Managing the project
A key to successful project management is largely down to good, regular communication between the artist, the contract manager and the development worker responsible for engaging and involving participants. As the commissioner it is your responsibility to ensure that the artist delivers an outcome of the nature and quality that was expected and that any changes to the project are clearly understood and agreed. The brief and project schedule should provide you with a clear project plan to refer to and keep you on track.
When thinking about managing the project you may wish to consider:
• Who is responsible for overseeing the project and ensuring it is completed on time and on budget?
• Who is responsible for engaging and involving participants?
• Who will be the day-to-day point of contact for the artist?
• How frequently will you hold review meetings with the artist?
• Establishing a steering group to support the process
• Who else will you need to liaise with on a regular basis? - Staff and/or carers who work with the project participants should be fully informed about the project and what their role is in supporting the project
• Who is responsible for approval and sign off on payments to the artist?
• What sort of support is the artist likely to need?
• What sort of support are you are likely to need?
How can you ensure that the process and the final product produced is of a high quality?
The quality of both the process, in terms of the experience of the participants, and the creative quality of the final product is important. These questions will help you consider this when you are managing an arts and health project:
- Have you allocated sufficient budget and time to achieve both a quality process and a quality end product?
- What can you do to make sure the participants experience is of the highest quality? This could include:
Providing sufficient contact time with the artist
Working with fewer or smaller groups (quality over quantity)
Ensuring participants are clear about what the project is about and what they will be doing with the artist
Ensuring participants feel safe and supported
Ensuring support workers are clear about what their role in the project is and how they can best support the participants and the artist
Ensuring the artist approaches the participants and the subject matter in an informed and sensitive way
Providing the artist with all the information they need about both the participants and the subject matter
- Is there an end product that can be shared with others? In some projects the outcome may be a stronger relationship with a community, it may not be appropriate for any art work produced to be shared with the general public. Are you clear about what you want to use the end product for and have you communicated this with the participants and the artist?
Graphics by Born Communication working with young people as part of the Dudley Kick Ash Project