Thank you for your interest in this role. Please see below a letter from the Director, Sarah Munro, Job Profile and Person Specification, along with applicant guidance notes.
The closing date for this vacancy is Monday 8th October at 10.00 am.
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art is an incredible place to work. We have a knowledgeable, empowered and dedicated staff team; a diverse and supportive Board of Trustees and an ambitious plan to deliver our civic mission. We attract in the region of 500,000 visits a year, including over 262,000 engagements with school and community groups in 2017/18. Our mission is to create greater understanding of the world through outstanding experimental and inspiring contemporary art which has power, relevance and meaning for individuals and communities.
We run a major commissioning programme of Inter/national exhibitions annually delivering 8-12 exhibitions at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, 5 at BALTIC 39; a performance programme; residency and associate artist programmes including CONTINUOUS, a new 4 year dance partnership initiative with Siobhan Davies Dance. In 2017 we launched the inaugural biennial BALTIC Artists Award, a new model for supporting emerging artists with over £120,000 being awarded for the production of new work. We have a significant new programme in local communities including B. Local - a new model for collaboration within the heart of some of our most disadvantaged communities.
Our strategic partnership with Northumbria University, the BxNU Institute based at BALTIC 39, is led by BALTIC Professor and Director of the Institute Andrea Phillips, who joined our team in 2017.
The Head of Curatorial and Public Practice is a significant new senior post that will lead on BALTIC’s curatorial and pedagogical vision working in close collaboration with BALTIC's Director and Head of Learning and Civic Engagement. The post holder will also play a pivotal role in shaping BALTIC’s new Centre for Public Practice (CPP).
The CPP is an alliance of Curatorial, Documentation, Library & Archive, Learning, Visitor Experience and Technical teams at the heart of delivering BALTIC’s vision. It will enable the conditions for greater integration and shared practice for all participants.
Led by the Director, the CPP is designed as both a site for critical research and a creative operational framework for sustainable programme delivery.
Forged as a response to contemporary urgencies, the CPP is born out of the recognition of the equitable value of curatorial and educational practices and designed as a response to the subsequent reconfiguring of institutional hierarchies. The Centre for Public Practice aims to influence sectoral thinking, and create a platform for internationally significant research, inquiry and debate within contemporary art. The CPP is a platform from which to deepen impact in delivering our ambitious civic mission on both a local and global level.
This post represents an incredible opportunity for someone with a powerful curatorial vision and the right skills, experience and aptitude to activate it.
I look forward to receiving your application.
Job Profile and Person Specification
Head of Curatorial and Public Practice
Terms and Conditions of role
Salary: £55,000 - £60,000 per annum
Hours: 37 hours per week
Contract: Permanent (six month probation period)
Reports to: Director
Direct reports: Curator of Exhibitions and Research, Curator, Curator (Performance and Public Programme), Registrar and Production Manager; Network Manager (North East Contemporary Visual Arts Network)
This dynamic new senior role will lead on BALTIC’s curatorial and pedagogical vision.
The post will provide artistic and managerial capacity to support the Director in shaping and delivering the vision for BALTIC’s new Centre for Public Practice. The postholder will play a significant role in contributing to BALTIC’s reputation as a global leader in exhibition making, artists support and public practice.
The role involves leading the Programme team and actively participating in the Strategic Management Team at BALTIC, supporting the Director in meeting the objectives outlined in BALTIC’s 2018-22 Business Plan. This includes working closely with the Head of Learning & Civic Engagement to advance BALTIC’s Centre for Public Practice - strengthening organisational collaboration that builds an alliance of public practice across curatorial, learning, library and archives, technical and visitor experience. The Centre for Public Practice is led by BALTIC’s Director.
Purpose of the Job
The Head of Curatorial and Public Practice, working closely with BALTIC’s Director, will play a leadership role in the development and delivery of BALTIC’s programme of exhibitions, performances, residencies, associate artists and public practice.
The Head of Curatorial and Public Practice will effectively lead the Programme team in planning, resourcing and delivering an integrated programme of activities that align with BALTIC’s objectives.
The Head of Curatorial and Public Practice is responsible for ensuring that the Programme team meets its artistic, audience, educational and financial objectives in accordance with the BALTIC’s mission, vision and organisational plan.
A Leadership Team
· Contribute to the development and delivery of BALTIC’s mission, vision and strategy.
· Support the development of collaborative, cross-team working and processes to deliver BALTIC priorities with particular attention on the visitor experience within and beyond the building.
B Programme Leadership and Management
· Play a lead role in the development of BALTIC’s curatorial vision and programme decision making.
· Lead scheduling and liaison across the programme of exhibitions and public programmes, working towards a balanced and strategic programme that meets audience and financial framework objectives, sustainable within existing resources.
· Ensure good communication of programmes with colleagues.
· Implement and manage robust, effective processes for the management and delivery of the programme that aligns with wider organisational schedules and deadlines.
· Support the implementation of strategies including Research and Public Practice.
· Ensure that policies and ways of working at BALTIC are aligned to organisational wide objectives and ongoing developments.
· Manage the planning and curatorial content for BALTIC’s Digital Plan.
· Collaborate in leading, encouraging and maintaining innovative thinking and best curatorial/public practice among colleagues.
· Regularly report on the development and impact of individual exhibitions and projects with the relevant curators and project teams.
· Support the team in the commissioning of new work as required.
· Ensure that the team is compliant with BALTIC policies and practices.
C People Management
· Provide leadership for the strategic development of the Programme team, enabling the successful delivery of objectives within a collaborative and empowering working environment.
· Line manage and develop staff in the Programme team.
D Internal and External Liaison
· Ensure regular liaison and collaboration with teams across BALTIC
· Represent BALTIC as appropriate in national and international professional networks, keeping abreast of international standards.
· Work with the Director and BALTIC Professor to maximise synergy and impact between the theory and practice of BALTIC and BxNU Institute, BALTIC’s strategic partnership with Northumbria University.
· Work with the Associate Director to plan and manage BALTIC’s contribution to the academic programmes within the BXNU Institute and support research funding ambitions to enhance the Institute’s resilience and impact,
E Tours and External Contracts Management
· Lead negotiations, supported by the Curators and Registrar and Production Manager, on appropriate contractual frameworks and agreement of fees, for BALTIC’s touring exhibitions within the UK and worldwide.
· Negotiate any external fees and contracts, such as guest curators, consultants.
F Budget and Resource Management
· Work with the Deputy Director and Registrar and Production Manager to set and monitor exhibition and programme budgets.
· Plan and regularly review the allocation of staff and other resources within the Programme team in line with agreed objectives.
Any other duties commensurate with the level of the post, as may be reasonably required.
Extensive knowledge of contemporary art and public practice.
Ability to lead an inclusive and empowered culture within a team.
Significant experience of developing and managing a large-scale contemporary visual arts programme with an international dimension, contributing to a major institution’s reputational, critical and popular acclaim.
Knowledge of the theory and practice of inclusion and cultural diversity and evidence of having incorporated responsive strategies into programme planning.
Excellent project management, organisational and planning skills, with ability to prioritise and coordinate multiple activities to meet deadlines.
Significant successful management experience in a gallery or museum, including experience of leading on programme-led audience engagement, diversity and financial management.
Highly numerate with sound business planning skills, including financial management, resource allocation and risk management. Proven experience of the construction, revision, monitoring and management of large budgets.
Excellent communication, advocacy and networking skills including the ability to write and edit lucid text for a number of constituencies.
Articulate and confident communication and interpersonal skills necessary to deal with a wide range of people internally and externally including both, regionally and internationally.
The ability and willingness to travel and to attend out of hours functions, as required.
Postgraduate qualification in a relevant subject.
Second language (conversational level).
Experience of fundraising.
Getting a Job at BALTIC – Guidance Notes for Applicants
These notes are designed to help you participate fully in our staff recruitment procedures, and to assist you with providing all the information we need in order to understand how you meet the requirements of the job. Please read these notes carefully before completing the application form.
Equal Opportunities Statement
BALTIC is working towards achieving diversity and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.
BALTIC fully accepts and welcomes the fact that society consists of many diverse groups and individuals, and that this diversity is an asset to BALTIC.
As an arts centre dependant for its success on the full involvement of users and visitors and as an employer, BALTIC recognises that it has a moral and legal responsibility to promote equal opportunities. In addition, BALTIC recognises that the pursuit of equality of opportunity is essential for a productive and professional working environment.
This policy states BALTIC’s commitment to being an equal opportunities employer and is an integral part of every aspect of our activities. It is based on the most recent legislation and represents BALTIC’s commitment to tackling inequality, discrimination and disadvantage.
