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Artist / Creative Practitioner – in – Residence:  Ilfracombe Museum


Ilfracombe Museum is seeking an Artist / Creative Practitioner-in-residence to deliver the creative elements of its Art Fund Reimagine and Recover Stay Curious project. The total fee shall not exceed £7,000 and is inclusive of all fees and expenses, including materials and travel.


Artist /Creative Practitioner-In-Residence – Information for Applicants and Person Specification


The contract is awarded by Ilfracombe Museum Trust CIO for approximately five months between February and June 2021. The Creative Practitioner will work as part of the team including the Museum Manager, Creative Producer, Stay Curious Evaluator, Education Officer and project volunteers to deliver key creative outputs to enable successful project delivery.

A key purpose of this contract is to respond to the Natural History Collection and deliver the community engagement part of the Stay Curious project. Working with the Creative Producer, the Creative Practitioner will produce temporary or permanent artwork(s), and digital (online) content that enables exciting community engagement for families, children, and young people. Our aim is for this to be as flexible as possible. We encourage ideas for artworks which will be a source of inspiration and participation. The practitioner will help us to create a sense of awe and wonder; stimulate and encourage local families to stay curious, stay with us until we re-open and to visit the museum when it opens again at Easter.


Proposals are invited by 12pm on Wed 27th January 2021 to Sara Hodson Wilson:



Ilfracombe museum has been described as ‘full of the curious and the wonderful’ and its eclectic collections engage and inspire audiences of all ages. Established on the seafront in 1932 by a former museum collector, this accredited museum is independently run and welcomes both locals and tourists all year round. The surprising range of exhibits and hands-on journey of discovery is part of the museum’s unique charm. Ilfracombe museum’s staff and volunteer team are especially proud of the strong relationship with local families and children that has been established by providing regular hands-on activities inspired by its natural history collections. The project title ‘Stay Curious’ is inspired by Ilfracombe museum’s eclectic collection, whose wide range of exhibits inspires curiosity and sometimes amazement. Covid-19 has required us to close our doors at a time when our community is suffering from increased isolation and uncertainty. We want to respond to this challenge by using our wonderful collections to reconnect, inspire and give back to our community. Building on what we already do well – connecting with families and children – we will develop an exciting digital programme of activity.


See some of the collection at this link on eHive:

Alongside this strand of creative activity there will be a programme of training and activity in collections digitisation and development of a Digital Engagement Strategy (by consultant) to support enhanced digital engagement. The project will consider and identify a selection of the collection to inform a retelling of the story of Ilfracombe. As well as engaging families through the creation of new digital activity, the project will enable the museum team to develop new skills and capacity in creative and digital practice. The external Evaluator for the project will develop a framework for setting objectives and building capacity for understanding the changing needs of our audiences during and after Covid-19.


Scope of work

Under this contract the following activities are required to be undertaken in support of the delivery of an Art Fund grant aided Creative Practitioner contract.

  1. Create high quality temporary or permanent artwork(s) for community engagement, both in the museum and off-site in Ilfracombe, in a location that allows the community to engage with the artwork
  2. Create high quality, engaging, creative digital content for the website
  3. Make local community connections to fulfil the project and to promote and share information about the ‘Stay Curious’ project
  4. Deliver tasters/teasers for families in the museum and/or off-site at Easter and May half-term
  5. Deliver final creative outputs by the end of June
  6. Ensure timely production of creative content, to be produced within agreed deadlines
  7. Work with the Creative Producer for support and to enable successful project delivery
  8. Work in partnership with the staff and volunteers and project delivery roles (Evaluator/ Creative Producer) through monthly meetings across the period of the project until June
  9. Ensure documentation and reporting is generated to inform the project evaluation

Person Specification Knowledge and Experience – Essential (must have)

  • Experience in working with museum and/or heritage collections/organisations
  • Experience in developing partnerships in the community
  • Experience in working on project funded activity e.g. Lottery, Arts Council, Art Fund
  • A proven track record of working in community engagement, producing artwork(s) and digital content
  • A proven track record of working in community engagement, ideally with rural communities and families/children/young people
  • Experience of working with volunteers and /or organisations with a volunteer workforce
  • Experience in effective marketing and social media

Abilities and Aptitudes – Essential (must have)

