Writing an Arts Policy

An Arts Policy is a useful way of describing your ambitions and vision for commissioning contemporary artists, and how you are going to achieve this.

About Writing an Arts Policy

We recommend you write an Arts Policy as a way of embedding learning from any artist commissions in to your organisation and its future planning. The policy will make explicit links to ambitions within your organisational business plan and any other appropriate strategic documents. This ensures that the Policy sits comfortably as a strand of work within broader organisational plans and strategies.

An Arts Policy is a useful way of describing your ambitions and vision for commissioning contemporary artists and how you are going to meet these ambitions and vision. It should explain why you think it is an important mechanism for supporting museum resilience; developing audiences, creating new partnerships, raising your museum’s profile and presenting new ways for people to experience a deep engagement with heritage. By establishing an Arts Policy you are ensuring the knowledge and skills gained from any commissioned artist project can be easily understood within your organisation and that your learning is passed on to others.

You do not have to write a long and complicated Arts Policy.  It will be two to three pages long, succinct and clear. The Arts Policy sets out your commitment to contemporary arts within a heritage context and can be linked to further policy statements and action plans for other areas of work.

Our template offers suggestions that can help you think about what to write in your Arts Policy.



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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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