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Public Programme Curator at Forma Arts

Forma Arts, London, United Kingdom
Deadline: 13 May 2021

Alberta Whittle, RESET (2020), shown at Forma HQ, Video still courtesy of the Artist and Matthew A Williams

Alberta Whittle, RESET (2020), shown at Forma HQ, Video still courtesy of the Artist and Matthew A Williams

Forma is a contemporary arts organisation that champions ideas and artists who address the social and political questions of our times. Through a discursive process, we nurture artists’ creative vision and grow their ambition in order to develop collaborative projects that are career defining and lead to new major opportunities around the world. We pride ourselves in being an organisation that artists want to work with. We offer commissioning, fundraising and production expertise, and as a non-gallery-based organisation we present projects in partnership with cultural institutions across the UK and internationally. Forma is where ideas become art.

Artists we have collaborated with include Alberta Whittle, Cerith Wyn Evans, Cécile B Evans, Bill Morrison and Jóhann Jóhannsson, Amartey Golding, Broomberg and Chanarin, Sophie Hoyle, Benedict Drew, Jane and Louise Wilson, Mark Boulos and Himali Singh Soin.

Forma is moving into an exciting new phase of growth and is opening its first permanent home in 20 years – FormaHQ – this Spring in Southwark, London. The new cultural hub includes our offices, affordable artist studios, a café and book shop, event space, residency studio and a new public garden. The Freelance Curator will join at a crucial time, working closely with the Artistic Director and wider team to help launch FormaHQ’s artistic and public programme, engage with local residents and attract new audiences.

Forma Arts is a National Portfolio Organisation, supported by the Arts Council England.

Job Title: Public Programme Curator
Term: 3 months fixed-term freelance contract, full time. Job shares will be considered Fee: £7,500 (£2,500/month)
Reports to: Artistic Director
Location: London

Deadline: 13 May 2021

Interview Dates: 18 May 2021

Application Process: Please submit your CV and a covering letter (1 A4 page max) to with FREELANCE PUBLIC PROGRAMME CURATOR in the subject.

About the role

In liaison with the Artistic Director and with the support of the wider team, you will be responsible for the planning, coordination and delivery of our public and artistic programme to launch FormaHQ, our new cultural hub in South London throughout Spring/Summer 2021.

You will have significant experience of working in the visual arts sector, with a strong knowledge of public programming and live events production. The ideal candidate will have demonstrable experience of working within a multi-purpose art venue, have good writing skills and excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to build relationships both internally and externally at all levels. The ability to work to tight deadlines and maintain a calm, ordered approach, with excellent attention to detail is essential.

Key responsibilities

Launching FormaHQ

  • Work closely with the Artistic Director to lead the planning, coordination and delivery of the public programme that will launch FormaHQ
  • Manage artistic budgets, keep track of cash flow and prepare reports for the Deputy Director
  • Liaise and maintain relationships with artists, musicians, designers involved as well as a wide range of supporting creative professionals
  • Contribute to drafting contracts with artists and partners
  • As as the point of contact and host for each event. Be a friendly, approachable and confident spokesperson for the organisation with a focus on engaging first time visitors, local residents, young people as well as art audiences
  • Assist Forma’s Producer in the installation and deinstallation of presentations, events and workshops
  • Engage with stakeholders including the local authority, resident association, local charities, organisation and schools
  • Identify new funding streams and actively contribute to Forma’s new fundraising strategy against set targets
  • Be on rota to take responsibility for opening and closing FormaHQ and the public garden
  • Liaise with the Marketing and Communications Manager to ensure all events are included in the wider marketing and public engagement strategy
  • Collect audience and peer feedback

Artistic Productions

  • Assist Forma’s Artistic Director in the coordination, development and delivery of Forma commissions and productions
  • Produce presentations and proposals (including fundraising applications and reports)
  • Provide support in the preparation and realisation of productions, exhibitions and project related events (private views, talks and events)
  • Work with Forma’s Assistant Curator to identify and develop new touring opportunities and draft applications and partnership agreements.

Essential skills and attributes

  • Has a passionate interest in contemporary art and experience of coordinating and delivering cultural programmes
  • Experience of working directly with artists, producers, writers, curators and audiences
  • Strong experience in handling exhibition and events equipment and audio visual equipment
  • High degree of proven written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience of AV and technical equipment used in events and gallery environments
  • Excellent planning and time management, with the ability to multitask and prioritise within a busy working environment
  • A willingness to carry out a wide variety of tasks

Desirable skills and experience

  • A good network of contacts in the visual arts sector
  • Good knowledge of the cultural infrastructure across the UK and internationally
  • Knowledge of marketing and audience development in the arts
  • Able to work well and communicate with a wide range of people
  • Ability to use design software (Photoshop, Indesign)
  • Experience in writing applications for both artistic events and trust and foundations

Forma is aware of the lack of diversity in the sector and more pressingly, within our own organisation. We strongly encourage applicants from all backgrounds to apply, this includes applicants from different ethnic backgrounds, religions, sexual orientation, social and economic backgrounds but also those without formal art education or qualifications or for whom English is not their first language.

Should you have access requirements, please contact Caroline Heron, Forma’s Deputy Director, at to discuss how we can adjust the application and/or interview process.




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