University of Salford has partnered with arts charity, East Street Arts to deliver a pioneering four-year programme aimed at transforming the landscape of artists’ spaces nationally, developing resilience and sustainability.

Funded by Arts Council England’s Sector Support Organisation programme, Guild will explore new approaches to business modelling to embed groups within their localities and advocate their impact on political and social environments.

The university joins partners, East Street Arts, a-n Artists Information Company, Key Fund, University of Leeds and Stockholm Institute for the Environment, who will work together to use their knowledge, reach, networks and influence.

Artists’ spaces are historically self-organised, under-resourced and prone to experiencing burnout. Their work is often time sensitive as they deal with rapid growth in some communities and crippling austerity measures in others. Guild will seek to address this through the provision of vital information and research provided through a new online platform and tailored support for 20 artists’ space nationally.

The University will specifically offer its expertise in regards to development of resources for undergraduates, content and thinking around masterclasses for artist groups nationally, and links to their wider partners and strategic influence within the sector.

Artist collaboratives, groups and spaces across the country are now being invited to apply to be part of Guild. Primarily focused on visual arts groups, which are more likely to be self-led and self-managed, the opportunity is open to new, small and emerging groups as well as more established enterprises. Interested parties can find out more and apply through the East Street Arts website:

Sam Ingleson, associate dean, Engagement Enterprise and Partnerships, from University of Salford said: “ The School of Arts and Media are delighted to partner with the Guild team in this ambitious and innovative programme. University of Salford is actively supportive of creating opportunities for artists to enable them to progress after graduation. We look forward to working with Guild to develop further resources for undergraduates.”

Gaynor Seville, Guild project manager at East Street Arts said: “University of Salford has a positive approach to professional development initiatives for their students and their expertise in this area will be a huge benefit to the Guild programme. Their work around development of industry partnerships will be invaluable to the 20 groups nationally that will take part in Guild.”


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