Further Resources: making work accessible, contested history, legal support and more
We have collated a list of resources for you to access from organisations that offer further help and advice on working in the cultural, heritage and museum’s sector:
Industria and a-n The Artists Information Company – ‘structurally f–cked’: a report into artists’ pay and conditions
A recent report into artists’ pay and working conditions published by Industria and a-n The Artists Information Company, which reveals the extent of underpayment of artists in the UK’s public art sector. Highlighting a culture of low fees and unpaid labour, with key findings including a median hourly rate paid to artists of £2.60, ‘Structurally F–cked’ concludes with proposals for new ways in which publicly funded institutions can better work with artists.
Museums Association – communicating decolonisation guidance
The Museums Association has put together guidance to offer a starting point for organisations to build a robust communication strategy to support their work.
Design Museum – How can we design exhibitions with a lower environmental impact?
The way in which we plan, design and operate exhibitions has an important role to play in reducing our overall impact. The Design Museum has been working to reduce its scope 3 emissions and has developed a toolkit to guide decision-making whilst developing exhibitions and displays. While the guide is based on work at the Design Museum, the hope is that sharing the toolkits publicly can offer some core principles that are useful to other institutions and enables them to reflect on their own working processes when exhibition making.
FACT – easy read artist contract
In 2021, FACT invited artist Jack Tan (UK) to join its Board of Trustees as artist-in-residence. Taking place over 12 months, Jack’s residency explored governance, accountability and trust. At the start of his residency, FACT commissioned Jack to write a contract for artists that was accessible, easy to read, and free of jargon. The template for the artist contract is now available on FACT’s website for anyone to download and use.
Shape Arts – how to put on an accessible exhibition
A short guide for curators, programmers and exhibition organisers to give an overview of how to ensure that the exhibition you’re putting on is accessible and inclusive of disabled people.
RCMG – contested histories, research & case studies
Research from the University of Leicester’s Research Centre for Museums and Galleries’ (RCMG) stimulates new thinking and creative practice that enables cultural organisations to become more ambitious and impactful in nurturing more equitable and inclusive societies. Case Studies and research are available on the RCMG website, such as research on ‘Inclusive space and ethical interpretation’, ‘Reframing Difference and Disability’, ‘Human Rights and LGBTQ+’, and ‘Exploring the impact of museum learning and engagement’.
Artquest – legal advice
Written by arts legal specialist Henry Lydiate for Art Monthly since October 1976, Artlaw also contains dozens of frequently asked questions on all aspects of art and the law, and short films on Artquest’s ArtlawTV channel, available free for personal use. Visual artists anywhere in England can submit a simple legal query, which Artquest pass on to a team of legal specialists for an initial reply.
MCAHE – research, mapping, case studies
‘Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience’ was an interdisciplinary research project that critically examined the role and practice of temporary visual art commissioning within heritage properties in Britain, mapping the landscape and exploring the impact of this activity on its producers and audiences. It approached this subject from multiple perspectives, and brought together the knowledge and experience of scholars, artists, heritage professionals, volunteers and visitors. The MCAHE website includes case studies, research and mapping from the project.
a-n – paying artists
The Paying Artists Campaign was launched in 2014 in response to the needs of a-n’s 25,000 members to secure payment for artists who exhibit in publicly-funded galleries. In that time, a-n consulted nearly 2,000 individuals – artists, curators, funders, arts producers, museums, galleries, local authorities and other public commissioners. There has been great support and willingness from all corners of the sector to help shape and see guidance put into practice. a-n’s Exhibition Payment Guide, published in 2016, provides sectoral advice for establishing and agreeing exhibition payments for the benefit of the whole sector; for organisations to establish best practice, for artists to sustain their careers and so that audiences can see art that reflects the full spectrum of human experience.
Museum’s Association – decolonising museums – resources, case studies
Decolonisation is not simply the relocation of a statue or an object; it is a long-term process that seeks to recognise the integral role of empire in museums – from their creation to the present day. Decolonisation requires a reappraisal of our institutions and their history and an effort to address colonial structures and approaches to all areas of museum work. The Museum’s Association present podcasts, case studies, articles, and a video hub on the subject.
Afterall Art School – decolonisation in the 2020s
A series of recorded events that took place throughout March 2021, organised by the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP), UAL’s Decolonising Arts Institute and Goldsmiths, Department of Visual Cultures. Since 2017, MASP and Afterall have been working together to explore practices that question and critique colonial legacies in contemporary artmaking, curation, teaching and critical art writing. For this series, MASP and Afterall, along with collaborators from DeAI and Goldsmiths, joined to explore the key stakes of decolonisation in the 2020s, and the problematics of attempting to do so within and through institutions. Explore essays and videos from this discursive project, taking in the perspectives of artists, activists, academics and art workers, each centred on a specific site of struggle.
Inc Arts Unlock – anti-racism toolkit
An anti-racism toolkit for the cultural sector, giving arts organisations practical steps to take anti-racist action: Unlock. Inc Arts is a national collective that champions the creative, economic and contractual rights of the UK’s ethnically diverse workforce.
Stagetext – making work accessible
Stagetext is a registered charity which provides captioning and live subtitling services to theatres and other arts venues to make their activities accessible to people who are d/Deaf, deafened or hard of hearing. Stagetext have a resources section on their website for venues, where you’ll find some useful resources to help you understand more about your deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audiences, as well as handy how-to guides to make your work accessible to many more people.
Arts Council – self evaluation
Self evaluation is a vital first step towards improving your work. It can also help with self confidence and resilience. Arts Council has developed a Self Evaluation toolkit for people, companies and partnerships in the arts, cultural and creative sectors.