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The Fire Station Artists’ Studios is an organisation that provides an affordable living and working environment for emerging artists, located in the heart of inner city Dublin. It has developed into an internationally renowned cultural centre combining residential and working units for visual artists, workshops, training facilities and runs an annual programme of professional courses. A development programme is in place that works closely with the local community on innovative art projects, often involving international artists. Also collabrative talks and events are organised, all skillfully managed and curated. Site specific works of art are commissioned from time to time and a series of high quality publications has been produced. Over the years the board of the Fire Station has worked on strategic plans to underpin and fulfill its stated mission. Mick Rafferty, who was chairman of the board for the first 15 Years, oversaw the growth of this unique organisation, from fledging beginnings to where it is now, a leading arts institution with wide national and international connections. In conjunction with the Board of Directors, he developed a unique vision and ulimately a mission statement for the Fire Station that has been expanded through enlightened strategic plans.

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It has been an honour and a privilege to have worked for a short period as Director and now as Chairman of an organisation which I consider to be a vibrant and vital part of the Irish art sector. The Board has been extremely generous in giving of its time and commitment over the years. I acknowledge the continuous and generous annual support of the Arts Council. After a period of consolidation it is now time to looks at a programme of expansion, recognising that the needs of young talented artists has never been greater. This third strategic plan recognises this, as the organisation looks to its future development, while at all times being concious of its core remit. Under the capable and visionary direction of Clodagh Kenny, assisted by her dedicated team, the future success of the Fire Station Artists’ Studios is ensured. Roisin Hogan Chairperson 2009


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We embark upon this strategic plan with confidence, enthusiasm and a clear focus on how Fire Station Artists’ Studios will play its role in a changing Ireland. The provision of subsidised, secure and well-managed living and working space for professional visual artists has been at the heart of the Fire Station for sixteen years. The knowledge and confidence gained from these years of experience enables us to keep moving forward. After research and evaluation we recognise the need to increase the number of residential studios we provide in order to support a greater number of artists and we plan to do this on and off site. With these changing economic times it is our ambition to stand steady and generate more support for artists to ensure the arts sector remains vibrant and creative. We recognise the opportunity to support Irish artists in an international arena by profiling ourselves internationally. By placing ourselves in an international context through commissions and our studio awards, we aim to support local artists to make that step outside the island of Ireland. Our annual master class and workshop training programme will continue to be developed along with the digital media programme. These training programmes offer valuable opportunities for peer support and critique and are as relevant now as they were eleven years ago when we initiated the programme. These goals and objectives can only be realised by the commitment and skills of our staff so I would like to take this opportunity to thank Liz Burns, Jessica Cunningham and John Carrick and our support staff John Travers, David McConnell and Pauline O’Connell. Last but not least, I would like to thank our dedicated board who will be changing in the next 12 months and who have given so many years voluntary service to the organisation. We could not have reached this point of clarity and confidence without their vision and dedication – thank you. Clodagh Kenny Director 2009 9


This is the fourth strategic plan to be written by the Fire Station Artists’ Studios and it reflects a new cycle of thinking, imagining and creating. The previous three plans brought the physical and conceptual organisation into existence. Now the time is right to replenish the organisation physically and conceptually; renew the structures that will enable succession and transformation by a new generation while developing our profile internationally. This plan has a focus on architecture – physical and social – the capital redevelopment of the space is prominent in our thinking – we want to create additional residential studio spaces for artists and we also wish to invest in the relationships, local, national and international, that sustain and will transform the continued development of the organisation. The social architecture that sustains the Fire Station, and in particular, the governance and management of the organisation needs to be nurtured – so in tandem with an investment in physical structures we will also attend to the social supports that make the delivery of our programme a reality. This strategic plan looks similar to and yet differs from previous plans. The three policy areas identified in our last plan are as relevant and compelling today as they were in 2005. We believe that Investment, Advocacy and Communication still form the core of our work and will continue to be the background concepts against which we prioritise physical and social structures both in a local and international context. We have augmented those policy areas with two additional ones – Capital Development and Board Development – to reflect the physical and social architectural concerns of the organisation as we move forward. We believe that the Fire Station adapts and changes continually and to that end we will review our mission, actions and goals on a regular basis and our critical conversations will be an ongoing part of practice.

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The Fire Station will invest in and replenish its resources – physical, human, artistic and conceptual. Our investment will be informed and led by our artistic policies in five key areas: 1 2 3 4 5

Investment Advocacy Dissemination Capital Development Board Development

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Goal The Fire Station will invest in and replenish its resources – physical, human, artistic and conceptual. Our investment will be informed and led by our artistic policies. Actions We will: – Continue to commission artists; – Continue to invest in the professional development needs of artists and extend the programme of creative digital media training; – Continually review and augment facilities management aligning this with development plans for the rest of the facility.

