Opportunity: Curatorial Programme Lead

Join Craft Scotland in developing and delivering an exciting new craft curator programme for COMPASS

Craft Scotland is seeking an experienced Curatorial Programme Lead to support the planning, delivery and evaluation of a pilot COMPASS: Emerging Curator Programme.

This role is to start early July 2023 until March 2024 and will be approximately 14 days of work for a fee of £5,000 (inclusive of VAT).

Curators play a key role in sustaining and innovating Scotland’s ecosystem for contemporary craft however, there has been little infrastructure to support their professional development to date.

Following the ‘Sustaining Curatorial Careers Research’ report by Dr Stacey Hunter for Craft Scotland (published April 2022), Craft Scotland will run a pilot learning and development programme for a small cohort of emerging Scotland-based curators. Running from August 2023 until March 2024.

The successful candidate will work with the selected cohort through networking and professional development sessions, travelling as a group to Stockholm Craft Week, connecting with established curators/industry contacts and presenting reflections on the programme back to the sector.

If you think you might be a good fit for the opportunity and would like to find out more, in advance of applying, then please do get in touch. You can contact Jo Scott, Head of Programmes, Craft Scotland, via email at programmes@craftscotland.org

COMPASS: Emerging Curator Programme

Programme aims:

The COMPASS: Emerging Curator Programme seeks to nurture curatorial talent, provide professional development, facilitate knowledge sharing, and sustain international networks. The long-term aim is to support a flourishing sector through empowering craft professionals to create more opportunities to see, buy and engage with craft in Scottish venues.

Purpose of the programme

  • Furthering curatorial careers within craft through professional development
  • Strengthening the professional framework for curators and curatorial practice
  • Networking and developing connections within the sector at home and internationally
  • Profiling craft curators and their contribution to the sector
  • Making new connections with museums and galleries, and organisations
​​Programme outline

The programme will feature a cohort of up to 4 emerging curators and will take a practical learning approach through a series of workshops, a European research trip, networking events and a final curated show.

The workshops will cover:

  • Creating compelling project proposals
  • Curatorial approaches within artform/cultural context
  • Fundraising and budgets
  • Marketing and PR
  • Equalities, diversity and inclusion (EDI)

​Throughout the programme the Curatorial Programme Lead will offer informal mentoring to the cohort and will attend all the workshop sessions. There will be an evaluation and presentation of findings at the end of the programme.

Curatorial Programme Lead role description
  • Work closely with the Craft Scotland team to help shape the programme content and identify workshop presenters.
  • Prepare and deliver the workshops on ‘Creating compelling project proposals’ and ‘Critical curating’ (this can be alone or co-presented)
  • Be part of the selection process for the Emerging Curator cohort (shortlisting and interviews)
  • Attend Stockholm Craft Week in October 2023 with the cohort and Craft Scotland
  • Be available to the cohort for 1:1 informal mentoring during the programme and for the end of programme exhibition
  • Feed into the evaluation of the pilot programme
  • Have a knowledge of the Scottish contemporary craft sector
  • Be based within the UK
  • Have an in-depth knowledge and strong track record of curating shows and exhibitions that present contemporary craft
  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of craft, current themes and trends within craft, and an independent artistic vision
  • Be committed to embedding best practice in terms of fair pay, EDI and sustainability/climate action
​Programme administration

A member of the Craft Scotland Programmes team will provide support specifically with the programme administration. Their responsibilities will include; booking and contracting speakers and facilitators, preparing and sending out joining instructions, scheduling meetings/events/1:1s, booking flights and accommodation, liaising with participants as appropriate, invoicing etc.

Please note that a budget for the programme delivery will be provided to pay for invited guests and speakers, travel etc. This delivery budget is in addition to the fee outlined in this brief.

Programme ownership

Craft Scotland will own all rights to the training programme.


A fee of £5,000 (inclusive of VAT) is available for this project. The fee is based on 14 days’ work at the Scottish Artist Union rate of £336 per day. The work is outlined above.

Please note that the fee may be paid in stages. The detail of this will be outlined in the contract.

How to apply

Applicants should apply through the Craft Scotland online application form.

Before starting your application, please be aware that you will need to submit:

  • Your CV
  • Images of three events or exhibitions that you have been involved in curating
  • An image of yourself. Preferably this would be a photograph of you at work, at an exhibition or event you have curated or in a work context
  • Answers to specific questions about your curatorial practice including; your previous experience and information about curatorial projects you have been involved in.
  • Reasons why you are interested in this opportunity and how you think your practice will benefit
Key deadlines
  • Deadline for receipt of Curatorial Programme Lead applications: 5pm, Thursday 1 June 2023
  • Curatorial Programme Lead interviews for shortlisted applicants: Thursday 8 June 2023 (time tbc)
  • Applicants notified of the outcome of their application: Thursday 15 June 2023
  • Curatorial Programme Lead and Craft Scotland programme planning meeting: Early July (date tbc)
  • Deadline for receipt of Emerging Curator applications: 5pm, Tuesday 4 July 2023
  • Emerging Curator interviews via Zoom: Wednesday 12 July 2023
  • COMPASS Emerging Curator Programme Introduction and Creating Compelling Project Proposals Workshop: Tuesday 8 August 2023 (full day in person)
  • ‘Critical Curating’ workshop: Tuesday 15 August 2023 (online time tbc) – guest speaker and group discussion thinking through curatorial approaches and ideas; exploring craft within its artform and cultural context
  • Marketing and PR workshop: Tuesday 29 August 2023 (online time tbc)
  • Fundraising and Budgets workshop: Tuesday 12 September 2023 (online time tbc)
  • ‘Embedding EDI into curatorial projects’: Tuesday 26 September 2023 (online time tbc)
  • Research trip to Stockholm Craft Week (includes Curating Craft Conference on Wednesday 4 October): Wednesday 4 – Sunday 8 October 2023
  • Workshop/event: Review of Stockholm Craft Week and Initial event planning: Tuesday 17 October 2023 (time tbc)
  • Sector networking event: late 2023
  • Share learnings with sector: during 2024
  • End of programme exhibition featuring contributions from all cohort participants: during 2024

More information: https://www.craftscotland.org/community/opportunity/curatorial-programme-lead

Apply now: https://craftscot.wufoo.com/forms/compass-curatorial-programme-lead-2023

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