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What is an Artist Educator and how do Bow Arts work with them?

Artist Educators are professional and practicing artists that we contract to lead or support in planning and delivering our projects. Our work is wide ranging and projects can vary across different visual arts media, for different audiences and clients. We work with a variety of schools, youth and community settings across East London and beyond. Projects might include school workshops, artist talks or studio visits, after school clubs, training for staff in the arts and community art projects. We keep a list of artists in various disciplines on our books whom we contact with opportunities to work with us. This may mean we approach an artist directly for a particular project or that we send out a project brief and invite artists to submit a proposal on how they would achieve the project aims. We would then choose an appropriate artist based on this. 

Why should I register as an Artist Educator with Bow Arts and how do I do it?

If you register with us, we will email you with project briefs and other opportunities for work or training. We will also keep you in mind for all projects and may approach you directly if we feel you are the right artist for a particular project. To register, all you need to do is complete an Artist Registration form (Word, 288 KB) and email it to We would prefer not to receive forms by post as part of our initiative to be green and save paper.

On the form, you will need to include details of two referees whom we will contact when we receive your form. If we decide to proceed with your application, the next step would be to invite you into the office for an informal interview with a member of the education team, possibly alongside other artists. The meeting is a chance to discuss the kind of work we do and explore what you might be interested in doing with us. If we feel we would have suitable work opportunities for you in the future will add you to our email group.

Do I need any particular qualifications or experience to register?

Any artist can apply to register with us, it doesn’t matter how much or how little experience of working in education or with young people you have. We would only contract artists for paid work who have experience of working in this context; however, we welcome artists who would like to gain experience to register, providing they have a strong interest in and motivation to improve outcomes for children and young people through the arts. We can offer opportunities to volunteer or occasionally provide reduced fees to work as a support artist on projects. We also offer training and professional development courses for artists. You can get in touch if you have a particular training need and we will do our best to support your development.

How much is a DBS and how do I get one?

It is essential that all artists who work with us hold a current enhanced DBS disclosure. These currently cost £52 for contracted artists and are free of charge for volunteers. Bow Arts does not charge an administration fee on top of this. When you register with us, if you don’t have a current valid DBS, you will be invited in to complete a DBS application through Bow Arts. You will need to bring with you three forms of ID which we will scan and use to check against your application. A list of valid forms of ID can be found here

Applications typically take around a week to be processed and are valid for three years.

Can I wait until I get work before I complete my DBS?

It is up to you whether you complete your DBS when you register or wait until you are offered work. If you complete a DBS application form with us up front when you register you will be able to work on a project as soon as it is offered to you. If you do not have a current valid DBS, it means that we would need to process one at the point of offering you work. If this is not completed before the work commences, we would need to advise the school/setting of this, and it would then be at their discretion as to whether they are happy to progress with working with you or not. However, we recognise that paying for a DBS is a big expense without a guarantee of work. We can therefore advise individual artists of the best time to complete a DBS, based on what opportunties for work we currently have.

I already have a DBS form through another organisation. Do I need a separate one to work with you?

We are able to accept a DBS check completed through another organisation, provided that it is still valid (DBS checks are valid for three years). We will need to see a hard copy for our records.

How much will I get paid as an Artist Educator?

How much you get paid depends on the nature and scale of the individual project. Artist fees also vary according to the level of experience of the artist and the role they will have during the project – i.e. lead or support artist. As a guide, our daily rate for a lead artist is approximately £180 per day. We usually pay artists a fee for their attendance at a planning meeting. An artist day is the equivalent of 9-5, although we recognise that only a proportion of this is likely to be contact time delivering the project. The remaining hours contribute towards planning, preparation and evaluation. We do not pay artist travel expenses. 

Am I guaranteed regular work when I register with you?

If you are registered with us we will keep you in mind for projects and contact you with opportunities and briefs for projects you can pitch for. However, we cannot guarantee you regular work as it depends what projects we have on at that time, your suitability for those particular projects and how many other artists apply for positions. It is worth responding to briefs, keeping in touch with us and letting us know your own ideas for projects.

How long do projects normally last?

Project length depends entirely on the nature of the project. They can range from a one-off afternoon workshop in a school, to a commissioned project such as a mural which may last a few weeks, to annual programmes of after school clubs, for example. The length of the project and level of commitment required from the artist will be made clear from the start in project briefs, meetings and contracts.

Who is responsible for sourcing workshop materials?

The artist is expected to provide a list of materials in the planning stages of a project and it is usually the school’s responsibility to source these. However, if any specialist materials are required it is up to the artist to source these. There is a budget for materials so the artist will be reimbursed for any materials expenses incurred. Ultimately the sourcing of materials must be done in partnership by the artist and the school and they must communicate accordingly. Bow Arts are on hand to assist this process.

Would I be responsible for the behaviour and discipline of the group?

No – we always insist that our artists work in schools or youth settings alongside at least one member of staff. In a whole class situation this is usually a teacher, although when working with small groups this may be support staff. Either way, there should always be an adult present who knows the children and is responsible for behaviour management. We take this measure to protect the artist, the children and the school and to give school staff a chance to learn new skills and develop new ideas that they can use in their own classroom practice.