Photograph of the front end of street art, pedestrians in the foreground have motion blur effects on them.Photo by Doug Gillen

Insights from the Bas-Arts-Index Workshop: how to respond to an arts brief

We recently had the pleasure of partnering with Bas Arts Index, who hosted the fantastic workshop ‘How to respond to an arts brief set by funders or cultural organisations.’ This upskilling workshop was the first in their Contours series, which is a new stream of activity developed by Bas-Arts-Index to share insider knowledge and better inform the creative community in Basildon and beyond about arts and cultural practice.

This session explored everything one needs to know about arts briefs, from where to find opportunities, what to consider when responding, to deciding if it’s the right fit for your practice. Artist opportunities are commonly advertised through an open call process, however identifying, responding and planning your workflow can be tricky. This workshop provided the insight and advice to help.


“Bas-arts-index delivered an exceptionally well considered workshop and inspiring presentations from artists who generously shared advice based on their experience. This builds a strong foundation for future programmes devised in direct response to the needs of the network.”  –  Thea Behrman, Artistic Director & CEO of Estuary Festival


Speaking at the event was Creative Estuary advisory board member and artist Lu Williams who shared their artistic journey in responding to opportunities both locally and regionally, passing on examples of what’s worked in the past and what’s been unsuccessful. Lu specifically highlighted the importance of local networks and nurturing those relationships. The benefit being you can then utilise those skills and build the cost into your own brief. Also covered were insights about how projects might evolve and adapt beyond the original briefing.

James Ravinet approached the topic from both sides of the fence – as an artist and curator. He reflected on previous experiences with applying for opportunities as an artist, and also shared tips and guidance on what reviewers look for drawing on his experience working as a curator at Focal Point Gallery, Southend and as Cultural Development Officer delivering Essex Arts and Culture Fund.

The workshop proved to be a valuable resource for the local creative community, offering a crucial chance for skill enhancement and increased access to work opportunities. At Creative Estuary, we champion and support the development of the local creative ecology through our capital projects. Therefore, we will continue to collaborate with creative networks around the estuary to foster and nurture the vibrant creative community.

The second installment of this series is scheduled for Thursday 29th February and is titled Getting Funding: How to apply for micro funds vs big funds. This session will explore the funding landscape within the arts, looking at both larger funding pots and smaller micro funds.

Book your free tickets HERE

Ben Stewart
Ben Stewart
Ben Stewart