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Culture Commons Workforce Workshops:
Artist Commissions

Do you want to help shape the future of the UK's creative and cultural sector?

Deadline to apply extended: 9 October 2022

Image by Caleb Salomons

Opportunity Outline


Since the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, Culture Commons have been among those working to bring the issues, challenges and hardships faced by the creative and cultural sectors to the forefront of UK decision-making and grant giving, advocating in particular for better support, increased employment and equity for the workforce in these sectors.


As we rebuild from the pandemic and now navigate the UK's ‘cost of living’ crisis, we know these challenges aren't over. Culture Commons want to ensure that policy makers at the local and national level continue to hear directly from the workforce so they can deliver the right support, in the right places.  

Therefore, Culture Commons is launching a new series of ‘Workforce Workshops’ to find out from creative and cultural workers exactly what it’s like to be a freelance, self-employed or atypical creative in their part of England in 2022 while exploring ‘what could be’ for 2023.


To do this, Culture Commons will be offering individual practitioners across multiple sub-sectors a paid research opportunity to join a two-hour conversation to share their views on working within these sectors. The conversations will take place in three different locations:


  1. Croydon, Greater London

  2. Truro, Cornwall

  3. Rotherham, South Yorkshire


Culture Commons will commission three local artists (one based in each of the workshop locations) to make unique artworks that capture and respond to the spirit of the conversations; bringing to life the challenges and frustrations but also joys and freedoms of being a creative freelancer. The workshop findings will be written up in a report, and the final artworks will be added to it to create 'Workforce Snapshot' that will be shared with policymakers at the local and national levels as well as creative and cultural sector organisations and research institutions. This publication will help us continue to push for the changes needed in the policy landscape that these workshops highlight.

ArtULTRA is managing the artist selection and commissioning process on behalf of Culture Commons.

If you are interested in applying for this paid opportunity, read on.

Key Information


Applications open: 14th September 2022

Deadline for Applications: 9th October 2022

Locations and Dates

  • Croydon, Friday 21 October 10:30am - 12:30pm

  • Truro, Tuesday 18th October 10:30am - 12:30pm

  • Rotherham, Thursday 3rd November 10:30am - 12:30pm


Art forms: Illustration, drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media or digital art

Submission Deadline: W/c 21st November 2022, (date and time to be confirmed)

Artist Fee: £840 per artwork (incl. VAT if applicable)


The brief


  • Culture Commons will organise and deliver Creative Workforce Workshops

  • The areas are: Croydon, Rotherham and Truro. 

  • Each commissioned artist will be required to attend their respective Creative Workforce Workshop and create an artwork that captures, in a visual way, the discussion they attended. 

  • The commissioned works could be physical and/or digital. Artists producing a physical artwork will need to transfer their work to a digital format, suitable for use in an online publication, and ensure the delivery of the artwork to the Culture Commons office in central London.

  • It is expected that commissioned artists will work in a freelance capacity and have approximately 3 to 4 weeks to complete their commission. The commissioned artists will therefore need to provide their own equipment and workspace. 

  • The fee for each commissioned artist is £840 including any VAT applicable, and including all associated costs such as materials, space etc.

  • Up to £10 pp will be available to cover the costs of travel and subsistence. 

  • The artists will be provided with background information from Culture Commons in advance of the Creative Workforce Workshops, drawing out some of the background and context to the workshop discussions and themes likely to emerge. 



Criteria to apply

  • Applicants must be based or able to provide evidence that they are professionally connected/active in the workshop location they are applying to cover (i.e. Croydon, Rotherham, Truro)

  • Applicants must demonstrate the ability to capture information exchanged during workshops, meetings, conferences and/or other live events and to create a visual representation that reflects the information shared

  • Experience of working in one of the following art forms: illustration, drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media and/or digital art

  • Aged 18 years+

  • Enthusiasm to share your work

  • There is no requirement to have attended art school or have any other formal training to apply


In line with Culture Commons’ commitment to the Artists Union England’s ‘Good Practice Charter’, applications are encouraged from artists from diverse and/or marginalised communities. As such, we encourage applications from practitioners across a range of ages, career stages, ethnicities, heritages, abilities, sexualities, genders and socio-economic backgrounds. If you would like us to make any reasonable adjustments to this application processes to enable you to take part, please do let us know.


How to apply


Applicants should submit the following information via this link, you will be asked to submit the following information:

  • Contact details 

  • Digital images of up to 4 works relevant to the context described for this commission

  • A 500-words or 2-minute video artist statement with information about relevant experience

  • Links to Instagram/website/online portfolio (if any)

  • Diversity monitoring information


There is no fee to submit your application. Artists are invited to note if they have any access requirements in their submission. Submissions will be accepted in written or video format. 


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at Please include in the title of the email your name + Culture Commons Commissions.


Key dates


  • Applications are open from 14th September to 9th October 2022

  • Appointments to be communicated to successful artists during the week commencing 10 October 2022

  • The workshops and commissions will take place between 17 October and 11 November 2022​

  • Commissions should be completed in the week commencing 21st November (exact date to be determined)

  • The publication is expected to be released in early 2023




A panel will be convened to select the commissioned artists, including a member of ArtULTRA and members of the Culture Commons team.


Press and Media


Promotional activities may be undertaken to raise the profile of the project which may feature the commissioned works. Should Culture Commons wish to undertake media activity and use the commissioned work, Culture Commons will ensure the artists are credited appropriately. Where relevant, commissioned artists may be invited to take part in promotional activities. 

If you would like to apply to be a participant in one of these workshops, you can do so by clicking here.


About Culture Commons 


Culture Commons is an advocacy organisation that brings together the creative, cultural and research sectors to design policy and influence decision-makers. 


Since 2020, Culture Commons have led the ‘Creative Workforce Pledge’ campaign in partnership with the Federation of Entertainment Unions and Excluded UK. They also published ‘Culture in Crisis: Recommendations for Policymakers’, a suite of 12 policy recommendations for policy makers based on the landmark study led by the Centre for Cultural Value in partnership The Audience Agency and the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC).


Culture Commons believes that creative and cultural sector workers, including artists, should be paid properly for the work they create. We proactively campaign to protect the rights of creative workers across the UK and help shape policies that seek to overcome the systemic and structural barriers that some socio-economic and demographic groups face. To this end, Culture Commons will be adopting the Artists Union England’s ‘Good Practice Charter’ in relation to the artists commissions, which can be read here.

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