I have been working successfully as a freelance consultant and creative producer alongside my artist practice since 2005. Before then I worked in museum learning and curatorial jobs for several years including three years as adult learning officer at the V&A, so now have over 20 years experiences of projects and partnerships.
Group / organisational leadership and development. I am currently Chair of the Leicester Society of Artists, leading the 140-year old organisation into new directions and developments. My current work is an evaluation of the current membership offer and development of new strategies to move forwards. I am also setting up new marketing systems and plans, talking to potential sponsors and supporting the exhibition officer in making changes to the established annual showcase at New Walk Museum.
Artist development. I have recently completed 2 years of research and consultancy for Creative Leicestershire evaluating and developing plans for Made in Leicestershire, a directory and programme for artists and makers. I have also developed and run a Peer Mentoring professional development programme for both start ups and established makers in Leicestershire. Find out more here.
Facilitation and Workshops. I can develop bespoke creative or strategic workshops and training for organisations including creative engagement, research or team development events and much more. Please contact me to discuss your needs.
Mentoring & professional development. My consultancy work is focused on artist and maker development; encompassing research, training and mentoring for creative people to make the best of their talents. I have worked with local and national organisations (including Craftspace and Design Nation) to deliver targeted training and workshops on focused areas of business and professional development including accessing funding, using social media, goal setting and planning projects. I am also actively working on sharing my knowledge through developing resources and symposia for makers, with more to come in 2020. Mentoring for individuals information is here.
I also deliver talks to students and graduates on professional practice and creative development and am always happy to hear from universities, colleges and support organisations to share my experience. I can also develop bespoke professional development workshops for specific audiences from schools through to undergraduates and established makers. I also offer mentoring to emerging and established makers as well as those in other creative fields. Find out more about maker mentoring here.
My experience as an active and pro-active maker has naturally directed my specialism towards developing the needs of creatives and the challenges they face on a day to day basis. I have a particular interest in artist-maker practice focusing on non-product, exhibition practice and project & funding orientated work.
After nearly 20 years working in the informal adult learning field (both in my museum roles and as an artist workshop leader) I have a great interest in promoting freelance teaching as an income generation and career choice for artists and makers. I would welcome the opportunity to undertake further research and develop relevant support programmes for this growing area.
Researcher & consultant. I have a strong network of makers and other creatives in Leicestershire and makers and museum professionals nationally, and my research and consultancy practice tends to focus on supporting and developing these two areas. Over the last five years I have worked closely specifically with Leicestershire organisations and exhibiting groups to research and advise on professional development and creative practice support. I actively share the outcomes of this research through regular talks and events, as well as through my work as Design Nation Leicestershire co-ordinator. I am keen to find new ways to disseminate my research in addition to generating more.
Project Maker. As a creative producer and project manager I have run extensive community engagement programmes, exhibitions, arts and heritage projects and have sourced funding for a number of projects independently. I love working in this way and am always looking for potential partners to work with on future funded projects. I am currently running Criminal Quilts arts and heritage project.
Event manager. During my museum career, I developed and ran a wide range of events including conferences, study days, festivals and special events and I still enjoy planning, arranging and hosting events. As an artist and project lead, I have run hundreds of creative workshops and activities for all ages. I am actively looking for more projects of this kind to develop in partnership with heritage and arts organisations. For three years I ran my own creative workshop venue, Ruth Singer Studio, which offered workshops and events for all levels and ages. I was responsible for freelance staff, marketing/recruitment and administration of the busy workshop programme and a client list of hundreds.
Collaborator. I really enjoy working in collaborations, both with other makers and with creative organisations to develop projects, training and events. I have worked with maker-focussed organisations include Design Nation and Craftspace to develop bespoke training and have collaborated in the studio with Bethany Walker, Alys Power and Gillian McFarland over the last few years. I am keen to welcome proposals for new partnership work in all of the fields mentioned above.
Fundraiser. I have successfully applied to Arts Council England seven times during my artist career, both for my own solo work and for collaborations and partnerships. I have also been successful in funding projects through private charitable trusts and have worked on partnership applications to a number of other bodies. I am happy to develop and submit funding applications alongside partners and can offer support to artists and makers wishing to submit their own applications.
Writer. I have written three books on sewing, self-published Criminal Quilts, as well as having over 60 textile projects published in books and magazines. In my museum career I was responsible for writing exhibition-text, guidebooks, online resources and other publications. I am currently interested in new writing projects around the cultural and creative sector. Find out more about my writing here.