“Following our successful Mind The Gap training sessions aimed at new dance graduates in Spring 2021, we asked our artists network whether an informal meet-up for those mid-way through their career would be something they’d find useful. The answer was a resounding yes!
“By describing an artist as ‘mid career’ we mean an artist who has established their practice over a number of years; created a body of work (ie more than 2 or 3 shows); and received regional and/or national recognition for this work.
“There are very few opportunities designed specifically for artists at this stage of their career and as a result they can feel overlooked. We know there is lot of expertise, knowledge and skill at stake if mid career artists are not supported - particularly as we navigate the sector post-pandemic.
“We’ve had one exploratory meeting so far and there were some meaty topics discussed. We asked the group what do you need as a mid career artist? The varied responses demonstrated how the needs of artists are wide-ranging and there is no one size solution to fit all. Some of the responses were:
- Group coaching sessions exploring what we make, how we make it & career pathways
- Creating opportunities for advocacy, especially with funders like Arts Council England
- The jump from project funding to National Portfolio Organisation - not all artists want to become an NPO, yet project funding is not sustainable
- Workshops curated by artists for artists
- Submitting a joint funding bid for a range of mid career artists
- Fair pay (including paying experienced artists more than equity minimum)
“We plan to create regular meet ups where we can support the artists involved and they will continue to be an informal, relaxed place to talk, listen and make plans. It’s important to say that at the moment the artists who are involved are predominantly from a contemporary dance background but we’re really keen to hear from artists working in other dance forms.
“Whilst our Mind the Gap programme is designed to increase the skills of recent graduates and create artistic and business frameworks, this mid career meet up is about us listening to and exploring with artists. We aim to support artists involved by building a programme of activity with them, and where possible sourcing funding to finance this.”
If you are a mid career artist* working in dance and would like to come along to a meeting, please email Janine at Janine.firstname.lastname@example.org
*dancer / choreographer / movement director / teacher / producer