New skills for new ways of working
Throughout 2020 the impact of Covid-19 and national lockdown restrictions on local communities, artists and organisations meant that new ways of working and supporting artists in applying for funding for activity was a priority. This case study by MarketPlace looks at the type of commission support and skills development offered and the difference this has made from participant feedback.
An ongoing partnership delivery of artist training has been identified as more crucial this year than in previous years. Developing local infrastructure is essential to the long term success of MarketPlace, particularly with a focus on digital skills and connectivity.
The purpose of this activity is to grow and ensure artists have the skills to engage audiences and deliver relevant programming that is accessible and of high quality. The investment made in a two-tiered artist commissioning process was an important outcome for ensuring the security of arts employment and testing new digital programming with audiences, that could flex to their needs and national restrictions.
Creative Conversations in Isolation
The MarketPlace team amongst their CPP colleagues recognised a need to provide opportunities for local audiences to engage in creative and cultural opportunities during the first national lockdown. They also identified a need to be an integral part in supporting the local arts economy and freelance artists in a meaningful way for their communities whilst honouring their artistic ideas.
Marketplace developed the 'Creative Conversation in Isolation' two-tiered commission. Artists were invited to submit ideas that could then be funded as an 'Inkling' to be developed into a working project idea after an advice surgery session with the MarketPlace team.
This enabled artists to gain direct support and insight to make their ideas audience focussed with their time being valued financially. Upon approval of their delivery plan submission, the project would be funded at the 'Connect' level to engage communities in the activity.
Of the 19 projects commissioned this year, seven were commissioned directly at Connect level as their project plan was fully formed, ten of the projects have moved from Inkling to Connect and 2 projects are still in the Inkling development phase. Of the commissions, ten were funded within the first lockdown.
These artists reflected upon the impact of the commission on their current employment, stability and new ways of working. This commission alongside a measuring digital impact training day enables the development of local capacity to grow at the same time as the audience appetite for this type of cultural content.