Bold Tendencies

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2020 Art Trainee Programme applications are now OPEN!

To apply, please fill out our Application Form

Application Deadline: Sunday 8th March 2020

Prospective applicants will be invited for interview over Skype or WhatsApp by 1st April 2020. 

Interviews will take place across March and April.

For further information, please download our 2020 Recruitment Pack

Any additional questions please email:



The Bold Tendencies Art Trainee Programme (ATP) is an immersive experience that offers its participants a role in the life and work of our thriving organisation. 

Working on site, Trainees experience a fresh perspective into the world of commissioning contemporary art and architecture, running live events, daily logistics and problem-solving.

Aiming to provide both practical and learning opportunities side by side the hands-on experience is offered together with an intensive Learning Programme of mentor visits and talks hosted on-site and outside of Bold Tendencies.

Art Trainees are involved with all aspects of our summer activities.  Participants are trained to perform multiple roles during the placement: from explaining and caring for the commissions and the site and welcoming visitors, to running tours, managing ticketing and front-of-house for our events programme, working on research assignments and more.

Trainees are also involved with animating our programme and site for schools, families and the local neighbourhood, supporting us to devise and run on-site tours and workshops, as well as helping us promote and widen access to our education projects for primary school age children, their families and carers.



Bold Tendencies welcomes all applications irrespective of experience or background.  We are committed to provision without high barriers to entry for young people of outstanding creativity and individuality interested in pursuing a career in culture and creative industries.

Since 2014 the Bold Programme has been completed by 194 Trainees, joining us from all parts of the UK and further afield. In 2019, 33 young people aged 19–27 took part in the ATP, of which 19 Art Trainees were from the UK and 14 from the rest of the world.

Our Programme aims to give participants immersion into a world-class contemporary arts organisation and help develop their skills for pursuing a future career in the creative industries, as well as fostering long-term connections between young people and our wider networks.


Our summer placements run for a period of 6 weeks consecutively between May and September. Trainees are expected to commit to 3 shifts a week, alternating weekly to cover the project opening hours. The schedule is structured to enable trainees to maintain jobs and other commitments whilst still participating fully in the programme.

Once enrolled, Trainees report directly to our Art Trainee Coordinatorsmembers of staff responsible for the day-to-day management of the Trainee Team and Programme. Trainees communicate with the team via group WhatsApp chats and are expected to be vigilant in their communication throughout.



2020 Traineeships (6 week periods)

14th May – 28th June

29th June – 9th August

10th August – 19 September


Weekly Schedule (x3 per week)

Tue & Wed: 16:00 – 21:00

Thur & Fri: 13:00 – 18:00 / 16:00 – 21:00

Sat & Sun: 10:00 – 16:00 / 15:00 – 21:00



Practical Training
Trainees learn how to maintain and engage with the art commissions, prepare the site for the public, provide information about the artworks to visitors, lead tours upon request and assist the front of house duties involved in the live events programme.

The ATP curriculum is comprised of weekly assignments inspired by the Bold Tendencies archive, live events programme and seasonal commissions. These assignments encourage a deeper engagement with the summer programme as well as with Education, Programming, and Development.

Learning Programme
Every year Bold Tendencies assembles a bespoke series of site visits and conversations with over thirty artists, curators, gallerists, directors and other cultural leaders from London and beyond. Mentor talks are open to all participants throughout season.


The Art Trainee Programme curriculum is inspired by the Bold Tendencies archive, live events programme and commissions. The weekly assignments enable a deeper engagement with the programme as well as supporting our work in Education, Programming and Development through sustained research and writing.

Trainees are encouraged to explore their own interests through the assignments as well as elaborate their writing and editing skills, ability to work autonomously and meet deadlines. Examples of this research have included ‘Concept Briefs’ related to upcoming elements of our visual arts programme, Trainee proposals for bespoke and participatory Education events, all the way to art historical essays, posted by Bold Tendencies on our Art Trainee blog.

Trainees have told us that they had found these talks and visits to be useful and inspiring, providing invaluable insights into potential career paths in the arts and cultural sector. Many trainees have established strong relationships with mentors they have met through the programme, who have been a source of support and advice far beyond the summer period.

Since 2014, the ATP has organised 166 Mentor Talks and 88 off-site Visits. In 2019, 42 mentors and 32 institutions took part in the Bold Tendencies Art Trainee Programme.


