Making art and making a living: The role of festivals in contemporary arts careers

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Project Description

Government strategy is increasingly concerned about the ‘pipeline’ for talent into the creative economy. This project investigates getting in and getting on in artistic careers, focusing on the role of arts festivals in supporting and sustaining artists. The project creates an new partnership across Scottish arts and higher education to better understand the importance and value of key institutions in the face of a precarious, uncertain, but also potentially highly rewarding, part of the contemporary creative economy.


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Student Name

Nikki Kane

Academic History

2006-2010, MA (Hons) History of Art, University of Glasgow

2014-2015, MRes Creative Practices, Glasgow School of Art

2016-2017, CuratorLab – Konstfack, Stockholm 


Dr Dave O'Brien, University of Edinburgh

Dr David Stevenson, Queen Margaret University

Research Interests

Contemporary art festivals, Curatorial models, Artistic labour. Cultural policy and economics

Previous Research Projects

'Body at work: a study circle on contemporary labour’ 
Commissioned performances and a publication of new works from four artists / writers.
Stockholm, May 2017
This curatorial research project presented a publication and a series of study circle sessions that used performance, reading meetings and discussions to explore issues of contemporary labour, with particular reference to experiences of the body and ‘choreographic’ approaches.

Re-scoring the choreographies of the river
Glasgow - Summer 2015
An investigation into the River Clyde within Glasgow’s city centre that used curatorial and artistic approaches, including a symposium event within the historical Clydeport building and on a boat journey on the river, to research and propose alternatives for its future.

Contact Details

First published: 3 October 2017