10 Tips on Writing a Public Art Brief

By Natalie Duffield-Moore, Arts Engagement Worker, Transported

The Transported Creative People and Places programme is about getting more people engaged in quality arts.  We recognise that there will be many more good projects suggested than we can fund directly, but we can help by extending understanding of the contribution Public Realm projects can contribute to the area and sharing knowledge and experience that might be useful to others.

These top tips reflect the process I have gone through as an Engagement Worker to put together the first case study commission for RSPB Frampton Marsh.

Please feel free to comment or ask for more information. Look out for exciting Go See trips and artist talks, and more information about the Public Art strand coming soon.

1)      Research

  • What is Public Art
  • Go and see examples of Public Art
  • Identify visual arts commission process
  • Recognise language used within previous visual arts briefs
  • Read through previous examples of briefs (more than 1) and recognise how the project is communicated to the reader

2)      Identify the aims and objectives of the commission to be translated into your brief. What is the main message?

3)      Map out contents – what is needed / essential

4)      Work through each section and draft context – key points through to sentences

5)      Work with project partners to clarify sections, for example history of a site / area

6)      Fix overall structure and confirm information is in the right order

7)      Conversations with project partners and colleagues to ask the question ‘is the message apparent?’ ‘Is it open enough to encourage creativity?’

8)      Set timescale for commission process and include within brief

9)      Re read and brand brief before sending out to project partners and colleagues for feedback

10)   Identify who your target audience is and where you want to send this out to. Speak to other organisations to find out where briefs were sent in the past and had the most response.  Local, national and international contact database.