Episode 294 – New Markets for Artists / Research, Then Write

Research, Then Write

When you are going to write a proposal for an educational program, the museum’s website is the best way to research what the museum might be looking for. Let’s say there’s a local museum that you want to approach. After looking over their currently offered educational programs, think of one you could do. To jumpstart your process, also look at the museum’s upcoming exhibitions. Most educational programs are related to the current exhibits, but you need to know what the museum is planning in a year or six months so you can see if you can do something appropriate then.

The Current Exhibit

If the museum you are looking at has a Picasso exhibit coming up in four months, you might want to think of a program that will help people to understand Picasso. An example could be an adult workshop taking digital self-portrait photographs, ripping them up, and then gluing them together, similar to Picasso’s paintings. The goal would be to teach how Picasso worked with angles and different perspectives to add complexity to his work. With a hands-on workshop like this, all ages can learn something about an artists’ process.

A Related Workshop

An idea like that would certainly be considered, but there are tons of other ideas you could come up with. Think about age groups, and remember to make your idea fun. Could you adapt the workshop I just mentioned for small children and senior citizens who may not be able to use a computer? Perhaps Polaroid’s could be taken, or digital self portraits could be printed out, ripped up by hand and glued back together.


If you are interested in giving tours, you could propose doing one, or a series of tours with a new twist to make it fresh and interesting. You could talk as an artist, or perhaps impersonate Picasso or an important person from his life, and give the tour in character. Once you have an idea, write it out in a short, clear draft. The best way to learn the proper form and length is to go to the museum website again and read over the program descriptions. Copy this form exactly. Make it sound like your program is already done and ready to put into operation by including the program’s age range and sign-up information. That makes it much easier for the museum to imagine your program in their facility.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.


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