Budget Planning

A useful budget checklist for planning an artist commission.

About Budget Planning

Critical to project success is a well-planned budget. Establish a budget, which includes all cash and in-kind contributions, and takes into account artist and curators’ fees, travel/accommodation expenses; installation/de-installation costs; maintenance of artworks; marketing and promotion including social media; launch; events and artist talks; training of staff and volunteers; documentation; signage; orientation leaflet and an amount for contingencies. Identify the shortfall, if there is one, and potential sources of additional funding and write a fundraising strategy. To avoid the risk of any unforeseen costs always include a contingency.

The following project costs should be considered when preparing a budget for an artist commission:

Project Development

  • Curatorial fees and expenses
  • Artists’ proposal fees*
  • Interview costs and site visits
  • Artists’ fees/costs for the making of work/expenses – if commissioned work
  • Hire costs – if an existing artwork

* for guidance on fair artist pay look at a-n/AIR’s Paying Artists Guide [http://www.payingartists.org.uk/]

Project Delivery

  • Project Management 
  • Installation / technical support
  • Transportation of works
  • De-installation and return transportation
  • Security
  • Extra staffing / invigilation
  • Marketing
  • Documentation – photography and film
  • Catalogue / project guide
  • Education / family guide
  • Signage / interpretation
  • Press day and launch – if artists / staff / partners required to attend dedicated press days they may require an additional fee and travel expenses
  • Education – artists need to be paid for any workshop / talk and tour / training days
  • Evaluation – may need external evaluator
  • Visitor surveys
  • Re-install of landscape if work has impacted on it
  • Contingency – ideally 5-10% of total budget

N.B. – not all items will be appropriate and some costs may be found in-kind.

Related Templates & Guides

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Staff & Volunteers

It is important to take time to explain the rationale of your project, and to introduce staff and volunteers to the artists.



Strategy & Planning

Allow plenty of time to establish strategy and planning, before going ahead with a project.



Project Planning Checklist: Roles & Responsibilities

A checklist for planning project roles and responsibilities, such as responsibilities for a curator, project manager, and technician.


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