Call Out for Artists
Earlier this year we put a proposal out there– what happens if you employ an artist for a year, to just be an artist?
The pandemic has highlighted the inequalities and challenges that artists face. We don’t want to go ‘back to normal’ and so we’re proposing a different way of working.
What would happen or change if you were employed for a year? If you were trusted to lead your own creative work, and have paid time to think, have conversations and create if you want? If you could get off the project treadmill for a bit and explore what being an artist means in this COVID/ post-COVID world?
What is the offer?
One full time and one part time role, on a year long contract at £27,000 salary (pro rata for the part time role). The roles would be PAYE so would include paid holiday, sick pay, pension, Christmas party- all the benefits that someone normally employed through an organisation would have.
We would provide support as you shape your year of work but what you do in that year is up to you. It’s about your creative practice, what you want to explore and develop. There is no pressure to create specific projects or shows. It is not an artist in residence role – you don’t have to deliver on Strike A Light programmes or work to particular themes.
Start date in March/ April 2021 to be agreed with the artist.
Who is it for?
- Artists who are excited about the possibility of developing their work in this brave new world, embrace change and would relish the chance to have a year to explore what works and what doesn’t
- Artists who work in artforms that lend themselves well to a collaborative process, both in the creation and sharing
- Artists who have an idea of who their work speaks to, is for or is created with. Artists who are interested in working with communities as part of their work. This can be communities of geography, interest or other common factors and how, when and why this engagement happens is decided by the artist.
- Artists who want to base their work in Gloucester and/or Bristol. This does not mean that the artists cannot work elsewhere or work nationally over the year, but this opportunity is for artists who are excited about working in these places and want to focus their work there
- Artists who work in a self-directed way, create their own projects and have a clear creative vision and practice. This vision and practice can still be developing but the artistic work of the year will be driven by the artist
- Artists who have something to say, and particularly those who are under-heard and under-represented in the industry
- Artists who are happy to share and articulate their experiences to support the research/ documentation aspect of the process. (We are sharing this idea as it develops with the wider industry)
- Artists who want to use this year to build things which can support the sustainability of their career in future
- Artists who feel that Strike A Light’s 7 principles are a good fit with their own ethos, values and way of working
How do I find out more?
You can read the FAQs at the bottom of this page.
We are holding informal information sessions on
- Thursday 7 January 2021 – 1pm* & 6:30pm*
- Tuesday 12 January 2021 – 11am & 6:30pm
You will be able to find out more about the opportunity and ask any questions you might have.
*Both sessions on Thursday 7 January will be live captioned.
How do I apply?
Please read the FAQs at the bottom of this page before applying.
Stage 1 is a quick expression of interest or hello. Please let us know:
- Which of Strike A Light’s 7 principles do you particularly connect with and why?
- One link to your work – could be a website, gallery or video
You can share this with us in
- No more than half a page of writing
- Maximum 90 second video or audio file
If this doesn’t work for you please contact us to negotiate a different way.
Deadline: Sunday 24 January 2021 (midnight)
We will let you know by 28th January if you have been invited on to stage 2 of the application process.
Stage 2 will consist of online discussion workshops through which applicants can ask questions and get to know us better, followed by a written, video or audio application.
Those who are shortlisted from this will move on to Stage 3. They will be paid for their time to plan and attend a final workshop/ interview, which they can design to suit them, in order to share their work comfortably.
FAQs about the role
Where did this idea come from and who is involved?
Why is there not a specific project brief?
This is a conversation, and something we want to develop with you. For the artists we appoint we will work together to create a job description so you are clear about how everything will work but ultimately it’s about your creative practice, what you want to explore and develop.
What do you want me to make?
There are no specific outcomes that have been decided. It’s a question- what happens if you employ an artist for a year? You don’t have to do a specific number of projects or shows and can choose when and how you create.
Who’s the artist working for? What is the role of the partner organisations?
Strike A Light will be employing the artist on a year long contract and we will be the main point of contact and support. You will not be delivering for us or for the partner organisations though. Your job is to be an artist – to think, plan, have conversations, and explore how to develop your work and create in the world in which we find ourselves.
The partner organisations have come together to make this happen because they want to try a different way of working. They want to understand what experiences the artist has over the year, what works for them and what doesn’t, how they make work (or don’t) in a COVID/ post-COVID world. This can then support organisations to think about how they work with artists, employ, commission, programme etc in future. This is NOT about the artist providing a solution for the organisations but IS about their experiences and ideas being listened to. If you want to meet with some or all of the partners during the year then that would be great because they can provide a network of support, contacts, opportunities etc but you are not reporting to them.
What does full time and part time mean?
Strike A Light have standard full time contracts of 37.5 hours and so would expect a full time contract to equate to 5 days per week of work and the part time contract to equate to 2.5 days per week of work. Like all Strike A Light staff you would not be expected to do timesheets. Our working relationships are based on trust, commitment and mutual respect. We don’t check up on staff or scrutinise their hours- we work to the best of our abilities and work flexibly to suit our needs (childcare, mental health, working styles etc). For these roles, as with the rest of the SAL team, your time is paid for whether that’s planning, thinking, meetings, creating or delivering. If you’ve had a busy week you take time back the next week. This is not about forcing creativity into a 9-5. If you’re in the zone at midnight on a Sunday no one is going to demand you’re sitting at a desk at 9am Monday. We will create the contract with the artists and it is not set in stone- we can definitely have conversations about how the contract works, amount of time, working patterns, structure etc.
FAQs about the application process
What is the full application process? We worked with some brilliant artists who created a process they felt would be open and where you wouldn’t have to spend loads of time on a first stage application. You can see the full application timeline and process.
In my stage 1 expression of interest, what are you looking for? We’ve asked about which of the Strike A Light principles you particularly connect to. You can choose one or more to write or talk about. This isn’t a test, there’s not a right answer. We want to see what interests or excites you about working in this way. The whole application process is designed to help us get to know you, your work and your values, and vice versa, to make sure we’re a good fit.
Who will be reading the applications?
Applications will be shortlisted by staff from Strike A Light, representatives from the partner organisations and artists who are supporting us with the recruitment process.
Can I chat to you about my application?
We are holding informal information sessions on Thursday 7 and Tuesday 12 Jan 2021. You’ll be able to ask questions and hear more about the opportunity.
If you need to talk about a different way of applying please contact us.
Do you give feedback? For the first stage expressions of interest we will provide general feedback about the applications which we’ll share on email. For stages 2 and 3 we will give individual feedback wherever requested.
Funders and partners
We’re so grateful to all of the organisations who are joining us to make this a reality:
Action Hero | The Arts Development Company | Bristol Ferment | Create Gloucestershire| GL4 | Gloucester Culture Trust | Jerwood Arts | MAYK | Pound Arts | Theatre Bristol | Theatre Orchard | Travelling Light Theatre Company | Trinity Bristol