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Notes from the Chair 6/2/12

The inaugural round of Arts Development UK fellowships has just been announced and I’m delighted to say that 50 members have achieved fellowship status, with 32 Associate fellows, 12 Fellows and 6 senior Fellows.

At every level, the fellowship award recognizes the member’s own commitment to their professional development, and to the development of the profession as a whole. It links together practical experience and contributions such as conference presentations, mentoring and research, with relevant academic and other taught qualifications, and demonstrable leadership activity both within and beyond AD:uk. This distinctive mix recognizes that many of us join the profession already with one and two degrees and need above all else a straightforward mechanism to demonstrate gains in practical experience and commitment. The stringent moderation carried out by the professional development working group ensures that the fellowships are not only bespoke, but also carry real value.

Having gone through the process myself, I also very much valued the opportunity to reflect on what I do to build and maintain my own professional capacity. On the one hand it was very good to have that moment of ‘yes, I do that’, I feeling that I’m sure many other participants shared, particularly given that many of us work in small teams where our specialist skills and experience might not be well understood; and on the other, helpful to be reminded of areas where I could simply and easily do more in future. In my particular case, on my list for this year is sitting down and writing up my research work for the AD:uk website. As one member put it, it really helps to think beyond the (now often unaffordable) training course to find different and more interesting ways to develop and demonstrate new skills.

If you haven’t already taken up the challenge of the fellowship, the good news is that that you have nearly twelve months in which to plan your own professional development activity before the next round of awards. The place to start is on our website, where you can find out more about the fellowship as a whole, and, by working through the questionnaire, choose realistic areas to focus on over the coming year.

Now more than ever, recognizing and valuing our own capacity to learn and share knowledge is essential, and as your professional body I am so pleased that we can now offer you such a clear and straightforward way to demonstrate that you take this as seriously as we do.

Finally, I’ll be attending the Arts Council local government liaison meeting later this week, and the agenda includes libraries, music education hubs, Creative People and Places, and the Renaissance programme. If you have any particular issues, and I’m sure you will, in relation to any of these areas, please let me know as soon as possible.
Jane Wilson
Chair of AD:uk
Tel: 01353 669022 Email: