Strategy & Planning

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

About Strategy & Planning

There are great benefits to be had by introducing contemporary art into heritage contexts, but it is important to realise that the primary drivers of each organisation will be different and that each will have its own planning cycles. Allow plenty of time to establish the basics before going ahead with a project. Identifying the right person in the organisation to approach is likely to result in a more informed conversation.

Initial meeting

Ideally this should include the property manager and the Artistic Director [or CEO] of the arts organisation. You will require ‘buy in’ from the top from the start. At this initial meeting both parties need to be clear about the intent, aims and objectives of running a contemporary arts project and to share their own anticipated outcomes.

You could also consider using the Case Studies available on the Arts&Heritage site.

Project Proposal

Following the initial meeting, make sure that a draft project proposal is written that articulates aims, objectives and agreed anticipated outcomes – e.g. visitor experience; increased engagement with site; increase in secondary income; new members recruited; opportunity for artist(s) to make new work and engage with new audiences. Share and refine this between you. Agree who will draft the marketing strategy and who will take a lead on different aspects of the project.

Project Management

There need to be clear lines of responsibility so it is important to identify one person who will manage the whole process. In some cases, a dedicated project manager on a short-term contract may be necessary, who works alongside the curator and other stakeholders. Create a small steering group, which meets regularly to update on the development of the project and agree forward plans.

Artistic guidance/curation

It is useful to have someone who acts as curator – this may be one of your team who has experience in this area or you may need to contract someone with the right expertise. A curator should either lead on, or assist in drafting the brief for the artist(s), draw up the methodology for selection, invite or target particular artists for a specific context or act as a panel member along with site staff to select artist proposals.

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.



Project Planning Checklist: Roles & Responsibilities

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



Project Planning Checklist: for Arts Organisations

A checklist for arts organisations when planning arts and heritage projects.


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