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Contact name
Samantha Martin


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Title of position advertised
Extend Leadership Programme – Call for Artists

£1,500 all inclusive fee



On behalf of engage, the National Association for Gallery Education, and as part of the Extend Leadership Programme, the Cultural Leaders group are seeking to commission an individual artist or artist collective to create a response to research exploring, and inspired by, the following quotation about the virtues of leadership written by Chinese General, Strategist and Philosopher, Sun Tzu.

‘Leadership is a matter of intelligence, trustworthiness, humaneness, courage and discipline…Reliance on intelligence alone results in rebelliousness.  Exercise of humanness alone results in weakness. Fixation on trust results in folly. Dependence on the strength of courage results in violence.  Excessive discipline and sternness in command results in cruelty.  When one has all five virtues together, each appropriate to its function, then one can be a leader.’ Sun-Tzu c.500BC

The commission will take the form of a digital film, using a minimum of two art forms, to clearly and creatively illustrate the above virtues alongside the Cultural Leaders group’s research, theory and interview moments about leadership.

About the commissioning group, Cultural Leaders

Clare Hoare, Stirling Council

Rosanna Kwok, National Theatre

Samantha Martin, Academy of Ancient Music

Marianne Pape, Attenborough Arts Centre

Vicky Sturrs, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

We are five arts and creative learning professionals working within a variety of arts organisations in England and Scotland, who are taking part in the Extend Leadership Programme led by engage, the National Association for Gallery Education. As part of the programme we are exploring ‘what is required of a leader in an arts and learning context in the 21st century’ and reflecting on how relevant Sun Tzu’s virtues are today.

What are we looking for?

  • A UK-based individual artist or an artist collective to create a piece of work that clearly and creatively illustrates Sun Tzu’s virtues and our research about leadership, including theory and interview moments. Sound recordings and transcripts of the interviews will be made available to the commissioned artist(s).
  • We welcome applications from experienced and/or emerging artists with an enthusiasm for creating new work through projects, exhibitions and commissions.
  • The work must take the form of a digital film which can be shared online. It should contain an element of sound and not exceed 7 minutes in length.
  • The work must be created using a minimum of 2 art forms from, but not limited to, the following list:
    • Music
    • Poetry
    • Dance
    • Spoken word
    • Visual arts
    • Film and media.
  • Applicants must be able to work under their own initiative, be able to effectively plan and deliver an end outcome within the given budget and timescale.


Documenting and Sharing

The copyright for the commission will be held by the commissioned artist(s), engage and the Cultural Leaders group, and will be shared with arts, culture and heritage colleagues taking part in Extend, as well as with colleagues in the group’s own organisations.

The finished commission will be made publically available on the engage website and the Cultural Leaders group website, as well as any future platforms at the discretion of engage and the Cultural Leaders group. The commissioned artist(s) will be credited and contact details / web links made available, as appropriate. Please note there may be restrictions on the size of the work which can be shown on these websites.

Artist Fee

£1,500 all-inclusive fee for one commission (including materials, production costs and VAT)

Please note: the artist(s) will receive half of the fee (£750) at the start of the project (December 2015) on submission of an invoice to engage (Jane Sillis, Director, engage, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA).

The balance will be paid on completion of the end product (March 2016) and on submission of an invoice of up to £750, together with receipts evidencing expenditure on the commission up to the value of £1,500, inclusive of VAT.


Closing date for applications is 9am on 4 December 2015;
Shortlisted applicants will be informed and contacted for phone/Skype interviews during the week commencing 14 December 2015;
The artist(s) will be appointed before 24 December 2015 and will receive preparatory materials about the project and research from the commissioning group;
Depending on location, we would like to meet the artist(s) in early January 2016;
The artist(s) will receive the final research findings on 8 February 2016;
Draft submission of the commission to be received by 7 March 2016;
Feedback will be sent to the artist(s) on the first draft by 14 March 2016;
Final submission to be received by 28 March 2016;
Following the final submission, there will be a full debrief with the commissioning group in person or by skype (date TBC).



Applicants must be able to commit to:

Preparing and working on the commission within the given timeframe (December 2015 – March 2016) and specifically between 8 February – 28 March 2016 when the end product will be produced;
Responding promptly to all communications from the commissioning group;

Attending and participating in a full debrief with the commissioning group following submission of the end product.

How to apply

To apply, please submit a word or pdf document providing the following information.  Please note where word count restrictions apply:

Name, email, phone number and postal address;
Brief biography and links to any relevant websites, blogs, social media that may support your application (200 words);
A statement outlining your relevant skills and experience (400 words);
A brief proposal outlining how you would approach the brief including the medium(s) you would use;
A draft budget showing all expenditure for the commission;
Up to 6 images of your artistic practice*;
The names, addresses and email addresses of 2 referees.

(*6 jpeg images and/or max 2 mins of film footage by We Transfer / Drop Box only)

Criteria for Selection

Approach to delivering the brief (understanding of subject matter of the research project, delivering work to deadlines, good communication and organisational skills)
Quality of work submitted
Relevant experience
Value for money


Submissions should be emailed to: by 9am on

4 December 2015 or delivered by post or by hand, marked for the attention of:

Vicky Sturrs, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art,

South Shore Road, Gateshead, NE8 3BA

Posted by sammartin8745 on 28th November 2015.