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The Lowry to hold national event exploring artist development as specialist field

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The Lowry is holding a day-long event to explore some of the essential tools and issues being explored in artist development programmes across the industry.

Claire Symonds, Senior Producer: Artist Development at The Lowry, says: “Artist development has exploded as a new field of practice. Artist development professionals are often working in a vacuum. They encounter the same questions around how to best support artists for the future of the industry but there is very little research or established best practice to help build their skills and very few opportunities address these questions collectively.”

The Lowry Artist Development Toolkit Day in Salford on Thursday 27 February will bring together venues, organisations, networks and independent practitioners from around the country for practical workshops, provocations and peer learning.

Claire Symonds continues: “The Lowry already has a strong commitment to artist development both locally and nationally. Now we want to expand our focus beyond the artists themselves to support the workforce responsible for developing those artists. We believe that artist development should be considered as a specialist field, with its own skills, practices and codes of best practice, and we want to encourage the sector to start thinking in the same way.”

“When so many artist development practitioners are breaking new ground within their own organisations, now is the right time to consider how we can learn from each other to create programmes that offer impact for artists and a lasting legacy for the industry.”

The event will offer practical workshops on:

  • Active Listening: Claire Antrobus of Relational Dynamics Coaching
  • Critical Response Process: Natasha Gore of Liz Lerman LLC
  • Managing Successful Relationships: Gemma Baxter, independent facilitator

There will also be provocations from:

  • Hannah Barker, Belgrade Theatre Coventry: Are we setting up artists to fail?
  • Rio Matchett, Leeds Playhouse: Having honest conversations about positive discrimination
  • Natalie Querol, Arts Council England: From our ACE correspondent
  • Tim Bell, the egg Theatre Royal Bath: When should an artist development producer start producing?
  • Lucy Graham and Julia Samuels, 20 Stories High: From young person to professional artist
  • Sarah Shead, Spin Arts: How do we create a fairer arts for all? Looking to the Golden Age Pirates for answers
  • Beth Shouler, Curve Theatre: It takes a region to raise an artist
  • Amy Bell, The Place: Beyond inclusion, interrogating access invitation and stewardship of resources

Videos and other documentation from the day will be shared online after the event.