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Goal Fire Station is a national leader in collaborative and socially engaged practice and the physical environments in which artists live and make work. We will seek to build on that expertise and use the learning to influence policy and practice nationally and internationally. Actions We will: – Use our expertise to inform arts related capital development in Ireland; – Promote policies for living and working spaces for artists; – Invest in strategic partnerships (within and outside the arts community) to support commissioning and professional development opportunities; – Develop a policy to secure private and philanthropic investment in the Fire Station Artists’ Studios; – Support artists’ practice through training, professional development and commissioning; – We will continue to promote our policy of appropriate remuneration for artists; – Consult with artists about the changing needs of artists and their practice – using this intelligence to inform policy development and strategic planning; – Ensure the award opportunities (including the award for an artist with a disability) remain responsive to the changing environment and needs of artists.

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Goal Fire Station will widen the network of key relationships with whom we communicate. We will maximise opportunities to disseminate our learning, influence policy and invest in professional arts practice. Actions We will: – Create a clear and coherent message about the organisation and communicate that to our key stakeholders in appropriate ways that seek to maximise the potential for strategic conversations; – Embark on a branding exercise to support the development of our strategic partnership conversations – one core message communicable in different ways to different audiences; – Organise and participate in professional seminars and talks to create opportunities for conversation, idea exchange and the dissemination of expertise; – Develop a strong international profile through our programming and studio awards; – Continue to invest in documentation and dissemination of practice on and off line.

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Goal Fire Station will create new and more sustainable living and working spaces for artists. Actions We will: – Integrate the Fire Station Feasibility Study into the development of new space and continue to invest in the Fire Station as a living and working place for artists. We will increase the number of studio spaces, create an experimental work area and develop income-generating streams; – Research the viability of developing Fire Station Artists’ Studios off site locations within and beyond the local community; – Equip the digital resource area with cutting edge and innovative technology and ensure ongoing access to a wide range of artists; – Create a better flow of resources in the buildings; – Invest in the professional development needs of artists and extend the programme of creative digital media training and the programme of technical training; – Review and augment facilities management aligning this with development plans for the rest of the facility; – Develop a policy to secure private and philanthropic investment in the Fire Station Artists’ Studios.

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Goal Fire Station will invest in the social architecture of the organisation by ensuring a smooth transition to the next generation of governance. Actions We will: – Complete a process of board development to ensure that governance of the organisation is in alignment with best practice; – Complete the process of governance succession – confirming talent and personnel we believe can take the organisation forward on to the next phase of its development. Appointments to the board will be based on our core values; – Document the institutional memory of the organisation to facilitate induction of new board members; – Review staff roles to ensure they reflect the changing status of the organisation and augment staffing where necessary.

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Policy Area

Actions

Indicators for Success

Timeframe

Ongoing

2009 onwards

Create a better flow of resources in the buildings

An audit of space usage will be commissioned in 2010

2010 onwards

Continue to invest in the professional development needs of artists and extend the programme of IT/Digital and Technical training

New and ongoing investment will take place from 2009 onwards

2009 onwards

Continually review and augment facilities management aligning this with development plans for the rest of the facility

An audit of needs and usage will take place in 2010 and amendments made as necessary

2009 onwards

Investment Goal: The Fire Station will Continue to commission invest in and replenish its artists resources – physical, human, artistic and conceptual. Our investment will be informed and led by our artistic policies

Advocacy Goal: Fire Station is Use our expertise to a national leader in inform arts related capital collaborative and socially development in Ireland engaged arts practice and the physical environments in which artists live and make work. We will seek to extend on that expertise and use the learning to influence policy and practice nationally and internationally

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Acting in an advisory 2011-2012 capacity to at least two capital infrastructure projects in Ireland


Policy Area

Actions

Indicators for Success

Timeframe

Promote policies for living and working spaces for artists

Considered to be an expert in 2010 onwards working/living spaces for artists

Invest in strategic partnerships (within and outside the arts community) to support commissioning and professional development opportunities

Identify and manage three new partnerships over the course of the next 4 years that are impacting positively on the delivery of services to artists

Advocacy (continued)

2009-2012

Develop a policy to secure The board will agree private and philanthropic policy in this area and the investment in the Fire Station executive will animate Artists’ Studios

2010 onwards

We will continue to commission Establish a formal policy on artists and promote our policy fees for artists of appropriate remuneration for artists

