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WEVAA creates accessible opportunities by delivering an artist development programme for Bristol and the West of England
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Professional Development

The WEVAA professional development programme aims to support the ambition of artists living locally and increase resilience to challenges experienced in the current climate. We offer skills training, resources, and development opportunities such as mentoring sessions, workshops, talks, tours and events.

Our online programme (details below) covers a wide range of key skills, from fundraising to inclusion, and includes workshops and training opportunities with inspiring practitioners. The programme aims to support different career stages and experiences for artists, producers, curators and art workers in the region.

The programme also includes access to Spike Island Associates - a network of artists, curators, designers, writers and producers at all stages of their careers - through fully-subsidised bursaries; and has supported a new artist development page. Networking events and workshops by The Brunswick Club have included Film projection, 16mm film eco processing, drawing and working with flowers, wax record making, percussion instruments, creating a light-controlled drone synth, and drum beat

Current opportunities and resources are below. These will be regularly updated, sign up to our newsletter to hear more.

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2023 Programme

Our autumn online programme has been curated by dhaqan collective.

  • We are dhaqan collective.
    dhaqan collective is a feminist art collective led by Ayan Cilmi and Fozia Ismail, centering the voices of womxn and elders in our community, and privileging co-creation and collaboration. Our practice seeks to find ways of building imaginative futures that support Somali people here and in East Africa to resist the threats over cultural heritage.

  • Our main ethos as a collective is democratising and flattening structures and moving towards ‘communities of resistance.’ 1.

  • Our work is our shelter and protection. It gives us a space to convene, commune, laugh and heal with others to enable us to re-enter society with a renewed sense of strength and self.

  • Art making can be a space that is expansive, but is limited by the material reality of the way our society is structured against marginalised people. In our work we try to understand and grapple with societal and climate issues that hinder us and our communities in the hope that this will help us create healing and joyful spaces. In this programme we aim to ask how we can take our collective anxieties and realities and to challenge what the art world’s role and & response to the climate emergency. We don’t have all the answers but we hope to sit with you in trying to acknowledge the state of the world, speak truth to its difficulties and share what is helping us to move forward.

  • The programme brings together exciting artists, academics and curators that we feel are in dialogue with the themes of climate justice, racial and social precarity and communities of resistance; and how these relate to the making of culture.

  • 1. bell hooks, Sisters of the Yam: Black Women and Self-Recovery

Details of current opportunities are below, along with information about who the session would most benefit.

Previous workshops have looked at sustaining your practice and working in and with public/s. These included a one day moving image development workshop with Benjamin Cook (Director, LUX), How to Have a Sustainable Creative Career with Ceri Hand, mentoring sessions with Dr Cara Courage, a workshop to explore creative methodologies in collaborative projects by Gaylene Gould and Amal Khalaf, and one-to-one sessions with Can Altay.

  • All in all, these workshops are amazing and I can’t rate them enough!
    2022 programme participant

Resources related to events will be published below. We’ll be updating these on a regular basis throughout the programme.

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Untitled design 1

2022 Programme

Income Generation for Young and Emerging Artists

One of the first barriers to a career in the arts is earning enough to make a living. VASWA worked in partnership with Creative Youth Network to present a series of free opportunities for students, recent graduates and anyone else making their first steps towards a career in the visual arts. Workshops included Pricing and Selling your Artwork with Ceri Hand, Designing and Running a Workshop with Graham MacLeod Johnson, and An Introduction to Funding with Millie Wood Downie.

Business Skills for Early to Mid Career Artists

The practical side of a visual arts career is often less glamorous than making the work, but it's vital to everyone in the sector. Two workshops focused on the business skills you need to move your career to the next stage: Manifest your Dreams - Creative Business Planning for Artists with Mel Larsen, and Tax and Accounting For Early Career Artists with Art & People.

Other past workshops have included New Arts Council England Project Grants with Christina Poulton; Deaf, Disabled and Neurodivergent Audience Development with Alex Covell; and Strategies of Care with Roseanna Dias.

Online workshops August