TRANSFORM Associate Artist Scheme

TRANSFORM - Associate Artists Scheme is in part, a response to discussions that we have had with artists and freelancers since 2020 and also the wider conversation happening across the sector about how we can build an arts sector that is fairer, more adventurous and inclusive.

Mermaid Arts Centre is committed to finding exciting, meaningful, sustainable and democratic ways to work with artists and communities.

It is a flexible employment scheme that provides contracted roles to selected artists, who are paid a weekly part-time salary for a year as Mermaid’s Associate Artists. This is not a standard bursary or residency in that specific outcomes in terms of artwork are not stipulated. This is about what happens if creative practitioners and artists are embedded in organisations and have enough paid time and brain space to work on their own practice.

Who are these roles for?

These roles are for outstanding professional artists of varying practices and disciplines based in County Wicklow. We are interested in artists whose work is forward-looking and who may be struggling to find viable employment right now.

These roles are for individuals

  • who have created and presented/shared/exhibited work in a professional context in the past 5 years or as recently as personal circumstances allowed
  • who are excited and interested about the possibility of working with Mermaid Arts Centre to influence change both within the organisation and externally
  • whose practice lends itself to collaboration and participation and have a clear sense of who their work speaks to, is created for or is created with
  • who want to be supported to have dedicated time to continue their creative practice over the course of a year and have a clear vision for their own projects and practice
  • who want to use this time to support the sustainability of their career in the future.

The scheme is open to individual, professional artists, including: Actors, Architects, Choreographers, Circus/Street Arts Performers, Composers, Creative Producers, Curators/Programmers (working in an arts context), Dancers, Designers (e.g. set, costume, lighting), Directors, Dramaturgs, Facilitators (participatory arts, youth theatre), Film Artists, Literary Writers (e.g. novelists, poets), Musicians, Playwrights, Picture-book Illustrators, Singers, Visual Artists. The applicant does not have to earn their living exclusively from their work in the arts, but they must self-identify and be recognised by their peers as a practising professional artist.

What can successful candidates expect from the role?

This is an experiment, and we will be working flexibly with the appointed artist during the year to shape how the role will work. The successful candidates can expect:

● Weekly wages for 12 months.

● Pay based on part-time hours (estimated at 20 hours per week).

● A flexible approach to contracting: we envisage these roles being PAYE (with associated holidays and contributions) but we can facilitate pay arrangements for self-employed artists where required or preferred.

● Access to the human and physical resources available at Mermaid such as space, technical team, and equipment, where availability allows.

● To continue with your own practice as you might have before, but with less financial pressure. There will be no obligation to share work publicly, though there are opportunities for this if Associate Artists wish to consider those

Our 2022/23 TRANSFORM associate artists are Elida Maiques and Chris Moran, who joined two of our associate artists from 2021, Shiva R Joyce and Emmet Kirwan who have extended their contracts for an additional year.

These four artists have been employed on a part time basis at Mermaid for one year, not on a project or commission basis, but rather to proceed with their work in a self-directed fashion except with less economic precarity.

To read more about any of our TRANSFORMERS check out: TRANSFORM 2022/23

Mermaid is core funded by Wicklow County Council and the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon.