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Taisbean/Curators North

If you are a curator or producer from the North of Scotland and work with contemporary art and artists, we’d love to hear from you.

Thanks to the generosity of the William Grant Foundation the Taisbean project can support a network of up to 10 curators/producers for a year-long programme of development events and visits to share expertise, strengthen collaboration and promote advocacy. Taisbean aims to support excellence in contemporary art and highlight innovative ways of working in communities.

To help us bring a group together that reflects the range of activity, geographical spread and developmental needs of the sector we’d like to learn more about you.

If you’d like to take part, please send us your cv and a note of interest by February 20th, 2020. You can find out more about the project and what to include below.

What is Taisbean/Curators North?

Taisbean/Curators North hopes to establish a core network of around 10 participants. They will take part in a year-long programme of development days and visits to develop a strong network of curators in the north of Scotland. They will share expertise, develop joint advocacy goals and explore the potential of collaboration. Each participant will also use the opportunities of the programme to develop an individual research focus useful to their own working circumstances. Programme events will begin in late April 2020 and the programme will wrap up with a public event to share some of the ideas and themes that the group have explored.

The project’s title, Taisbean, comes from the Gaelic term to table, or reveal. Curators play a vital role in the culture and wellbeing of Scotland’s varying communities and help to build Scotland’s future heritage. Taisbean aims to support excellence in contemporary art and highlight innovative ways of working in communities.

Who can take part?

Curators and Producers who actively work with contemporary artists through curating, commissioning, exhibiting or producing their work can apply to take part through a note of interest (see below). Participants can be freelance or working with an organisation.

What do I need to commit to?

1. Share your expertise

We want the group to be ready for active participation and sharing.

2. Take part in development visits

We’d like our core participants to take part in all of our four development opportunities and a public event at the end of the programme. We expect each of our development opportunities to be a two-day trip. First up we’d like the group to meet at Glasgow International Festival in April to see great art, meet peers and to help build priorities for future activity. We’d also like you to keep your diaries free for June 6/7 for a regional visit in Scotland.

3. Building your own research focus.
What are your own priorities at the moment? We’d like you to use the group opportunities to think them through, pursue your own lines of enquiry and develop your own research focus. For example: are you looking to develop a particular skillset? Are you exploring a particular theme, concept or method in your curating? Do you have a strategic goal for your own role or organisation? Are you working on big funding plan or partnership and looking for expertise?

Who is the programme for?

The programme is for curators and producers living in, and working from, the North of Scotland. You don’t need to be a member of SCAN to take part, but if you’d like to become part of our network, share in member benefits and help us strengthen our mandate to support and champion contemporary art you can find out more here

For the purpose of the scheme participants should live in/work from the following council areas:

Shetland Islands
Orkney Islands
Eilean Siar

Why is Scottish Contemporary Art Network involved?

In 2018 SCAN was invited by Highland curators Kirsten Body and Victoria Caine to explore how to support the work of curators in the north of Scotland. In 2019 SCAN was invited to work with An Talla Solais, in Ullapool, to hold a networking weekend for curators from the north of Scotland. At the end of that event, there was a clear appetite for further opportunities to work together and suggestions for activities and themes. SCAN surveyed participants, and those who had expressed an interest in the pilot event, for their views.
Taisbean is delivered by SCAN. Taisbean’s freelance project co-ordinator is the curator, project manager and researcher Frances Davis. Frances has extensive experience of working with communities in the north of Scotland in her former role as curator at Timespan in Helmsdale, Sutherland.

How do I apply?

Please send an up to date CV and a note of interest of no more than 350 words to SCAN on putting Taisbean in the subject line. The deadline is noon, February 20, 2020

Tell us what you do and why you would like to take part. The project will encourage participants to develop an individual research focus that suits the circumstances of your own work, so tell us about what you’d like to explore over the year.

SCAN is aware that travel costs and time are key issues for curators in the north. Taisbean will contribute to costs such as travel and subsistence for participants but cannot pay you for your time participating in the project.

If you work for an organisation, please let us know of any support your employers can bring. For example, they could make a contribution to your travel or accommodations costs or they might be able to offer in kind support such as a venue or hosting.

If you are freelance, please let us know about any current projects or partnerships you think are relevant and if you are able to bring any in-kind resources to the project.

Please note, logistics and capacity mean that to ensure we can share this opportunity widely to build the network, we can only accept one person from any organisation. There will be opportunities to share the work of Taisbean with your colleagues or partners.

Taisbean is delivered by Scottish Contemporary Art Network (SCAN) and kindly supported by William Grant Foundation and Creative Scotland

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