No Shortlists

As an artist, I find it incredibly frustrating that I am expected to guess what commissioners and funders want, and to arrive at a competitive interview with a fully formed idea.

In this workshop 5 invited individuals from commissioning organisations meet 5 invited artists, and they workshop together towards the goal of creating a new piece that will go on to be fully commissioned. This is not a networking opportunity but rather the attempt to form a working relationship from the position of mutual understanding.

There is an inevitable power relation between commissioners and artists. This workshop wants to flatten the hierarchy. Project partners will select artists and commissioners through a nomination process. Commissioners will be randomly matched with artists one-to-one. Participants will be taken through a series of exercises in which they will be encouraged to share their organisational and artistic aims and objectives, honestly and openly, including budgetary and financial considerations and personal needs. Above everything this workshop wants to explore alternative models for the commissioning of socially engaged practice.

Invited artists are being asked to come:

– Ready to share their practice in a 20 minute visual presentation
– Be open to a range of working opportunities (big and small) with new partners
– Be able to commit the time of the workshop for an honorarium of £100*
*This is a set honorarium to include travel costs. Although we can’t guarantee that the work developed will eventually be commissioned, we are asking commissioners to commit some minimum funds. We aim that the meeting should result in paid employment.

Invited commissioners are being asked to come:

– Ready to share their organisational practice in a 20 minute visual presentation
– Be open to a range of artistic approaches (big and small) with new artists
– Be able to commit £1,500* to a potential project
*This £1,500 will remain in the commissioner’s bank. It is not a payment for participation. It could, for example, be part of a commissioning strand for which an artist is not yet attached. £1,500 might be more than is necessary for some ideas (e.g. a one off workshop) but a fraction of what is needed for more ambitious projects. It the latter case, the committed funds could be used to fundraise for more costly work. The £1,500 is a marker of commitment.

No Shortlists is supported by ‘Social Works ?’, the commissioning arm of Axisweb’s Models of Validation – a two year knowledge transfer partnership between Axisweb and Manchester Metropolitan University exploring socially engaged artistic practice, in partnership with Cubitt Education and Notting Hill Genesis. 73 Mildmay Street is an Extra Care facility run by Notting Hill Genesis.