Our goal is equality of opportunity for everyone who uses, visits, works in and works for, BALTIC and we will provide services and develop employment practices accordingly.
In particular, BALTIC is committed to making sure that:
There is equality of opportunity in terms of access to BALTIC and its services, and that this reflects, and is appropriate to the needs of the diverse communities using and visiting BALTIC.
Prospective and present employees are afforded equal and fair treatment in relation to recruitment, selection, terms and conditions of employment, training and promotion.
BALTIC will work to actively combat discrimination and make sure that prospective or present employees, and those who wish to use and visit BALTIC, are not treated less favourably on the grounds of protected characteristics.
BALTIC is committed to making sure that we provide equal opportunities in employment, and that we do not unfairly discriminate against any job applicant for any reason. BALTIC, therefore:
Welcomes job applications from all sections of the community and will consider applicants for jobs on the basis of their relevant experience, qualifications, skills and abilities.
Welcomes job applications from under-represented groups - in particular, people with disabilities, and minority ethnic applicants.
Will make sure that we do not discriminate unlawfully when we decide who to employ and that selection decisions for jobs are based solely on people’s merit and ability to do the job, to enable us to appoint the best people to work for BALTIC.
Will make sure that any qualifications or conditions or requirements applied to a job are relevant and justifiable in terms of the job to be done.
Aims to create a suitably skilled workforce that includes employees who may be under-represented.
Will conduct regular monitoring data collation and analysis in order to identify and address barriers to equality of opportunity.
Completing your Application
The purpose of completing this application form is to enable you to be shortlisted for interview. Completed applications are matched against the requirements set out in the Job Profile to create a shortlist of candidates who will be invited for interview.
You should study the Job Profile carefully before completing your application form. Whether or not you are shortlisted for interview will depend on how well you can demonstrate that you meet the criteria listed in the Job Profile.
The following tips are designed to help you complete the application form as effectively as possible:
Make sure that your application is specific to the job you are applying for.
BALTIC does not accept CVs in lieu of a completed application form.
Think about the extent to which you possess the experience, skills, knowledge and interests necessary to do the job. You should then provide relevant information which addresses all of the items in the Job Profile. If possible, try to do so in the order in which they are listed.
Remember to consider relevant experience, knowledge and skills acquired outside of paid work – for example, experience gained from community or volunteer work, or in your leisure interests.
If you have a disability which makes completing this application difficult or impossible, it is possible that the application can be completed in a different way. If you have such difficulties, please contact us.
Shortlisting will take place after the closing date and is always undertaken by at least two people, one of whom will be the vacant job’s line manager. When shortlisting we are making an assessment of how closely your application meets the criteria set out in the Job Profile. We will go through your application in detail looking for specific evidence that you have the experience, knowledge and skills required to undertake the job successfully. It is unlikely that you will be selected for interview if you haven’t provided specific evidence, supported by relevant examples.
Interviews and Other Selection Methods
The purpose of an interview is to identify the best candidate for the job. A panel of two or three people, including the job’s line manager, will normally interview you. The length of the interview will depend on the level of the post but, on average, it will last for about 30 to 60 minutes.
In addition to an interview, BALTIC may also use other methods to help choose the best candidate for the job, such as being asked to do a presentation or short test. If additional methods are to be used you will be notified in advance, when we invite you for interview.
If you have a disability and need any adjustment to be made in order for you to participate in the selection process, please contact us immediately on receipt of our letter inviting you for interview so that we can accommodate your needs.
Offers of Employment
Offers of employment will only be made by a senior member of staff authorised to do so. All offers of employment are made subject to receipt of satisfactory references, successful completion of a probation period and where appropriate disclosure of information by the Criminal Records Bureau (Police checks).
Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, 1974
Please provide details of any unspent convictions or cautions you have under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, 1974. Offences resulting in driving licence endorsements should be disregarded, unless holding a clean licence is a specific requirement of the job. Failure to disclose such information may result in dismissal or disciplinary action by BALTIC. This information will be treated as confidential and will not necessarily disqualify you from employment with BALTIC.
General Data Protection Regulation, & Asylum and Immigration Act, 1996
The information that you provide as part of your application will be used in the selection process. All information about you will be securely held, with access restricted to only those involved in dealing with your application. Unless you are the successful candidate, your data will be kept for 12 months and then destroyed.
Under the terms of the Asylum and Immigration Act, 1996 we will require proof of your legal right to work in the United Kingdom.