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Sadler's Wells Jerwood Studio, Le Patin Libre 's Vertical Influences. Pictured: Samory Ba. Image: Alicia Calrke

Our Principles

We choose to start with artists’ needs. We are committed to improving conditions for artists, artistic groups and arts organisations from all backgrounds across the UK to develop and make new work with integrity. Recent research shows that the challenges facing early-career artists specifically, and the arts sector as a whole, are concentrated around barriers to accessing opportunities, including funding; a lack of diversity, especially in leadership positions; pay and working conditions, and environmental sustainability.

As a funder with limited resources, we recognise that we have a specific sphere of influence within which we can try to address some of the needs and challenges facing early-career artists, and the wider sector. In particular, we want to reduce the barriers some individuals face in accessing our funding. We want to invest in their capacity, capability and confidence to apply not only to us, but to other sources of support too, thereby supporting their long term success. The following set out the principles underpinning our approach and key actions we are taking:

Fair pay

Jerwood Arts is a Living Wage Foundation Employer and Living Wage Friendly Funder. We are committed to ensuring that wherever possible, artists are appropriately paid for their time, contribution and expertise, whether directly by us or via our funded projects. Our minimum expectation for is that all artists benefiting from our funding will be paid the Living Wage Foundation prevailing UK rates. In many cases, we would aim to recompense artists at above this rate in recognition of their skill, expertise and training. Where we offer an opportunity, we will say how much time is required from the artists and how the pay will meet at least our minimum standards.

Access and inclusion

We are committed to improving access and inclusion across the arts through our funding. Research shows that diversity is vital to artistic vibrancy and vision, but change has been slow. Since 2010, we have been particularly focused on improving opportunities for individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds to get in to the arts through the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme.

To achieve our aims, we are working to be kinder with application processes, more generous and thoughtful with advice and feedback, and more welcoming to everyone who approaches us, whether on the phone, by email or in person.  We commit to deepening our understanding of the barriers early-career artists of all kinds face to fulfilling their potential, and finding ways to make our processes more inclusive.

In 2019, we:

  • produced new, clearer guidance to help potential applicants decide whether to apply
  • provided time frames for decision-making processes and published these up front
  • removed application fees to all our opportunities, removing a financial barrier to accessing our funding
  • did not ask for CVs as part of funding application processes
  • piloted working with Artist Advisers to broaden our taste, national reach and art form expertise
  • requested monitoring information in line with best practice, including around socio-economic background, to deepen our understanding of who our funding opportunities are reaching and to inform our future strategy
  • increased our access support for enabling people to apply to us
  • offered feedback on request to over 1000 unsuccessful applications
  • invested in our team through diversity and disability training, coaching and mentoring

We recognise that we are on a journey and are learning all the time. We are in a new phase of collecting and analysing our data and evaluations and will be working out how we can make the most of this over the next period.

For 2020, we are committed to:

  • continuing to deliver on our 2019 aims set out above, and improve and reflect on the new processes we have piloted, listening to feedback from our evaluation surveys
  • continuing to work with Artist Advisers, refreshing the network to best reflect and meet the range of art forms and practices on which our funding is focused for 2020
  • building on our feedback process to unsuccessful applicants so it best supports our overall mission
  • tightening our application guidelines and support to reduce wasted time and energy on behalf of applicants
  • continuing to invest in our team through training around diversity and inclusion, coaching and mentoring

Environmental sustainability

As a responsible funder we are committed to developing more-sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices across all our work. Our approach has been influenced by the Sustaining Great Art and Culture report published by Arts Council England and Julie’s Bicycle, and the Charities and Environmental Responsibility guidance issued by the Charity Commission. In 2019 we signed up to Culture Declares. Our staff team is committed to the following:

  • reducing consumables used in the office and recycling
  • using fair trade and more-environmentally friendly products
  • reducing, reusing and recycling materials used in our exhibition productions, and reducing energy consumption in our gallery and office
  • using suppliers who hold and actively pursue their own environmental policies
  • working with local businesses and caterers to reduce travel costs and carbon emissions
  • walking, cycling and using public transport wherever possible whilst on Jerwood Arts business
  • using technology to reduce the need for travel, improve energy consumption and reduce waste