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What is an Artist Educator and how does Bow Arts Learning work with them?

Artist Educators are professional and practicing artists that we contract to lead or support in planning and delivering our projects. Our work is wide ranging and projects can vary across different visual arts media, for different audiences and clients. We work with a variety of schools, youth and community settings across East London and beyond. Projects might include school workshops, artist talks or studio visits, after school clubs, training for staff in the arts and community art projects. We keep a list of artists in various disciplines on our books whom we contact with opportunities to work with us. This may mean we approach an artist directly for a particular project or that we send out a project brief and invite artists to submit a proposal on how they would achieve the project aims. We would then choose an appropriate artist based on this. 

Why should I register as an Artist Educator with Bow Arts Learning and how do I do it?

If you become an Artist Educator with Bow Arts Learning we will email you with project briefs and other opportunities for work or training. We will also keep you in mind for all projects and may approach you directly if we feel you are the right artist for a particular project. If we are recruiting for Artist Educators these will be advertised on our Jobs & Opportunities page. 

Do I need any particular qualifications or experience to apply?

We would only contract artists for paid work who have experience of working in formal education context ( for example, in schools and colleges); however, we welcome artists who would like to gain experience to register, to apply for our yearly Artist Educator Trainee Programme providing they have a strong interest in and motivation to improve outcomes for children and young people through the arts. We can offer opportunities to volunteer or occasionally provide reduced fees to work as a support artist on projects. We also offer training and professional development courses for artists.

How much is a DBS and how do I get one?

It is essential that all artists who work with us hold a current enhanced DBS disclosure. These currently cost £50.40 (2020) for contracted artists and are free of charge for volunteers. Bow Arts does not charge an administration fee on top of this. When you register with us, if you don’t have a current valid DBS, you will be invited in to complete a DBS application through Bow Arts. You will need to bring with you three forms of ID which we will scan and use to check against your application. A list of valid forms of ID can be found here. Applications typically take around a week to be processed and are valid for three years.

Can I wait until I get work before I complete my DBS?

It is up to you whether you complete your DBS when you register or wait until you are offered work. If you complete a DBS application form with us upfront when you register you will be able to work on a project as soon as it is offered to you. If you do not have a current valid DBS, it means that we would need to process one at the point of offering you work. If this is not completed before the work commences, we would need to advise the school/setting of this, and it would then be at their discretion as to whether they are happy to progress with working with you or not. However, we recognise that paying for a DBS is a big expense without a guarantee of work. We can therefore advise individual artists of the best time to complete a DBS, based on what opportunities for work we currently have.

I already have a DBS form through another organisation. Do I need a separate one to work with you?

We are able to accept a DBS check completed through another organisation, provided that it is still valid (DBS checks are valid for three years). We will need to see a hard copy for our records.

How much will I get paid as an Artist Educator?

How much you get paid depends on the nature and scale of the individual project. As a guide, our daily rate for a lead artist is approximately £180 per day. We usually pay artists a fee for their attendance at a planning meeting. An artist day is the equivalent of 9-5, although we recognise that only a proportion of this is likely to be contact time delivering the project. The remaining hours contribute towards planning, preparation and evaluation. We do not pay artist travel expenses. 

Am I guaranteed regular work when I register with you?

If you are registered with us we will keep you in mind for projects and contact you with opportunities and briefs for projects you can pitch for. However, we cannot guarantee you regular work as it depends what projects we have on at that time, your suitability for those particular projects and how many other artists apply for positions. It is worth responding to briefs, keeping in touch with us and letting us know your own ideas for projects.

How long do projects normally last?

Project length depends entirely on the nature of the project. They can range from a one-off afternoon workshop in a school, to a commissioned project such as a mural which may last a few weeks, to annual programmes of after school clubs, for example. The length of the project and level of commitment required from the artist will be made clear from the start in project briefs, meetings and contracts.

Who is responsible for sourcing workshop materials?

It is the artist’s responsibility to ensure that all materials have been sourced in time for the session. The artist is expected to provide a list of materials in the planning stages of a project. Bow Arts Learning will place one materials order per project on Hope Education if a clear list with links and product codes is provided at least two weeks in advance. It is usually the school’s responsibility to provide any non-consumables needed (to be specified by the artist). If any specialist materials are required it is up to the artist to source these. There will be a budget for materials, which will be outlined in the contract, the artist will be reimbursed for any materials expenses incurred with valid receipts.

Would I be responsible for the behaviour and discipline of the group?

No – we always insist that our artists work in schools or youth settings alongside at least one member of staff. In a whole class situation, this is usually a teacher, although when working with small groups this may be support staff. Either way, there should always be an adult present who knows the children and is responsible for behaviour management. We take this measure to protect the artist, the children and the school and to give school staff a chance to learn new skills and develop new ideas that they can use in their own classroom practice.