Developing a proposal

You will need to set aside time when preparing a proposal to:

  • Research and compiling written and support material - visual, audio, text. 
  • Prepare a budget, source quotes and estimate costs. 
  • Consider technical elements to the proposal and more complex aspects that require specialist input. 
  • Be aware of personal insurances required, and various health and safety issues that will come into play if you are successful.

Allow time to think through ideas, write and assemble material. Ask yourself:

  • What interests you about the commission and how can your practice intersect with the brief?
  • How might you input or creatively explore the context of the brief? 
  • Can you commit to the commission?  
  • What challenges does the commission hold for you? E.g. in terms of the materials or medium you will be using, or the organisation and interaction with a community or group of people, or in relation to any ethical issues?

To help prepare your proposal it may be worth a visit to the place or site, spending some time there before developing and finalizing your proposal. 

Consider the commissioners, what is their ethos? What support are in place for managing the commission?

Questions about how to manage the budget and whether the budget is sufficient for your ambitions are also worth keeping in mind. Often budgets are fixed and non-negotiable.


Research and development

Sometimes an idea strikes quickly, other times ideas come through a process of consideration and reflection. Increasingly it is possible to build a period of research and development into the commission before confirming an approach. If it is not already obvious from the brief, ask the question whether it is possible to give an indication of intent, a sketch of ideas and to develop a final proposal out of these initial responses? 

Consider what projects or works by other artists inspire your approach and practice - how might you draw on these? Are certain aspects of the commission of interest while other elements seem daunting and off-putting? Might there be scope for negotiation or for collaboration? Can you bring in another artist, a specific group of people, or employ a mentor or mediator who could bring in other expertise?


Support material

Support material includes all documentation that will enable the assessment team to understand your artistic vision. Include examples that are recent and relevant; choose examples relevant to your current practice or trajectory and, which also articulates the ideas in your proposal that are fundamental to understanding your vision and your practice. 




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Nazareth Housing Association provides independent living houses for individuals and couples who are 65 and over and on the Sligo County Council housing list.  Nazareth Village is comprised of 48 houses in a garden setting.  The Village was financed as a public-private partnership between Nazareth Housing Association and Sligo County Council with funding from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.  

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