West of England Visual Arts Alliance
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WHAT IS WEVAA
The West of England Visual Arts Alliance (WEVAA) is working to transform the future of visual arts in the region by providing opportunities and development towards a more progressive, sustainable and inclusive sector by 2024.
WEVAA's nine partners are working to achieve this future in the following ways:
- Professional Development
- Diverse Opportunities
- Sector building
Co-led by Spike Island and Visual Arts South West, the consortium includes partners Bath Spa University School of Art, Bristol City Council, The Brunswick Club, Creative Youth Network, Culture Weston, North Somerset Council and UWE Bristol.
Over the next three years, the West of England Visual Arts Alliance programme aims to transform Bristol and the West of England (the geographical triangle of Bristol, Bath and Weston-super-Mare) into a place where the visual arts can thrive, providing critical opportunities and support to enable diverse local artists, curators and young people to develop their careers and achieve their potential.
This strategic partnership will also provide support for access costs and network hubs, help artist-led groups to secure urgently needed homes, and enable artist-led organisations and studio providers to become more sustainable and inclusive by adopting new models of best practice. By advocating for the visual arts to be embedded in the region’s strategic development, it aims to ensure that the sector’s role in regeneration, well-being, and economic and community development is fully recognised.
The three key delivery partners are Spike Island, VASW and the Brunswick Club.
Spike Island acts as the hub for the place-based Artist Development programme, and is producing and presenting a series of major new commissions and engagement fellowships with local and international artists.
VASW functions as the network and resource hub for visual artists based in Bristol and the West of England, delivering an online training programme for the sector over 3 years. They also oversee the Research & Development Fellowships and Bursaries.
The Brunswick Club collective of collectives, is delivering an artist-led artistic programme including workshops, networking sessions, commissions, projects, events and residencies that will create new opportunities for artists, curators, producers, and young people based in Bristol and the West of England and beyond. They are also looking to secure a long-term home to enable them to become an increasingly self-sustainable artist-led organisation.
Other partners include:
Bath Spa University is developing a roadmap for the visual arts in Bath and establish a sustainable network for local artists. They are also programming fully subsidised workshops for underrepresented young people.
Bristol City Council: The arts development team within BCC’s Culture and Creative Industries service are developing a Cultural Infrastructure Plan, which will be integral to the long-term impact of WEVAA in the region.
Culture Weston and North Somerset Council are working together with VASW to engage local stakeholders in developing the capacity and profile of Weston-super-Mare as a viable destination for the visual arts, with a focus on providing new opportunities for early-career artists facing barriers to access.
Creative Youth Network is working closely with Spike Island to ensure that young people from different backgrounds are central to the WEVAA commissions programme, and are able to gain professional experience that will support them to contribute to the future development of the visual arts sector in the region.
UWE Bristol is supporting the project partners to meet their objectives, helping to make Bristol and the West of England a place where graduates and young people from all backgrounds can develop careers in the visual arts and the wider creative industries.
WHAT WE DO
2. Professional Development
3. Diverse Opportunities
4. Sector Building