20 October 2007: Invitation to tender: review of visual artists’ workspaces

The Arts Council wishes to retain a research consultant(s) to asses the provision of workspaces for visual artists in the Republic of Ireland and to make suggestions on how the Arts Council might approach future strategic support and development for workspace provision.

Specifically the purpose of the research is to:

  • Provide information that will assist the Arts Council and others to better understand the current state and nature of visual artists’ workspace provision and the challenges facing visual artists and workspace providers in Ireland.
  • Inform the Arts Council in relation to the development of a policy that can articulate a rationale for ongoing support for visual artists’ workspaces (financial and other).
  • Inform the Arts Council in relation to potential partnerships and developmental strategies relating to workspace provision, with particular emphasis on capital investment.

The consultancy is aimed at professional researchers or research organisations that can demonstrate experience in undertaking applied policy research as well as practical knowledge of the visual arts.

Research objectives

  1. Undertake a survey that will collect and assemble quantitative and qualitative data in order to build a profile of the current provision of artists’ workspaces within the Republic of Ireland.
  2. Through research and consultation identify the contextual factors that represent significant challenges to the provision of sustainable and practical workspace for visual artists.
  3. Identify and evaluate existing supports for artists’ workspaces and identify and define the position of relevant and potential partners.
  4. Undertake a needs assessment relating to artists workspaces and identify gaps against current provision.
  5. Research and identify international models and their potential or otherwise in an Irish context.
  6. Compile key findings and make suggestions to the Arts Council on how it might make a significant, sensitive and meaningful impact to ensure sustainable and practical workspaces for visual artists in the future. 

Research deliverables

  1. A profile and analysis of artists’ workspace in Ireland.
  2.  Identification and analysis of the key challenges associated with workspace provision.
  3. Impact assessment of existing supports and identification of potential partners and consideration of ways in which those partners might contribute to the provision or support of studio space.
  4. A needs assessment and gap analysis.
  5. Identification and analysis of international models.
  6. Suggestions for the formulation of a funding policy and suggested actions for collaborative and or advocacy initiatives that might lever potential capital or other investment into the sector. Proposals for policy initiatives should be based on key findings arising from deliverables 1-5.

Research output

  1. A report written to high publication standards should be produced. The report should include methodology used (including the profiling exercise and the needs assessment), data generated, key findings and recommendations, and a bibliography. Maps and graphics should be used in the report to clearly illustrate findings on the distribution and other aspects of visual arts workspaces in Ireland. The report will be made available to a target audience of artists and policy makers.
  2. Documentary photographs of artists’ workspaces in Ireland, linked to the profiling survey findings.
  3. The data set of results from the profiling survey; (in SPSS, Excel or Access). The Arts Council waives the right to identify practitioners surveyed.

Further information

For information on the research brief including tender submission details please visit www.etenders.gov.ie

Deadline for submission

Proposals should be submitted no later than 12 noon Wednesday 14 November 2007. Three copies of the proposal should be sent in writing to: Louise Duggan, Visual Arts Officer, Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaion, 70 Merrion Square Dublin 2

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Yelemba dance troupe from the Ivory Coast - Clonmel Junction Festival.

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