tips and links

Our tips & links page contains advice, links and resources direct from our members. We will shortly be updating our site with useful links recommended by you so if you know of a good creative link or website that you could would like to share please e-mail us at and let us know why you think it’s a useful resource.

Top Five Tips for Perfect Partnerships

Here are some of our members top tips for getting the most out of your arts partnership and creating exciting, engaging arts activities and projects.

Money, Money, Money!
Make sure you collectively agree a fee upfront for the activity or project and that it includes any resources that will be needed. It is good practice to pay artists for travel expenses where appropriate, and sometimes artists or organisations will factor this in to their quotes, but always check that both parties have discussed this before you agree your final costs. It may be appropriate over longer projects to pay a fee in instalments and if you feel this is the case you will need to decide payment dates and deadlines for invoicing. Most freelance artists or arts organisations will expect to be paid within 30 days of submitting their invoice so if your project is reliant on funding coming in everyone needs to know when the funds will be available.
Time & Space
Be precise about the start and end times of a planned activity or ongoing project and discuss who is responsible for setting up the space and preparing any equipment you might need. Good questions to ask include - Is the space being used after for another group or activity which will mean it needs vacating quickly or returning to its former state? Are there any restrictions on the space - will you need to move tables or other furniture for the activity and who will be responsible for this? Will the artist or organisation be able to use whiteboards or other resources in the classroom or space and will they need to have access to running water or power supplies? It’s also a good idea for artists or arts organisations to send a list of any simple resources that you might need and expect to be available eg pens / scissors so the venue knows to prepare these or can let you know in advance if they don’t have access to them.
Anyone working with children and vulnerable adults needs to be aware of their obligations regarding their safeguarding and protection. Your local Community Voluntary Service will be able to provide you with information to help you decide what safeguarding measures your group or activity may need to take and you can also find information on the safe network The arts room suggests that all artists registering have had a DBS (The Disclosure & Barring Service) check in line with current government guidelines but it is important to remember that the arts room is not an employment agency and therefore it is anyone employing an artist or organisations responsibility to ensure they receive satisfactory proof of DBS clearance in line with their own organisational policy. When working in partnership on an arts project in a school or community venue it is a good idea to share your safeguarding practices and policies with visiting artists or organisations and also to make discussions around these issues part of your planning. It is advisable for artists and arts organisations to look at appropriate insurance policies for their work and more information about this can be found by contacting your local Community and Voluntary service or Business in the Arts North West
Planning & Evaluation
The best activities and projects are those that have been thoroughly planned and have clear and challenging objectives. Where possible it is best to meet or speak about the activity or project beforehand and give each other some background information about your venue or practice. Explain what you each hope to get out of the activity or project and look for any possibilities for linking to other work within your organisation and even in the wider community. Make sure you plan a time to discuss the work and evaluate it, even if this is only possible on the phone or via e-mail. Look for opportunities to showcase your work and share your learning, you can now post case studies directly on to the arts room website and it’s simple and easy to do just visit our Inspiration Bank for more info. The Arts Room can also help you link in with other activities across Greater Manchester so if you have an exciting project and you’d like to take it further you can use our creative connections post on the communication hub and we can help you make links.
Finally, it is best practice to issue a contract, even for a one off workshop, to ensure that both the employer and the artists / arts organisation are clear on the arrangements and expectations. A simple contract, which could take the form of a letter, might include the following:
  • The nature of the agreed activity / project and any outcomes that you expect.
  • Dates and times of any planning meetings and evaluation meetings.
  • Date and times of the activity (including arrival / set up times and any evaluation time after the session).
  • Details of any resources and who will be providing them.
  • The agreed fee and payment terms.
  • Cancellation policies (eg if the venue / group cancels will the artist still be paid if another mutual date can’t be arranged and if the artist cancels will they forgo some of their fee if alternative plans can’t be made?).
  • Any appropriate safeguarding & risk assessment documents.
  • A map and any necessary instructions for admittance in to the building.
  • Contact details for the artist, / arts organisation and named contacts within the school, community group or organisation, including a phone number and e-mail.

For more information or for further advice and signposting contact us at