Questions to ask yourself

  1. (Introductions) From where do you start? From yourself? From a community? Either is fine, but be clear. And if it is intended to be a participatory project, perhaps you can start with a conversation? How you start that conversation is vital, and sets the tone for the rest of the programme.
  2. (Contextualisation) What are your intentions? Sometimes, we don’t know these for certain until projects have started, but have you clearly examined your intentions? After those initial conversations, is everyone clear why you want to do this project and what their roles are?
  3. (Location) Do you have Local Knowledge? Are you able to deploy that knowledge usefully, practically, and effectively? This does not mean you know everything about the local context, but be clear about what is possible: you can’t expect a visiting artist to do that grunt work.
  4. (Practicalities) Are you able to support all the practicalities of a project? Are you aware of what these practicalities might be? Do you talk with the artists/communities regularly? If outsourcing anything, are you confident that those acting on your behalf are capable? How are you sure of this?
  5. (Hosting) Do you care about the project? Is it just another job, or is this project something that drives you? Do you care about its success on its own terms, rather than in terms of how it might further your career? Either is fine, but – again – be clear to everyone.
  6. (Intentionality) What do you want to achieve? This is different to questions of ‘intentions’; this is about having a clear, shared understanding of what might occur, of what the outcomes might be. This might be a bombastic, final event, or just being reflective enough to plan a proper and respectful exit.
  7. (Duty of Care) What are your responsibilities? Are you able to be a good host? Are you able to provide pastoral care to everyone? You might not need to, but you must be able to do it, if required.
  8. (Art versus Engagement) Is it Art? Or is it Engagement? Or is it Education? Do you clearly know the field from which the project emerges? This does not mean that it cannot involve many different ‘fields’, but be clear which is the primary one, as this then guides your framing and historical references.
  9. (The Future) How do you plan on continuing? You don’t have to continue, but if you have designed a longer-term project, is everyone aware of what is meant by these terms, and how you are able to sustain that longer-term, even if it is provisional? What do you do if you break that promise?
  10. (Concluding) It is not over; why did you think it was over? If it is short-term, what knowledge do you take forward to your next project? What collective and communal knowledge have you gained that you are willing to share with the field? How do you do that?

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