RA HLF Student Curators

Arts SU are delighted to be partnering with the Royal Academy of Arts to offer twelve first and second year students a unique training opportunity that will see them programme two high profile events as part of the RA two hundred and fiftieth anniversary celebrations.

In the heart of Piccadilly, the Royal Academy of Arts is one of the UK’s leading arts institutions, dedicated to the making, exhibiting and debating of art. The RA has a diverse programme of exhibitions in 2017 and 2018 including ‘Dali / Duchamp’, ‘The Great Spectacle: 250 years of the Summer Exhibition’, ‘Charles I: King and Collector’ and ‘Tacita Dean’.

Since being founded in 1768, the RA has been a place where art is made, exhibited and debated. For their anniversary in 2018 they are opening up the RA as never before. The redevelopment of the RA site will reveal and celebrate the living academy, previously unseen by the public, and will be free for all to explore.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Creative Programme consists of two lively, free, public events co-curated and developed with a group of University of the Arts Students, which gives new insight into the Collections and architecture through contemporary artistic practices.

These two events are:

Sat 30 Jun – Sun 1 July 2018 – weekend RA Arts Festival

Sat 8 December 2018 – RA 250 Late


What will Student Curators be doing?

A group of 12 UAL Student Curators will take on a project lasting 13 months, from November 2017 to December 2018.

The UAL Student Curators will have an active role in programming and delivering two large scale public events; RA Arts Festival and RA 250 Late with support of RA staff members and the RA Lates and Special Events Creative Programmer.

The UAL Student Curators will be required to attend a series of 12 Development Sessions at the Royal Academy of Arts, consisting of practical activities, workshops and presentations.

  • Understanding target audiences and demographics
  • Devising content, themes and concepts
  • Submitting briefs and selecting programme participants (from visual artists, performance art, DJs and musicians, installation artists and more)
  • Writing engaging marketing copy and developing designs and imagery
  • Working within assigned budgets

What will I get out of it?

  • Transferrable skills in experience design, event curation and management
  • On-the-job experience in a high profile institution
  • Team working skills
  • Special access to professionals and the RA Collections
  • Work experience in delivering large-scale events
  • Problem solving skills and the ability to respond to issues as they arise
  • Experience in behind-the-scenes running of big events
  • New friends and contacts
  • Experience of working directly with artists, performers and actors on creative events and develop industry contacts

What is the time commitment?

  • 12 x Development sessions at the RA lasting between 2-4 hours per session (these will take place on Friday afternoons or at weekends, depending on the groups availability)
  • 3 x Event sessions at the RA lasting between 6 – 10 hours per session (these events will take place on weekends; the RA Arts Festival, RA 250 Late and assistance at 1 x RA Late event)
  • Occasional assignments and work set between development sessions, approximately 1-2 hours work per session when set.

What will the development sessions cover? 

Session 1- Introduction to Creative Programming

Session 2- RA Late debrief and Introduction to RA Arts Festival

Session 3- RA Arts Festival site visit and review of participant briefs

Session 4- RA Arts Festival programme and logistics complete

Session 5- RA Arts Festival prep meeting

Session 6- TBC

Session 7- RA Arts Festival debrief and Introduction to RA 250 Late

Session 8- RA 250 Late programming development

Session 9- RA 250 Late programming development

Session 10- RA 250 Late event planning session

Session 11- RA 250 Late final check in

Session 12- Review / Debrief


Is there a fee for this?

The RA will pay a project fee of:

£225 incl VAT for the RA Arts Festival (paid in July 2018)

£225 incl VAT for the RA 250 Late (paid in December 2018)

This fee will be paid upon satisfactory completion of the events and regular attendance at the Development Sessions. Non-attendance may result in a reduction of your overall project fee.

Interview and training requirements

In order to be selected for this role you must be available to attend a group recruitment session on Friday 27 October, 10am – 4pm.


What are you looking for?

  • Creative individuals
  • Proactive nature and ‘can do’ attitude
  • Interest in music and arts festivals, immersive theatre and Museum Lates
  • Ability to think on your feet and problem solve within a busy environment
  • Enjoyment of collaborative and creative work with artists
  • Interest in developing a career in events curation, festival management, public events, marketing or logistics within cultural organisations and the museum sector
  • An interest in London’s cultural scene and keen to develop new skills

Applicants must be enrolled on a UAL course for the full duration of the opportunity, November 2017 to December 2018.

Application and closing dates

Applications for this opportunity are now closed.

For more information please contact Gavin Ramsey g.ramsey@su.arts.ac.uk

Lottery funded