The Wales Artist Coaching Pathway set out to test a pilot programme to support artists in Wales to develop and grow their practice and their career paths.
It was inspired by the teaching artist development programme at New Victory Theatre in New York, and was designed with support from their Director of Education, Courtney Boddie.
Following a promotion and recruitment process in July 2019, six artist-coaches were engaged in the programme for Wales:
Jon Dafydd-Kidd in partnership with The Riverfront, Newport
Martin Daws in partnership with Community Music Wales
Pauline Down in partnership with Swansea Bay University Health Board
Rabab Ghazoul in partnership with Gentle Radical
Bethan Page in partnership with Aberystwyth Arts Centre
Clare E Potter in partnership with Literature Wales
All six artist-coaches came together for a retreat in November 2019 to start planning the programme. The retreat was facilitated by Rhian Hutchings and Courtney Boddie and was an opportunity to learn more about the New Victory Theatre teaching artist development programme, to explore their own core values and pathways so far and to discuss what a programme for artists in Wales could look like.
Following the retreat and further planning time, artist-coaches and their partner organisations set about selecting artists as coachees and each artist-coach worked with between 3 and 5 artists.
The coaching pathway focused on one-to-one dialogue between an artist-coach and an artist-coachee in which the coachee explored their practice, aspirations, needs and potential. Sessions included the following elements:
• Mentoring by an artist-coach
• Defining the core values of the artist’s participatory practice
• Exploring the artist’s journey as a Participatory Artist using the Wales Artist Pathway Tool
• Exploring the next steps in the artist’s practice
Each coachee received up to five coaching sessions with their artist-coach, and many also met as a group at the beginning and end of the process.
To hear more about the pilot programme, please watch this video:
ArtWorks Cymru partners are now discussing how to develop the programme further to support artists across Wales.