Opportunity: DASH Curatorial Residency Applications Now Open!

Tue 11 December 2018


Duration of residency: Spring 2019 – Summer 2020 

Closing date for applications: 5pm, 20 January 2019  

Interviews: 30 January 2019 

About The Programme

DASH, Arnolfini, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern art (MIMA) and Midlands Art Centre (MAC) are working together on a three-year programme of curatorial commissions providing individual residencies for three artists/curators who identify as Disabled people.

DASH has been working with galleries and arts centres in England and Wales since 2009 creating opportunities for Deaf and Disabled artists to exhibit and curate. These opportunities have significantly advanced the careers of more than 15 Deaf and Disabled artists, and have influenced and changed the thinking of a number of key people in these galleries. 

However, DASH asserts that further deep-rooted cultural changes must be made within the visual arts sector in order for it to become a more inclusive and accessible artform. 

One part of effecting this change is by placing Deaf and Disabled people in positions of influence within the visual arts, to influence change from within. The long-term aim of the programme is to support the development of Deaf and Disabled curators, so they can become the directors/curators/programmers of the future.

The curatorial opportunities at MIMA and Arnolfini (dates to be confirmed) will be announced in January 19, interviews in April 19 and the curators will start in September 19.

The Role

How would you respond to the challenge of curating within the context of a multi-disciplinary arts centre?  Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) has teamed up with DASH to offer a unique curatorial residency programme for an artist/curator who self identifies as a Deaf or Disabled person.

The Curatorial Commission Project, the first of its kind in the UK, will give the successful candidate the opportunity to draw upon the expertise and mentoring of specialist curators across the whole of MAC’s artistic spectrum. The successful candidate will experience the day-to-day business of running a creative programme, opportunity to contribute to the development of a dynamic arts organization and curate a major public exhibition.

If you think the Curatorial Commission Project sounds exciting, it is.  

Recent MAC curated seasons of work such as ‘Women & Protest’ and ‘Beyond Windrush’ have exhibited major new commissioned exhibitions, alongside performances, music, spoken word, film, events and seminars within an interwoven disciplinary structure with the visual arts at their heart, providing a holistic visitor experience.

If you think you have compelling ideas that can be developed through the Curatorial Commissions Project and touch peoples lives, whilst MAC and DASH support you to develop your artistic career and ideas, we want to hear from you.

The Package

The successful candidate will be expected to spend a minimum of one working week a month at MAC throughout the duration of the residency but there is recognition that the structure of this will be as flexible as possible.

Divided into three parts the Curatorial Resident will spend at least:

• 3 months learning about the practices of working as a curator within MAC

• 3 months developing and working up ideas under the mentorship of Jessica Litherland; Producer – Visual Arts at MAC

• 6 months developing and delivering an agreed curatorial project at MAC

Both MAC and DASH are committed to giving the highest possible training opportunities, support and professional development pathways within the Curatorial Commissions Project.   

The successful applicant will be offered:

• Curator’s fee fixed at £12,000

• Curator’s expenses a maximum of £5,000

• £8,000 towards exhibition costs

• A minimum of 5 days a month based at MAC

• A bespoke curatorial career development pathway that uses your talents and ideas to take you where you want to go with support from MAC and DASH 

• The opportunity to work alongside Deaf and Disabled young people’s creative projects and to help shape the overall MAC creative programme linked to the residency exhibition

• Access requirements will be supported

• Developing and supporting fund raising skills and opportunities throughout the residency and beyond

• The creation of a professional portfolio

What The Curatorial Commission Project expects of the successful applicant

The Curatorial Commissions Project exists to create the next generation of incredible curators with passion and talent at their core – these are the driving forces behind success regardless of your pathway to the visual arts.

How to apply

With that in mind there is no insistence on applicants having followed a structured academic path but instead, a need to see demonstrable engagement and an existing body of work that showcases that passion and talent.

In your application we will expect to see a proposal that shows:

• A commitment to 5 days per month on site at MAC in Birmingham

• A willingness to work with people to develop skills that allow you to be the conduit between artist and audience

• Resilience and great team working spirit

• A full CV or equivalent

• Demonstration of your current and previous artistic engagement, exhibitions or work

Maximum of 4 sides A4 in your proposal. We will accept applications in all accessible formats including audio and video.

Please send your application to:

Jessica Litherland (Visual Arts Producer MAC)


For more information contact Jessica Litherland and/or 

Mike Layward (DASH Artistic Director)


DASH has been an instigator and initiator of the commissioning of new work by Deaf and Disabled visual artists within mainstream galleries since 2009, supporting talent development by enabling diverse artists to create new work and collaborate with new institutions. DASH is becoming the chosen support hub for change, enabling organisations to create new partnerships, networks and ways of working.

DASH became a limited company and registered charity in 2001, and works in partnership with other arts and cultural organisations to develop disability arts practice.