Iw Creative Network


Iw Creative Network LogoLaunching in February 2022 is a unique programme designed to help creatives and artists on the Isle of Wight develop their practice – involving Creative Zoom sessions, 1-2-1 creative business mentoring, photoshoots, portfolio sessions, away days, networking events and bursaries.

The IW Creative Network Development Programme will bring together artists, makers and creative professionals wanting to develop their business and creative skills on the Isle of Wight. It will seek to widen and strengthen the artistic and creative community on the Island at a time of change and development.

This project will enable creative individuals to grow the skills they need and give them the opportunity to share their knowledge with one another, to retain talent and sustain their creative practice on the Isle of Wight.

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The project is being supported by Arts Council England, which have awarded £35,591 with an additional £4,000 from the Isle of Wight Council. Wightlink and Red Funnel are also supporting the project providing free ferry travel for x2 networking away days to Portsmouth and Southampton later in the year.

The IW Creative Network Development Programme is developed and managed by Georgia Newman. Georgia is a freelance Creative Producer and through her work over the past 12 years for the Island’s leading multidisciplinary art centre, Quay Arts, she has gained a wealth of knowledge in collaborative working, public engagement and arts networking.

Georgia says:

“I’m absolutely thrilled Arts Council England and the IW Council are supporting the IW Creative Network Development Programme. It will support so many creatives on the Isle of Wight, whatever stage they’re at, background, or discipline.

“There hasn’t been a creative professional development programme on the IW for over 15 years, which gives this pilot programme a real opportunity to allow creatives on the IW to thrive by offering learning opportunities, resources and visiting new spaces.

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“Visiting other networks off-Island is vital for creative professionals, not only to be inspired by new work and people, it is an enriching way for creatives to develop their own practice – through conversation and seeing new spaces, as it can be incredibly isolating and geographically limiting living and working on an island.

“I am deeply passionate about supporting creative talent here on the IW. Through extensive consultation with creatives, before and since the start of the pandemic, there has been a real need and demand for this kind of support. A little push in the right direction can take an individuals practice to the next level, and that’s what I hope this development programme will achieve.”

Councilor Julie Jones-Evans states:

“The timing of this project is perfect, coinciding as it does with the early stages of the island being an Arts Council England Priority Place and part of its Let’s Create programme. Island artists from a myriad of creative practices have a great opportunity here to develop their craft, network with others across the Solent region and the option to hone their marketing. On the island around 30% of people work in creative industries, so support here has the potential to have a significant impact in elevating this important sector.”

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Individuals will need to sign up to the IW Creative Network to become a member and pay a one-off £30 fee for the year. Individuals will be able to sign up to the programme by mid-February and have until 16th March to sign up for the programme. It will take place throughout the year, finishing in December 2022.

What does the Development Programme involve?

Creative Zoom sessions

The development programme will include creative sessions via Zoom throughout the year by professional creatives, mentors and artists. Speakers will provide talks on building your business through social media, motivation & productivity and goal mapping.

Networking events & away days

The programme includes networking events at cultural venues on the Isle of Wight throughout the year as well as away days and site visits to other creative networks and studio spaces in Southampton and Portsmouth, with free ferry travel provided by Wightlink and Red Funnel.

More opportunities

 Members will be able to apply for further opportunities with experts in their field of work:

  • 1-2-1 creative business mentoring sessions with creative entrepreneur Mick Smith
  • 1-2-1 portfolio advice with arts advisor Alys Scott Hawkins
  • Photoshoots of their practice with Photographer Julian Winslow
  • As well as bursary grants to help develop their creative practice.

New website

A new website will launch later in the year, profiling individual members. This creative directory will also include profiles of pop-up spaces, exhibition spaces, studios and co-working spaces, cultural venues and creative facilities on the Isle of Wight. The website will include news and opportunities as well as a resource area and an extra members-only resource area with all of the recorded creative Zoom sessions – so members can access them at any time.

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