Bold Tendencies

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Bold Tendencies Art Trainee Programme 2018


The Art Trainee Programme provides an unique overview of the work involved in running a cultural institution. Working on site, our trainees experience a broad and rich interaction with the programme and its visitors. This is established through providing tours, participating in education activities, assisting with our live events programme and engaging with our bespoke Mentor talk series – hosted both on site and outside of Bold Tendencies (last year working with a total of 49 mentors and 34 different cultural institutions).

The structure of the programme is 6 weeks long. The trainees come to the site 3 days a week, 6 hours a day. The shifts will be either during the day or the afternoon, with trainees working together alongside one or two Trainee coordinators. The Art Trainee Programme was designed so that participants can maintain existing employment or studies whilst participating in the experience.

A key aim of the programme is to increase awareness of the diversity in job opportunities the cultural world offers. This is expressed through the Mentor Talks and practised through the trainees’ engagement with different roles on site.

Participants must be +18 years old to apply. Participation on the Programme is free and we offer travel expenses and a lunch for every shift.

Please note that we are no longer accepting applications for 2018 Art Trainee Programme.

For further information email

Made possible with Art Fund and Phillips support



Founded in 2014 by Diana Córdoba Barrios, our Art Trainee Programme was inspired by the internationally recognised Internship Programme at The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. Diana came to Venice from Mexico to take part in the Programme as an intern herself, eventually being promoted to Intern Coordinator, running the prestigious programme for the museum and managing a team of 384 interns over 12 months.

The Art Trainee Programme here at Bold Tendencies has been completed by 120 young people so far joining us from all parts of the UK and further afield. Our Programme aims to give participants an immersion in a world-class contemporary arts organisation. This Traineeship offers a fresh perspective on the world of commissioning contemporary art and architecture, running live events, and insights into the daily logistics and problem-solving involved in an evolving young organisation like ours.

Art Trainees are involved with all aspects of the summer activities and are integral to the successful delivery of the Bold Tendencies programme. Participants are trained to perform multiple roles during the placement on site, they interact and work along side artists and our collaborators, learn to explain and care for the commissions and the site, welcome visitors, run visitor tours and manage front-of-house for our events programme and much more. We believe that these skills are important in building personal confidence of the trainees and provide first hand experience of communicating with the general public.

Our summer placements run consecutively between May and September 2018 (see application form for dates). Trainees alternate weekly between time-slots of 10am-4pm, and 3pm-9pm (covering the project opening hours). The schedule is structured to enable trainees to maintain jobs and other commitments whilst still participating fully in the programme. All placements are granted with a bursary to cover travel expenses, a meal and refreshments during their shift on site.


Bold Tendencies is committed to making its training programme a practical and intellectual learning experience.

We use our extensive network to organise a parallel learning programme for trainees that includes special talks from museum directors, curators, technicians, gallerists and other art world guests, visits to artist studios and uniquely tailored museum and gallery tours across the breadth of the commercial gallery, non-profit and worlds that make up the cultural ecosystem. In 2017 49 mentors and 34 institutions took part in our parallel early-career support learning programme.

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.

Beyond this we encourage our Trainees to develop writing, editing and illustration skills through contributing to the Bold Tendencies tumblr which is run by the Art Trainees as a group.


Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director
Serpentine Galleries
Mentor talk 2017

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