2011 onwards

Support artists’ practice through training, commissioning and professional development

Additional new commissions, 2009 onwards training programme and professional development opportunities

Consult with artists about the changing needs of artists and their practice – using this intelligence to inform policy development and strategic planning

We will commission a research project in 2011 and augment/update on an annual basis

2011 onwards

Ensure the award opportunities (including the award for an artist with a disability) remain responsive to the changing environment and needs of artists

Evaluate awards on an annual basis, align with results from research project (see above) and make necessary changes

Ongoing

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Policy Area

Actions

Indicators for Success

Timeframe

Create a clear and coherent message about the organisation and communicate that to our key stakeholders in appropriate ways that seek to maximise the potential for strategic conversations

Create a new suite of communications products

2010 and 2011

Communication Goal: Fire Station will widen the network of key relationships with whom we communicate. We will maximise opportunities to disseminate our learning, influence policy and invest in professional arts practice

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Embark on a branding Commission appropriate exercise to support the expertise to assist us clarify development of our strategic our branding message partnership conversations – one core message communicable in different ways to different audiences

2010 and 2011

Develop a strong international profile through our artistic programming and studio awards

Work with internationally recognised curators and artists alongside Irish artists

2009 onwards

Organise and present at professional seminars and talks to create opportunities for conversation, idea exchange and the dissemination of expertise

Curate and/or present at symposia, conferences and other events

2009 onwards

Continue to invest in documentation and dissemination of practice on and off line

Increased availability of documentation on Fire Station policy and practice available in hard and electronic versions

2010 onwards


Policy Area

Actions

Indicators for Success

Timeframe

Incorporate the Fire Station Feasibility Study into the development of new space and continue to invest in the Fire Station as a living and working place for artists. We will increase the number of studio spaces, create an experimental work area and develop income-generating streams

Clear and articulated board policy on capital development

2009-2011

Increased number of living and working spaces for artists

2010-2012

Creation of an experimental working area in the Fire Station complex

2012

Suite of income generating ‘making’ facilities for nonresidents with appropriate financial goals established for each year of operation

2010 onwards

Research the viability of developing Fire Station Artists’ Studios off site locations within and beyond the local community

Commission independent research

2011

Equip the digital resource area with cutting edge and innovative technology and ensure ongoing access to a wide range of artists

Upgrade of digital resource area

2009 onwards

Create a better flow of resources in the buildings

Commission research into more appropriate use of existing space

Capital Development Goal: Fire Station will create new and more sustainable living and working spaces for artists

Increased number of artists using the digital resource area 2010-2011

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Policy Area

Actions

Indicators for Success

Timeframe

Invest in the professional development needs of artists and extend the programme of IT/digital and technical training

Upgrade existing professional 2010 onwards development supports for artists

Capital Development (continued)

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Commission research into artists’ needs particularly as it applies to the new economic and cultural climate

2010-2011

Master class programme re-imagined and continued each year

2010-2012

Review and augment facilities management aligning this with development plans for the rest of the facility

Internal review of how 2010-2011 existing facilities are managed. Review of staff job roles and descriptions and alignment of both

Develop a policy to secure private and philanthropic investment in the Fire Station Artists’ Studios

Strategic short and long term relationships with philanthropic organisations (and individuals)

2010 ongoing

Increase in the amount of ‘earned’ income

2010 onwards


Policy Area

Actions

Indicators for Success

Timeframe

Complete a process of board development to ensure that governance of the organisation is in alignment with best practice

Planned and implemented succession timetable

2009 and 2010

Complete the process of governance succession – confirming talent and personnel we believe can take the organisation forward on the next phase of its development. Appointments to the board will be based on our core values

Appointment of new directors to the board on a phased and strategic basis

2009 and 2010

Document the institutional memory of the organisation to facilitate induction of new board members

Strategic plan published

2009

Review staff roles to ensure they reflect the changing status of the organisation and augment staffing where necessary

Create a board induction 2009 and 2010 pack for each new director of the organisation, which will include an overview of the development of the organisation to date. Pack to be updated and retained as contemporary introduction to the organisation

Board Development Goal: Fire Station will invest in the social architecture of the organisation by ensuring a smooth transition to the next generation of governance

Formal board process of review of all roles/ responsibilities and job descriptions

2010

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Policy Area

Actions

Indicators for Success

Timeframe

Agreed, written job descriptions for each member of staff

2010

Contracts/roles revised and updated

2010 onwards

Board Development (continued)

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9652_FSAS_Strategic_Plan_Comp  

It has been an honour and a privilege to have worked for a short period as Director and now as Chairman of an organisation which I consider...

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