  • Able to work on own initiative and make intelligent, reasoned decisions under pressure
  • Responsible individual with commitment to their work
  • Be resilient and able to cope under pressure
  • Be able to multitask and have excellent organisational skills
  • Have excellent communication skills and ability to work with the public
  • Have an eagerness to learn and willingness to continuously develop themselves and others
  • Enjoy working as part of a creative team
  • Have a commitment to equality and diversity
  • Have a commitment to effective evaluation

Special conditions

  1. Occasional weekend and evening working may be required during the delivery period of this programme of community engagement activity.
  2. Prospective applicants must be willing to engage on site (subject to government guidelines) and when doing so, follow government guidance when engaging on behalf of the museum under contract.
  3. Working during Covid-19. To ensure we manage risks associated with Covid-19 we are strongly encouraging submissions from Creative Practitioners who are based locally, thereby reducing the need for movement between counties and high vehicle mileage. We expect to award the commission to a practitioner who meets this condition.
  4. Applicants are expected either to hold a current driving licence and to own a vehicle suitable for safe private travel between sites; or have access to public transport that enables them to travel reliably and safely to the museum and the local community and transport all equipment and resources needed
  5. The Creative Practitioner will be required to follow working protocols and risk assessment procedures reflecting those that Ilfracombe Museum has put in place to protect its staff and the public. These will cover, among other things, socially- distanced working in community settings.


This freelance contract is for five months February 2021- June 2021 Proposals should be submitted in electronic word or PDF format by 12pm Wed 27th January 2021 to Sara Hodson Wilson:

All applicants will be notified by 5pm Thurs 28th January and, if required, invited to interview electronically via Zoom on Monday Feb 1st or Tuesday Feb 2nd. Terms and conditions This contract will be governed by Ilfracombe Museum Trust CIO’s terms and conditions for consultancy. Payments and billings will be processed via BACS on receipt of invoices and in line with the agreed payment schedule. 10% will be paid on completion of the contract, delivery of artistic and digital content and documentation for evaluation.


Bidders must meet or be willing to meet the following minimum criteria. Creative Practitioners are invited to apply by submitting a proposal, which addresses:

  • Name and whether applying as a sole trader, limited company, partnership etc
  • Scope of work shown above and suitable experience of projects of a similar scale

A written statement, 4 sides of A4 maximum detailing:

  • Evidence of your track record in delivering similar work elsewhere
  • Evidence of your track record in working in a museum or heritage setting
  • Your capacity to deliver the brief, including estimated time commitment and confirmation of your availability between February and June 2021
  • Your commitment to evaluation and operating to support diversity and equality

Please include.

  • A CV
  • A budget outlining cost for delivery of the brief, bearing in mind the total fee available
  • Please provide the name of 2 referees who have experience of working with you on similar projects including a contract delivered within the past two years.
  • 1 or 2 website links that demonstrate and give examples of similar work you have completed within the last 2 years


Bidders must agree to have in place the following insurances before the contract commences:

  • Public Liability being not less than £5 million
  • Professional indemnity being not less than £1 million
  • If appropriate, Employers Liability as required by law

The successful tenderer is required to have valid insurance covers to the level required or be willing to meet insurance requirements following appointment and before commencing the contract. Further information or requests for guidance please contact Sara Hodson Wilson Mon-Thurs 9.30am-4.30pm

Organisation name: Ilfracombe Museum

Contact name: Sara Hodson Wilson

Contact email:

Contact website:

Type: Freelance

Salary: Contract Fee and Payment Schedule: The total fee shall not exceed £7,000 and is inclusive of all fees and expenses, including materials and travel. The payment schedule will be confirmed on appointment and in line with agreed contract outcomes and timescales paid monthly in arrears.

Location: Ilfracombe, North Devon

Deadline for completed applications: 12pm Wednesday 27th January 2021



Volunteering opportunities.

Ilfracombe Museum is looking for new volunteers to add to our existing team. If you have a morning or an afternoon to spare once a week then we would love to hear from you. We offer full training for front of house duties which include using a till and welcoming visitors and a guarantee of a warm welcome for anyone who has an interest in local history and some more unusual artefacts from further afield!

We are especially looking for volunteers who can cover Saturdays so please pop in and talk to us if you feel you might be interested in helping out, or ring Sara on 01271 863541 for more information. Alternatively email if you are interested in finding out more.