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

Posted on 31 May 2018

FRAMEWORK is a cross-art form professional development programme 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, makers and photographers working in any artform, 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, marketing, fundraising and communication. In all sessions discussion amongst the group, peer learning and Q&A will be encouraged, resulting in  engaging and dynamic sessions for all involved.

There will a limited number of places 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 for all sessions are significantly subsidised for artists by the partner organisations, with further discounts available for a-n members, CG Associates, Redeye members, Manchester Craft & Design Centre resident/affiliate makers.



Jenny Rutter: Business Visioning

Thursday 12 July 2018, 11am – 5pm | Venue: 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, 11 – 5pm | Venue: 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, 11 – 5pm | Venue: 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, 10 – 5pm | Venue: 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.



Each session can be booked individually. 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 all artists and creative practitioners.

If you have any questions about please contact


a-n The Artists Information Company is the largest artists’ membership organisation in the UK with over 22,000 members. We support artists and those who work with them in many practical ways, acting on behalf of our membership and the visual arts sector to improve artists’ livelihoods.

a-n has a reputation for providing compelling insights and playing a catalytic role in influencing and informing cultural policy. The a-n membership benefits from access to insurance, bursaries, jobs and opportunities, events and resources.

Our mission is to stimulate and support contemporary visual arts practice and affirms artists’ value in society through advocacy and information from the perspective of artists.

Since its founding in 1984, Castlefield Gallery has been one of Northern England’s most active and successful organisations/agencies for developing emerging contemporary artists and practice. Its ambitious curated exhibitions programme responds to national and international trends, promoting artists at key stages of their careers, including subsequent Turner Prize nominees/winners and exhibitors at international festivals. Central to Castlefield Gallery’s activities is an artist development programme that has launched major commission-winning artists.

Castlefield Gallery’s vision is for the North to be a place where artists can live and produce work, while presenting their work in national and international contexts. Its mission is to nurture talent, explore cultural trends and deepen the audience’s relationship to contemporary art.

An oasis of calm in the city – Manchester Craft & Design Centre is just five minutes from Manchester’s main shopping areas of Market Street, the Arndale Centre and Afflecks Palace. Situated in the heart of Manchester’s vibrant Northern Quarter with its coffee shops, restaurants, bars and independent retailers, our Victorian building – once the home of the city’s retail fish market – now features two floors of contemporary craft studios but is still complete with many of its original and quirky fixtures and fittings.

Manchester Craft & Design Centre hosts an exciting and varied exhibitions programme, showcasing the very best of both British and international contemporary craft and design. Our popular events programme gives visitors the opportunity to learn craft skills from our resident artists and exhibitors, and aspiring or established designer-makers a range of professional development activities as part of the Manchester Craft & Design Network.

Redeye, the Photography Network is all about networking, support and information for photographers or anyone interested in photography. We are a not-for-profit Community Benefit Society which means everything we do has to benefit our community of photographers. We have a packed events programme including talks from photographers, advice sessions including critiques and fun creative workshops where photographers can learn something new. We also promote opportunities for photographers, share advice blogs and help spread the word on exhibitions across the UK all via our website and social media. Importantly, we are a membership organisation so our members get access to our portfolio website, a discount on hire equipment and Redeye events plus other exclusive opportunities we are regularly sent by partners. 


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

Manchester Craft & Design Centre sessions will be held in our 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 our back entrance on Copperas Street.