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Kate Hartoch from Circus City Bristol, who commissions performance for Glastonbury Festival Circus and Theatre Fields, has suggested developing a guidance sheet for both performers and commissioners when brokering the deal. The guidance below comes from a conversation between artists and commissioners and is to help organisations who commission work to run the best commissioning process possible:
1 – Write up a detailed brief including timescale, fund amount and expectations. A good brief saves artists from applying to something that they are not going to be considered for
2 – Have one point of contact allocated to this process within your organisation who has experience of working with artists.
3 – If you are running an application system then respond to everyone who applies saying whether they were successful, it’s not that hard and is the least you can do. Offering feedback to unsuccessful applicants is even better (as long as it is given sensitively).
3 – Give enough time to the process – time is indeed money when it comes to creating
4 – Write up an agreement with the artist making the timescale, funds, payment terms and any concrete expectations clear
5 – Include details about the feedback process in this agreement. If feedback is part of the process then make that clear, if it isn’t then just say that.
6 – If you want to be credited on any future incarnations of the commissioned work then make that clear and make sure the artist has the wording/ font/ logo and instructions on how to use it. Make sure you know how the artist wants to be credited.
7 – If your organisation can provide documentation of the piece that adds a lot of value so state that in the agreement.
8 – Share audience feedback with the artist but be sensitive around anything negative.
9 – Be sure to credit any images of the work as the artist and photographer who took the image/s.