Rotherham Open Arts Renaissance – invitation to tender Critical Arts Writer/researcher
Deadline for submission:17 December 2020 at 5pm.

1. Summary

ROAR has been operating as an artist led organisation for over a decade providing invaluable support and opportunities for local creative practitioners.
This has included provision of studios, professional development, paid opportunities, exhibitions and collaborations alongside developing the sector to enable artists to stay in Rotherham and sustain their practice.

2. Context

The cultural sector is looking very different after a year of Covid-19 with a shift to online activity from a physical environment. ROAR wants to take stock of its journey, explore its achievements, trace its development and the resulting knowledge base that makes it unique to build a successful future.

3. Brief

We are looking for a critical writer with knowledge of the evolving artist led sector, preferably with an academic background to ensure robust quantifiable data.
An understanding of the circumstances of the arts in Yorkshire towns as opposed to the urban centres would be advantageous.
The document is not expected to be an academic paper, but tell the story of ROAR and its impact.

4. Detailed requirements

Fee: £1.5k
Timescale: by July 2021
Anticipated length of document: approximately 5000 words.
Key audiences for the document: stakeholders, commissioners, partners. There is a further budget available for design work.

5. Timescales

Invite to tender and advert sent out Monday 30th November 2020

Deadline for responses Thursday 17 December 2020 at 5pm

Appointment of writer Monday 21st December 2020

6 How to apply

If you are interested in tendering for this work, please provide the following:

  • A brief proposal of your approach to the work which provides: Previous relevant experience in developing curatorial writing about arts organisations
  • An outline schedule/work plan, identifying number of days to be worked, the approach you will take and highlight any key milestones.
  • Previous experience of working with a range of relevant partners and stakeholders
  • A detailed response to the delivery of the requirements outlined in section two.

7.Appointment criteria

Criteria 60%

  • Creative track record
  • Working with a range of stakeholders
  • Working within the arts sector and knowledge of the regional context

Proposal 30%

  • Outline schedule of work and work plan identifying number of days worked and highlight key milestones
  • ability to work flexibly across internal and external stakeholders
  • two references relevant to the project

Costs 10%

  • Value for money


Set up in 2006 by a group of local art supporters, ROAR has provided support and professional development for artists and creatives working in Rotherham for over a decade. ROAR values the ability of how the arts play a different and necessary part in contributing to the overall health, development, and well-being of Rotherham’s communities. To provide communities with joy, interaction, and inspiration, but also give thoughtful critique to the political, economic and social landscape— pushing communities to thoughtfully engage and make steps toward social progress. Currently having over 224 members, and a studio base of eight units, as well as an exhibition gallery space, a drama studio and a workshop space with equipment and resources. The organisation has in the past had access to other meanwhile spaces for artists to use as studios and for projects.

There is a staff base of 2.8 FTE
CEO- Sharon Gill
Creative Manager- Matt Butt
Buildings Manager – Ken Horne
Freelance finance worker through HSL Accountancy.


ROAR Values:

We strive to be an inclusive anti racist organisation that delivers equal opportunities. We have adopted three new core values:

1. Sustainable Living-pursuing the values and economics of a self-determined,resilient society to adapt to future needs
2. Climate Emergency and Ecological Crisis-how we creatively reduce our carbon footprint and promote biodiversity as matters of quality 3. Exchange of Care – promoting conviviality, emotional intelligence and social care as a driver for change

Key achievements:

  • Secured a stable and affordable studio base with resources and venue
  • Secured National Portfolio Organisation status
  • Continual growth of membership- individual artists’ achievements supported by ROAR
  • Peer led professional development programme established – EGG
  • International and local exhibitions, such as Mission to Mars.
  • Work with wide ranging partners from statutory and voluntary sector to delivering projects such as; Glow for people with dementia, International Women’s Day, Reclaim the Streets.
  • Programme of Artist talks designed to enable the sharing of arts practice, and  inspiration from industry experts.
  • Considered an ally of local BAME communities; Diversity Festival, Black History Month 
  • Development of Life Act as user led
  • Swallownest Public Art Commission
  • Thurcroft public at commission
  • Regularly published in print and online
  • Instrumental in securing Great Place funding and Creative People and Places funding • Arts In Health work, ie Hausila Group to Rotherham
  • Offer work experience and careers information
  • Managed different meanwhile spaces.
  • Survived!!!!!!