develop our approach to the arts in our schools. We are keen to improve our artistic provision and simultaneously celebrate the local identities of our young people and their communities. As well as providing a high quality experience for young people, there should be an element of specific art form Professional Development (CPD) for school staff during the programme.


In terms of digital art, we are interested in how we can make use of our existing equipment, in addition to experimenting with new technologies. Access to these varies across the network.


As stated, our primary focus is digital, especially film, photography and music production. We are also interested in how the performing arts might be included in the approach, in particular, spoken word, drama and dance.


We expect delivery to fit within the timeline indicated below. We anticipate that delivery will be split between summer and autumn term. Participating children will be aged 6 – 10.

As all participating schools are undertaking Artsmark, the programme should recognise Arts Council England's Quality Principles. For information on these please refer to
http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/quality-metrics/quality-principles. These form the basis of our approach to evaluation.


We would expect that the artist/arts organisation will take a lead on project, managing the artist programme in partnership with the Arts Ambassadors (i.e. the lead teacher) in each school, and with the lead Arts Ambassador.



The budget is £13,500, inclusive of travel & VAT; based on the artist/arts organisation being responsible for own tax and NI on a freelance basis. This fee includes:


·                One network shared half day with the Arts Ambassadors and the artist/arts organisation for planning, followed by two days to cover individual planning meetings in each school


·                Each of the 8 schools having a minimum of 6 whole day/equivalent workshops with the children


·                One twilight CPD session for all staff across the 8 schools, co-delivered with the Arts Ambassadors (week commencing 12.10.17)


·                Materials


·                The Artist/Arts Organisation attending two Arts Ambassador meetings (2/3 hours each meeting); one to plan the Sharing Event (12.10.17) and the last to contribute to an evaluation (12.12.17)


·                The Artist/Arts Organisation will project manage the artist programme in agreement with the Arts Ambassador teachers and the lead Arts Ambassador for the network


·                Supporting the monitoring and evaluation; it is expected that each practical workshop would involve a debrief at the end of the session with class teachers, Arts Ambassadors and artists.


·                Celebration event on Friday 8th December 2017; the format is still open to discussion. There is a small additional budget for this element which may support artists or the schools directly, according to format agreed.



Application deadline: Wednesday 3rd May 2017, noon


Notification of Interviews: no later than Thursday 11th May


Interviews: Thursday 18th May; please pencil date in your diary, prospective practitioners should be in attendance


Appointment: Monday 22nd May


Planning meetings: Thursday 25th May & Wednesday 7th June


Celebration preparation: Thursday 12th October


Celebration event: Friday 8th December


Evaluation: Tuesday 12th December


How to Apply:

Both individuals and arts organisations/companies can apply. We anticipate that the commission will be to artist/s or an arts organisation to work across all the schools, though we recognise that you may wish to involve other artists managed by the lead artist/organisation. All successful applicants will need to evidence their portable DBS or undertake a DBS check, along with any other artists from their organisation. You must carry Public Liability Insurance for all artists.


Please submit a proposal on how you would deliver the commission and the ideas for the creative content and the sharing. You need to include:

·                Your experience of working with networks of schools (please give examples e.g. through online links, website, etc.)

·                Your experience of working with children

·                An outline of your approach to the commission, explaining how you will use your artistic skills to engage children and teachers enabling them to be part of the team of artists, alongside professional artists, to create quality work to share

·                Two Referees, ideally schools

·                A budget

·                If an you are an individual artist please provide an up to date CV; If an organisation please provide an outline of your company’s Aims, Mission, Vision and information on the people involved in this commission

·                If you are intending to use freelance artists we would like to know who you are proposing to work with and have a copy of their CV. Please note that if shortlisted, we need to interview all the people involved in working in schools.


Please send your proposal and all supporting documentation by Wednesday 3rd May 2017, noon to:


-           Gabi Zielinska (Lead Arts Ambassador):



-           Pepita Hanna (Arts Connect Associate Director):



-           Sarah Bailey (Arts Connect Network Coordinator):



For further information:


-           Gabi Zielinska (email above)


-            Sarah Bailey (email above / 07903 269403)

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