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A new professional development programme in Manchester for artists, makers and photographers. 

Collaboratively developed and delivered by a-n, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester Craft & Design Centre and Redeye, the Photography Network. 

This programme is for artists and creative practitioners at any stage of their career, looking to develop professional skills that will support their practice. 

Four full-day sessions will be led by arts sector experts, focusing on core business skills: business planning, online marketing, fundraising and communicating. In all sessions discussion amongst the group, peer learning and Q&A will be encouraged, resulting in an engaging and dynamic sessions for all involved.

 A limited number of places will be available for each session so we recommend booking early. All sessions take place in Manchester city centre, at either Manchester Craft & Design Centre or Castlefield Gallery.

Ticket prices are between £20 – £25 for each session. The cost is significantly subsidised by the partner organisations, with further discounts available for a-n members, CG Associates, Redeye members, Manchester Craft & Design Centre resident/affiliate makers.

All event tickets available on Eventbrite.


Jenny Rutter: Business Visioning
Thursday 12 July 2018, 11am – 5pm
Manchester Craft and Design Centre

Business planning can seem like a daunting task – understanding what should go into a business plan, how long it should be and undertaking the complicated forecasting of financial and performance objectives can seem overwhelming and a not very productive use of your time, when what you really want to be focusing on is your creative practice!

The reality is that most small creative businesses do not need to write a 25-page business plan, and those that do quite often sit on dusty shelves never to be looked at again once written. Instead they need to develop a step-by-step action plan for their business.

This inspiring, creative and practical workshop, will take you through a process of positioning your creative business, exploring a vision for its future and identifying small actions you can take to move towards your goals. One step at a time!

Jenny Rutter is a creative producer with 17 years experience supporting & developing creative practice in the North West. Her work has included managing arts organisations, producing arts projects, festivals and design events, consulting on the development of creative business incubation spaces, lecturing on creative entrepreneurship across the country and project managing a wide range of European and Government funded creative & digital media enterprise programmes. Jenny is a Clore cultural fellow, SFEDI accredited business advisor and Relational Dynamics accredited coach, specialising in work with creative people and start ups.



Emma Gray: Online Marketing
Tuesday 2 October 2018, 11am – 5pm
Castlefield Gallery

A workshop in three parts looking at how creatives can build a brand, get noticed online and reach a larger audience. To begin, Emma will walk you through everything you need to establish yourself online and create your own ‘brand guidelines’. She will then introduce the basics of search engine optimisation (SEO). When used effectively SEO makes you easier to find on the web, vastly increasing your website traffic. Finally the seminar will introduce the fundamentals of Google Analytics which, when used in conjunction with engaging content and SEO practices, can help your website and artwork reach a larger audience. 

Emma Gray, is a freelance marketer, trainer and digital skills enthusiast based in Manchester specialising in building engaged communities through social media, email marketing & website content. She currently splits her freelance time delivering digital skills workshops to individuals and organisations such as MadLab, and The Landing, MediaCity UK’s tech hub. Emma also works part time at the Google Digital Garage in Manchester, an initiative set up to provide digital skills training to businesses and individuals.



Steph Graham: Funding your practice
Wednesday 27 February 2019, 11am – 5pm
Manchester Craft and Design Centre

This session will be practical and informative and will equip you with the knowledge of how to approach fundraising for your practice.

You will be given information on where to look for funding opportunities, how to plan your fundraising activity, and how to engage funders to give you the best chance of success.

Through some practical exercises, we will delve into the art of proposal writing and planning crowdfunding campaigns. We’ll discuss alternative funding models, evaluating your work and building professional development elements into your projects.

Through attending this session, you will be able to identify which of your projects are most suited to different funding streams and why, you will know what funders are looking for, and the best ways to present yourself and your work, in a fundraising context.

Steph Graham is an arts and fundraising consultant based in Manchester, who has worked extensively in the sector with grassroots and major arts organisations all over the UK. Her specialisms include organisational and artist development.

Before founding Adapt for Arts CIC Steph worked in various roles at Arts Council England in London and the North, and was a fellow in the Barbican Centre’s development team as part of The Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy Consortium’s programme. In early 2015, she completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy with the University of Leeds’ Cultural & Creative Industries Exchange programme and in 2016 became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.



Rivca Rubin: Communicating with Confidence
Tuesday 12 March 2019, 10am – 5pm
Castlefield Gallery

Whether you are wanting to prepare for introducing yourself and your work; interviews; meetings; studio visits; proposing a project or collaborating with others, ‘Communicating with Confidence’ will focus on increasing your communication skills and confidence, both in person and in writing.

With activities and workshops developed with creative practitioners in mind, you will come away with increased confidence when planning and contributing to a wide range of conversations. This will include the ability to manage your own and other people’s expectations; setting desirable, achievable outcomes and the tools to realise them, planning and realising next steps for you to maintain professional relationships, momentum and agency with everyone your communicate with, with clarity and confidence.

Rivca Rubin
assists people to live the lives they want to live; artists to ascertain their vision, locate the essence and refine their practice; companies to refine, grow purpose, align practice to values, and create working cultures where people are engaged and flourish. She is the Director of Imag?ne, who specialise in leadership, organisational development, coaching and mentoring cultural leaders, creatives and artists, moderating talks and programmes. In 2016 Rivca founded uptimism a global movement to revolutionise thinking through everyday use of language. The uptimism language is central to all of Imag?ne’s work.

She holds an M.Sc in Applied Behavioural Sciences, is an Independent Trainer of NVC, NLP Master Practitioner, studied Clean Language, Spiral Dynamics, Systems Thinking and Philosophy. Rivca works regularly in South Africa, Swaziland, Germany and England, and throughout Europe. Clients have included: The British Film Institute & Regional Screen Agencies, The BBC, ITC, Heatherwick Studios,
Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Government Departments, Creative Partnerships, a-n artist network, Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums, MIMA, Redeye, Panda, The Clore Leadership Programme, Engage’s Extend Programme. She has been accompanying Islington Mill’s culture shift development since 2017.



Sessions are booked individually and you can attend as many or as few sessions as you would like to. Tickets are booked via Eventbrite prices per session are as below…

       Standard Admission – £25
       Concessions – £22.50 –  Students, Unemployed, Registered Disabled, OAPs
       Member or Associate – £20  – a-n member, CG Associate, Redeye member, Manchester Craft & Design Centre resident/affiliate maker

All prices are significantly subsidised by the organisations with the aim of making high quality professional development support more accessible for artists and creative practitioners.

Refreshments will be provided but attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch.

If you have any questions please contact


Venue Details and Accessibility
Castlefield Gallery, 2 Hewitt Street, Manchester M15 4GB

Castlefield Gallery’s entrance is on street level and is wheelchair accessible to all area of the main gallery and upper gallery. An accessible toilet is available in the upper gallery area.

Manchester Craft & Design Centre, 17 Oak Street, Manchester M4 5JD

Manchester Craft & Design Centre sessions will be held in the accessible project space on the ground floor. The two-storey Victorian building currently has no lift, making first floor access difficult for visitors with mobility restrictions. There is an accessible toilet on the ground floor, and disabled parking bays for Blue Badge holders are available next to the back entrance on Copperas Street.