“Being an Artistic and Quality Assessor for Arts Council England,” I thought. “That might be an interesting job to do.” No, I really did. I know it’s sick. What’s an Artistic and Quality Assessor, though?
“Experienced cultural professionals [who] work with the Arts Council to contribute towards the assessment of arts organisations and museums. We will be asking you to undertake assessments of the work of Arts Council funded organisations across England.
Artistic and Quality Assessments provide a fair, robust and transparent platform for discussions about the quality of work produced by organisations that the Arts Council regularly funds, helping the Arts Council develop a broader evidence base to inform funding decisions…”
I’m an experienced cultural professional. Despite my opinion that ACE is far from perfect, they make an embarassing number of idiotic and non evidence-based policy blunders, they waste a lot of money and prioritise wrongly while harping on about cuts, and they need to just get on with rebalancing funding away from London instead of always blustering and quibbling every time the issue is raised (being able to see a play from the National Theatre that’s on for one midweek afternoon on a cinema screen in Ipswich or Wolverhampton doesn’t count)… broadly speaking I think the Arts Council makes a reasonable attempt at supporting the arts in England. I’m glad they exist, and I’d happily work with them or consult with them directly if they cared about people like me and our opinions. The AQA specification all sounds fair enough, but it also sounds like quite a lot of work. It must pay very well, especially on the “comprehensive terms contract”. I mean, you’re an expert in your field; an experienced artist, a journalist, somebody who works in a museum, an academic, etc. Artists and arts workers definitely should be assessed fairly and transparently by knowledgeable colleagues and peers who know what the job is like. You’ll be doing important work and writing reports that could influence the future programming and even the financial survival of the Arts Council’s regularly funded organisations.
“A flat fee of £1,000 a year, plus expenses” if you attend up to fourteen events. That’s £71.42 per gig. I actually had to do this three times on the calculator. Not that I thought the answer would be any different; I was just completely failing to deal with reality being so crap. It might be worth it if you only went to two or three things, but I can’t see them letting you get away with that.