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Arts Advice & Guidance

Bristol City CouncilBristol City Council Arts Development play a leading role in facilitating environments which encourage creativity, and ensure that Bristol’s diverse communities are able to access and be inspired by the arts.


a-n Artists Information Companya-n the Artists Information Company is widely acknowledged to be the leading UK agency for supporting artists’ practice.


Creative Lives is a registered charity that was established in 1991. We champion community and volunteer-led creative activity, and work to improve opportunities for everyone to be creative. In particular, we celebrate and promote people expressing themselves creatively with others, recognising the benefits this can bring.

We know that creative expression in all its forms is a fundamental part of being human, but that individuals and communities need opportunities and support for creativity to flourish. We also know that people coming together to create, have fun, share experiences and support each other can have a positive impact on both their physical and emotional wellbeing.

To that end, Creative Lives works with communities, organisations, policy-makers, funders and creative individuals as a voice for positive change, to improve and expand the landscape in which creative participation can take place. We work to address inequalities in access to creative participation, promote inclusivity, connect people and communities, and seek to increase awareness of the links between creativity and wellbeing.

We do this on a local and national level through advocacy, development and celebrating the activities of creative people, groups and places through the Creative Lives Awards, Creative Lives On Air, Get Creative Festival, our Creative Networks and Creative Learning sessions and a diverse range of creative projects.

We have teams based across the UK and Ireland, and are funded by Arts Council England, the Arts Council of Ireland, Creative Scotland and the Arts Council of Wales.

Visit Creative Lives for more information:

Visual Art South West (VASW) orking towards a South West where talented artists thrive, and a resilient and connected visual arts ecology that inspires more engaged and diverse audiences to value and advocate for its work.

Visual Arts South West works in partnership with organisations, funders, groups and artists to deliver a programme that supports the development and sustainability of the visual arts in the South West. Since its inception in 2010, VASW has created programmes that respond to the needs of artists, professionals and organisations, developed through extensive consultation with the sector. 

We are currently delivering a 15-month (October 2015-December 2016) Arts Council grant funded programme which includes the strands: ‘Going Places’, ‘Writing Partnerships’, ‘Critical Dialogue’, ‘Website Development’ and ‘Artist Mentoring Programme’ and you can find our more information about the programme in the ‘Current’ link of this section. We also continue to broker connections, offer advice, connect the sector through our newsletters, website and face-to-face.

We are working towards a strategyframework for 2015-18.

VASW Resources

VASW Jobs & Opportunities

We are an arts and health charity with branches in Bristol and London. Our vision is for a world in which everyone can transform their life through creative community. 

We provide positive, life-changing interventions for people with mental or emotional difficulties within an artistic therapeutic community. We will support you to enhance your well-being and health, reinforce and recharge your creativity and achieve your own goals. 

Whether a Studio Member, Volunteer, Team Member, Associate Member or Workshop Participant you will both benefit from and contribute to a shared creative and therapeutic endeavour.

The leading public art resource provided by Public Art South West.  This resource provides a wealth of information on how artists and creative activity can contribute to the built and natural environment, regeneration initiatives, sustainable development, architecture and urban design.  A unique public art information site which provides guidance and examples of public art practice from around the UK and internationally.  The essential news resource for anyone wanting to keep abreast of developments in the public art field, whether you are a practitioner, commissioner, local authority, design professional or project manager.  Visit Public Art Online for more details.

Creative People is the UK network of individuals and organisations offering information, advice and guidance on professional development in the arts and crafts. Since its inception in 2001 they have developed a valued peer support network for providers of professional development services across the creative sector.

Creative People’s purpose is to develop an open community with common purpose and interest in professional development and a commitment to knowledge sharing to support best practice.  Their vision is of a Creative People network that offers you a wealth of information resources and events: workshops, conferences, courses, mentoring schemes, critical appraisal services and online toolkits. You will also find news about job opportunities and commissions.  Visit Creative People for more information.

Creative Clusters is an independent policy unit examining the growth of the creative economy. They are interested in initiatives from around the world that are designed to have an impact in both cultural and economic terms.  Creative Clusters believes that creativity is the key factor driving development. Across the world, enterprises based on individual creativity are booming. Furthermore, knowledge and culture-based activities now play a central role in the activities of all businesses. This is the era of the creative economy.

These changes are having a dramatic impact on global culture and on the economy. Our goal is to help people engaged in the development of the creative economy to communicate and share resources with one another. Creative Clusters is the international conference, network and events programme for people working in the development of the creative economy. They are interested in development and regeneration projects that deliver outcomes in both cultural and economic terms.  Their goal is to help people engaged in the development of the creative economy to communicate and share resources with one another.  Visit Creative Clusters for more information.

Creative Choices is the first online service to provide the tools, knowledge and networks to support every individual and business to get in, and get on, in the creative industries and cultural sector.  They believe in individuals taking control of their own career decisions. People can only do this when they are well informed, with access to the right tools, knowledge and networks to help develop their skills and fuel their desire to succeed.  That’s why they’ve developed Creative Choices: they want everyone who wants to enter the creative industries to use to help make a more informed choice about where they are going, and how to get there. It’s not just for those trying to get into the creative sector. It’s for everyone who already is, and wants develop their career or business further.

The Crafts Council acts as an exchange for knowledge of, support for and expertise on contemporary crafts. They produce a programme of high-level events for makers to showcase and sell their work directly to the public. They run schemes to support both emerging and established makers and curators, and create conferences and seminars to encourage debate and share best practice. They provide an information service for anyone interested in contemporary craft and they research, through partnership, the contemporary craft sector to provide a national and regional overview and to highlight current issues. They manage their own collection of crafts objects and publish Crafts Magazine six times a year. They stage high-quality exhibitions in national and regional museums and galleries, and create opportunities for people to see contemporary craft in a variety of contexts. Visit Crafts Council for more information.

Axis provides a unique information resource for arts professionals and enthusiasts to research, commission and engage with contemporary artists. It exists to champion the work of artists by presenting authoritative information about their practice, enabling artists to profile their work to an expansive audience.  Axis is host to the largest directory of professional artists practising in the UK, comprising detailed biographies, images, film and audio clips.

The Arts Council England (ACE) works to get great art to everyone by championing, developing and investing in artistic experiences that enrich people’s lives.  As the national development agency for the arts, they support a range of artistic activities from theatre to music, literature to dance, photography to digital art, carnival to crafts.

Arts Council England publications include titles on the different types of arts activity they invest in, education and learning, audience development, diversity and resource development and they publish a range of useful free information sheets too.   ACE is also committed to supporting public engagement and they provide information and guidance on how to be more community- and customer-focused and cover the following areas:

  • Audience development agenices
  • Toolkits
  • Area Profile Reports
  • Arts Marketing Association
  • Audience Data UK

Visit Arts Council England for more information.

Arts & Health South West is an organisation for everyone interested in the Arts and Health sector in the South West of England. Their aim is to raise the profile and influence the development of the Arts and Health sector across the region as well as provide information and support.

On there web site you can access a wealth of up-to-date information about Arts and Health – from the latest news about events and training to hundreds of relevant web links… you can also find out more about Arts & Health South West , and join on line…

Please note that Arts & Health South West is now a FREE MEMBERSHIP ORGANISATION! Join up online now to be eligible to come to AHSW Member’s Meetings and to receive regular ebulletins relating to arts and health in the region and beyond…

ArtQuest provides a comprehensive advice and information service to London’s visual arts professionals at all stages of their careers.  Covering all areas of practice, Artquest provides information relating to the presentation and selling of work; research and development of new work; funding advice and funding sources and ongoing professional development and training opportunities.  Lots of useful information for those living outside London too!

Artquest provides advice and information for visual artists including:

This is not a complete list as Artquest has over 800 pages of information and advice on it’s website alone.  Remember to have a look at the Artroute section for information about living and working in France and the Artlaw section for legal articles and free online legal advice (for London-based artists) and Artellier an International studio and apartment exchanges for visual artists: make new friends around the corner or around the world.

Latest articles published on the ArtQuest website include:

– Benefits

– Empty shops

– How to work with a commercial gallery

– How to price your artwork

– How to set up an organisation

– How to set up an artist-led space

For more information visit Artquest

Artists’ Union England supports freelance/self-employed artists based in England.  Membership costs £42 annually – equivalent to £3.50 per month.

Membership Benefits

A membership to Artists’ Union England gets you professional support and access to resources. That means you’ll get:

  • Public and Products Liability (PPL) insurance
  • 30 minutes FREE legal advice
  • Access to resources about artists’ issues
  • FREE training and study opportunities
  • Tax guidance

Your membership means help will be there when you need it and we’ll constantly campaign for artist’s rights.

Apply Now!

What Do Artists’ Union England Do?

We take on casework and support members through workplace disputes

We offer bespoke guidance and advice when members need it.

We connect artists in their local area and support members to be more active in the union.

We support members in financial hardship and help with stipends to attend conferences and training.

We campaign for sustainable futures, equality, respect and access in every aspect of life and work.

We launched the ‘Good Practice Charter’ to hold institutions to account.

Artists’ Union England represents artists and our members work in disciplines including:

– Visual Art, 

– Applied Arts, 

– Socially Engaged Art,

– Moving Image

– Sound and Performance

Artists’ Union England is an active union and is constantly campaigning, producing resources and signposting opportunites for its members.

Join Us Now!