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AAJ Press
Art & Public Space, Publications

Artworks Briefing #7. A call to strengthen practice in participatory settings. Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

artworks briefing 7Artworks Briefing #7 is a report
 supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to strengthen practice in participatory settings. Their recommendations to artists, arts organisations, commissioners, employers, funders, further and higher education providers, and providers of ongoing training and development for artists fall into three categories:

  • training and development for artists
  • promoting quality
  • creating the conditions for change

Training and development

  1. Employers and training providers (including further education colleges and higher education institutions) should work together to provide development routes for artists at all stages of their careers. These should support a lifelong learning continuum encompassing formal, informal, self-led and taught provision.
  1. Funders should encourage and support the inclusion of paid continuing professional development in projects they support. Opportunities for continuing professional development for artists should be included in all project planning and design.
  1. Employers and commissioners should share responsibility for providing continuing professional development and training opportunities for artists, including freelancers, working in participatory settings.
  1. All parties providing training and development opportunities (employers and commissioners, as well as further education colleges and higher education institutions) should tailor provision to suit the way artists prefer to learn. The learning approaches we have developed through ArtWorks can be adopted more widely across the sector.
  1. Everyone should respond to the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education’s regular consultations on relevant subject benchmark statements to ensure the inclusion of participatory arts. This will encourage the inclusion of participatory arts within higher education course design.
  1. Further and higher education providers should ensure that initial training courses support and prepare artists for a successful working life in participatory settings.
  1. Everyone should play a part by collaborating with other players in the system to resource, design and deliver appropriate career development opportunities. This is a shared responsibility across the sector.

Promoting quality


  1. Everyone involved in a participatory arts project should consider quality
  • for every stage of planning, delivery and evaluation
  • in every aspect of the work, including processes, outputs, outcomes, etc
  • across all personnel

Good planning must be based on a shared understanding of what quality means within the particular context of a project

  1. Artists and arts organisations delivering work in participatory settings should strive for continuous quality improvement through regular review, reflection and revision.
  1. We must all help create the right conditions in which high quality work in participatory settings can take place. ArtWorks has developed a holistic quality framework that can be implemented by artists, employers, commissioners and funders, working in collaboration.
  1. Employers and artists should adopt common standards for work in participatory settings. Numerous examples exist, such as the ArtWorks code of practice principles, codes of practice from arts umbrella organisations, and the National Occupational Standards. Adoption of a code of practice is a powerful statement of commitment to quality in participatory work.
  1. Artists and employers should work together to demonstrate how they adhere to standards or codes of practice, and build quality factors into project design.

Condition for change


  1. We must all help develop ways of working together locally, nationally and across sectors and art forms, to share and learn from one another’s experience of participatory practice. By having a collective voice we will better represent the interests of everyone working in this field.

Download ArtWorks Briefing #7

This briefing follows the launch of a report and summary of their activities over the last four years, Reflections on developing practice in participatory settings

ArtWorks Conversations are taking place across the UK between 16 March – 26 March.

ArtWorks: Developing Practice in Participatory Settings is a Paul Hamlyn Foundation initiative which has received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Creativity, Culture & Education (through support from Arts Council England) and the Cultural Leadership Programme.

http://www.artworksphf.org.uk

Paul Hamlyn Foundation http://www.phf.org.uk/

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About jeh

Jeremy Hunt is Director of the AAJ Press (Art & Architecture Journal / Press) – a writer and consultant on art and public space - creator of art projects - writer on art

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