Artist Keith Harrison to speak at launch of NOA

Artist Keith Harrison to speak at launch of NOA

New Opportunities Award announced

By Visual Arts South West

18 December 2013

The New Opportunities Award is a completely new award developed by New Expressions and Contemporary Visual Arts Network, working together in partnership with Visual Arts South West taking the lead in managing the scheme. NOA will resource

6 -10 small scale, experimental or innoavative, artist-led museum interventions, selected in open competition. Providing quality thresholds are met, at least half of the awards will support contemporary visual artists and museums with little/no previous experience of joint collaboration.;;


NOA provides a superb opportunity for shared experimentation and learning.

The availability of mentoring advice and support from the New Expressions team is a key aspect of the award. The projects selected for support by the scheme will be part of the “family” of artists and museum staff taking part in New Expressions 3. During 2014|15 NOA participants will be invited to take part in the NE3 programme of field visits, workshops and seminars.

Each of the projects will be featured in a special NOA area on the NE3 web site.

Award: up to a maximum of £4,000 per project to include research and development, artist fee, fabrication fee, curator fee (if applicable), materials, installation of work, interpretation material (eg wall text, handouts etc), publicity, evaluation.


New Expressions pioneers collaboration between artists, museum staff  and audiences to invigorate museum collections, buildings and spaces. It enables museums to commission new work and to join forces with contemporary artists to create high quality, participative projects and compelling visitor experiences. The programme to date has worked with 17 artists across 10 museum venues.

The New Opportunities Award is designed to encourage:

-               innovative partnerships

-               creative risk-taking with in a well managed project environment

-               new ways of working for the artist – eg using new materials, a different scale



Our vision is that NOA will:

-               Enable artists and curators to raise their level of ambition in creating new site-specifc work

-               Initiate new working partnerships

-               Increase artista understanding of museum practices

-               Increase museums’ understanding of artists’ methodologies and approaches to creating new work

-               Offer engaging  experiences for audiences and museum visitors

-               Offer new ways for artists and museums to engage with diverse audiences

-               Bring together contemporary art practice and the museum and heritage sectors


-               The NOA proposal must be for new work by contemporary visual artists that responds to a museum or heritage collection or setting

-               Participating museums must be acreddited (or working towards accreditation) and sited in one of the three Arts Council areas taking part in New Expressions 3 ie South West England, North England, theMidlands.

-               Artists, who can be at any point in their career and who may live any where inEnglandwhose work is underpinned by critical awareness.

-               The lead in initiating and managing the project can bye taken by an artist(s), museum staff and/or an independent curator(s).

-               NOA proposals should be jointly agreed and signed off by all key partners

-               The activity proposed should differ from that which the setting already includes within their programme and should stretch the artist

-               Work on the project needs to start by May 2014 and all activity must be completed by August 2015

-               Project participants must be willing to:

contribute to and be featured on and to participate in the evaluation of New Expressions 3 and to acknowledge their participation in and the funding by New Expressions on their own web-sites

Your proposal, which should be signed off by all proposed key partners, should include:

-               No more than 400 words describing the project briefly and succinctly and identifying the key partners ie the artist(s), curator, museum or heritage setting

-               Contact details for each of your key partners (name, postal address, phone number and email) plus your web site addresses.

-               Why your project should be supported (up to 300 words)

-               How your project will engage with audiences and visitors to the partner museum (up to 400 words)

-               Your strategy for interpretation, learning and outreach (up to 300 words)

-               How you will measure success

-               The key risks you have identified and how you will mitigated them (up to 200 words)

-               Your proposed budget, identifying both expenditure and income (which should balance)

-               Project milestones

-               Start date and finish date

  -     Any additional technical (ie non financial) support/advice you envisage needing

Deadline for proposals: 12 noon, 17 March 2014

Proposals should be sent to

Artists in the Museum Learning Event, 29 January 2014 in M Shed, Bristol

A learning event  for artists and arts and museums professionals called ‘Artists in the Museum’ will be held on 29 January 2014, in M Shed, Bristol and will explore the different opportunities and challenges of working with museums and heritage contexts. The day will comprise an overview of the ambition for a shared learning between museums and the visual arts sector, reflections on the challenges and rewards for museums and artists in working with each other, a brief introduction in to some of the opportunities and case studies of successful partnerships and contemporary art projects.

For more information, and to book on to this free event please see here: