Reflections on a DIY approach to addressing the access needs of neurodiverse artists
In August 2016, I published a simple “ACE cheatsheet” that I had developed to help make sense of the Arts Council England’s Grants For The Arts application process for neurodiverse artists that I had been working with over the preceding months.
You can find the downloadable version of the ACE Grants For The Arts Cheatsheet here.
After sharing with my network (of artists and arts practitioners around the UK), the ACE Cheatsheet picked up a lot of attention, shares and recommendations. Within a few days, a-n (the Artist Information Company – the largest artists’ membership organisation in the UK with over 21,000 members) had started to cover the story (in a number of articles online), sharing the cheatsheet more widely. A year on, that sharing continues (with a steady stream of thankful strangers getting in touch sporadically via social media) and the original post has racked up 10.5k views and 3000+ downloads.
Here are some articles & coverage of the ACE cheatsheet:
- a-n (18 August 2016) Artist publishes ACE funding ‘cheatsheet’
- a-n (26 August 2016) Arts funding ‘cheatsheet’ goes viral as artists express frustration with application process
- Sonia Boue (28 August 2016) A Continuing Bias #cheatsheet
- Dan Thompson (January 2017) Arts Council England’s Grantium funding portal
The cheatsheet has also been re-posted online by Bristol City Council – Arts Development, Vital Creative, Plymouth Culture & Creative Futures amongst others. Artist Pete Ashton even took the cheatsheet idea on to create a markdown version & shared on github.
— Artquest (@ARTQUESTLONDON) August 19, 2016
— Mr Abbott (@TheGeometrician) August 12, 2016
— Louise Clarke (@Louise__Clarke) September 5, 2016
— newwritingsouth (@newwritingsouth) August 21, 2016
‘Affects of Funding’ research workshop presentation
In July 2017, researcher Daniel Ashton invited me to take part in an arts funding workshop as part of his current project with arts organisations in Southampton. Dan has been analysing funding application processes and the experience of arts professionals who engage with them as part of the ‘Affects of Funding’ research project (funded by the Winchester School of Art Strategic Research Fund).
In lieu of a more detailed paper (which, hopefully I’ll get round to publishing!), here is my slide deck so you can see the types of things I have been thinking about & reflecting on…
Rachel Dobbs is an artist and educator & one half of artist collaboration LOW PROFILE. Based in Plymouth (UK) she works on a range of arts and education projects. Rachel fosters long term interests in radical pedagogy, self directed learning, creative community development and DIY arts practice. She lectures at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, and is the the Coordinator for Visual Arts Plymouth. Rachel also provides strategy consultancy for digital & blended learning and the use of Open Education Resources.
Find me on twitter @RachelDobbs1