Some time ago now we started to pilot a new programme of works, funded by the Arts Council of Wales, which looked to support the development of key skills, necessary to help artists have a full and sustained freelance career. These were skills that artists asked me about a lot - marketing, budgeting, paying tax and so on. Things that don't mean you are a good artist, but without them made it almost impossible to be one.
Huddles consisted of four events across Wales, starting in Cardiff before moving on to Aberystwyth, Bangor and finally in Swansea. At each event, experts in the field were invited to make presentations on various subjects offering help and advise and highlighting the pitfalls from their personal point of view. Each presentation was livestreamed so no matter where in the country you are based you were able to access the information live, or on demand at a later date.
You can still catch some of these presentations on line now (unfortunately you wont find the Cardiff ones as something went wrong with the sound recording). Do have a look.
There were also presentations from each of the host venues (Chapter, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Pontio and Volcano Theatre) about how they like to work with and support artists plus 1-to-1 advice sessions for artists who were in the room to talk about a particular issue or ask a specific question that they may have been wrestling with.
The pilot phase has come to an end, so we are now starting to think about how we support this area of skills development for artists in the future (do you even think we should?).
We have created a short questionnaire to try to get to the bottom of this so no matter whether you have physically attended a Huddle, participated on line or haven't even heard of Huddles until now, you'll be able to feed into our thinking about this area of work in the future.
I really hope you can spare the time to give this a go. It's important to us, and I hope it's important to you.
Deadline: 23 May, 10am
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