Artist Support Programme

We are developing our Artists Support Programme, drawing on recommendations made in the 2022 evaluation of our pilot support programme for participatory artists, which ran from January to May of that year. Peer learning was a key focus of that programme, and an introduction to coaching skills was included.

We are now trying out new approaches, including coaching sessions and peer-to-peer support networks, to continue our commitment to support artists working with and for older people.

Peer-to-Peer support (Angus and Edinburgh)

For this pilot project, we are setting up small groups in two locations: one in Angus and one in Edinburgh.  Participants are either based in – or very near – one of these areas. We hope that we will be able to offer similar opportunities in other parts of the country in future.

We know creative ageing practice is hugely rewarding but can also be challenging, and that the external context (e.g. the impact of Covid on older people) has increased these challenges for many. Following an online pilot in 2022, we are edxploring whether peer support groups run on a local basis would be valuable.

Under this pilot we will have two groups of 4 artists who will meet regularly from March through to June, and one meeting where both groups come together.

The programme is being delivered in partnership with Nicola Naismith – a visual artist, researcher, and coach with over 25 years’ experience working in the arts and culture sector. She is the author of the Practising Well research which explores the support needs of creative practitioners working in arts and health, participatory and social art practice, and advocates for positive changes to working conditions.

The programme includes:

  • Five in-person networking and support sessions, with one group meeting in Angus and the other in Edinburgh.
    • The first meeting of each group will be led by a local artist/facilitator identified by Luminate; this will take place in the second half of March.
    • The remaining four will be group-led and the original facilitator from session one will become one of the group members.
  • A final online reflection session bringing the Edinburgh and Angus groups together, led by Nicola Naismith. This will take place in June.

Coaching sessions

We are exploring whether one-to-one coaching for artists is a valuable support.  In this initial programme we have 10 places and each participating artist will be offered up to 3 online coaching sessions.

Coaching provides a safe, supportive, and challenging space, facilitated by a trained coach, for the coachee to better understand their own personal and professional development needs. Coaching can help address habits, behaviours or beliefs to creative positive thinking and performance.

A coach is not there to provide the answers or solutions – they are there to sensitively guide and support the coachee to decisions and solutions that are right for them.

Coaching sessions are being delivered in partnership with Coaching for Creatives. Each of the 10 artists taking part will be entitled to 3 sessions with a qualified coach, across a three month period. A final online group session will take place in June.