Partnering Institutions included:

Art Fund
Artist Network
Association of Women in The Arts
Chisenhale Gallery
Design Council
Dulwich Picture Gallery 
Edouard Malingue Gallery
Galerie Thaddeus Ropac
Goldsmiths CCA
Hayward Gallery
Horniman Museum 
Maureen Paley Gallery 
National Portrait Gallery
Peckham Platform
Royal Academy of Arts
Royal Museums Greenwich 
Sadie Coles HQ
Sadler’s Wells
Serpentine Galleries 
Soft Opening
Somerset House Studios
Somerset House Trust 
Southbank Centre 
South London Gallery 
SPACE studios
Thomas Dane Gallery
Venice Guggenheim
Yorkshire Sculpture Park



Mentor Talks included:

Matthew Slotover (Co-Founder, Frieze)
Cliff Lauson (Senior Curator, Hayward Gallery) 
Maria Balshaw (Director, Tate) 
Anna Harding (Chief Executive, SPACE studios) 
Matilda Pye (National Outreach Curator, Royal Museums Greenwich) 
Nick Merriman (Director, Horniman Museum) 
Alison Forbes (Head of Marketing, The Royal Academy of Arts) 
Eva Martinez (Artistic Programmer & Artist Development, Sadler’s Wells)
Matt Copson (Commissioned Artist)
Rebecca Tooby-Desmond (Specialist, Editions and Auctioneer, Phillips)
James Bird (Senior Advisor External Affairs and Policy, Southbank Centre)


Art Trainees have previously expressed a special interest in the world of Education and Learning and we welcome their involvement in our initiatives in this area. We know our programme has broad appeal and we aim to provide a varied offer, attractive and accessible to a full cross-section of the communities to whom we belong, and to people of all ages and backgrounds. We have a strand of annual programming focused on developing tools to help us to mobilise the artistic programme, make it useful in terms of Education, Community & Play and develop provision. 

Children from 5 to 14 years old
Free and accessible activities are much needed during the summer holidays. We delivers a bespoke programme of participatory workshops, project tours, open rehearsals and convivial family days for children aged 5 – 14.

Connecting children and their parents/carers directly with our artists and artistic programme, we deliver an average of 3 free participatory workshops per week when open to the public.

Local to Peckham
There are 75 primary schools in Southwark, including 15 in Peckham. We consult and identify how the Bold programme and assets can assist their art and creativity curriculum and lesson plans and respond to bespoke requests. 

In 2019, we worked with 9 schools and 3 community groups and organised 52 workshops between May and September. We also provide free stand-alone family workshops on site and commission tours, alongside access to open rehearsals for opera, dance and orchestral music programmes.


Learning Agreement 
A document where each trainee formulates their goals for the traineeship and strategies what would help to achieve them. The agreement is a reference document for Art Trainee Coordinators and Senior Staff in supporting their goals.

2020 Programme Research
A research based assignment in which the trainees proposed their own concepts, ideas and themes related to the 2020 theme, ‘Tragedy’.

Workshop Proposal
Blueprinting workshop ideas around 2020’s theme, ‘Tragedy’, for the education, community and play programme.

Artist Proposal 
Trainees researched and created profiles on potential artists to be commissioned by Bold Tendencies as part of the upcoming 2020 programme, ‘Tragedy’

Group Seminars
For each of the research and proposal assignments, Trainees participated in group seminars to present their work to one another, receive feedback and discuss their ideas in a relaxed atmosphere.

Ask the Artist 
Trainees are invited to make a list of questions for each year’s commissioned artists. Bold Tendencies then forward the questions to be answered by the artists themselves.

Mentor and Artist Talk Reviews
Writing up Mentor and Artist talks from a personal perspective, to be added to our archive and used for current and future Trainees to reflect upon. 

Final Project / Blog Post
An open assignment where the trainees can write about an event that took place this summer season, revisit a previous assignment or come up with a unique idea of their choice (articles, poems, series of photographs, video work etc) which will be published in the Art Trainee Blog.

Themed Tours
Trainees are trained and can co-design and deliver weekend tours for convivial family days or special groups


We are committed to creating paid opportunities for Art Trainees beyond the period of their working and learning experience with us. 

Opportunities to undertake paid roles in Education, Live Events and other projects will be advertised as they arise via our WhatsApp and Facebook groups and paid at London Living Wage per hour.

Art Trainee Coordinator 

In 2020 we will provide two Access & Participation bursaries for outstanding alumni of the previous year’s programme to fulfil the role of Art Trainee Coordinator.

Art Trainee Coordinators are responsible for managing the Art Trainee team and programme – overseeing all daily activities and duties for Art Trainees on and off-site, managing staffing support for the live events programme, and completing a range of administrative tasks including the organisation of the Learning Programme. 

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