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Engage is the lead advocacy and training network for gallery education.

We support arts educators, organisations and artists to work together with communities in dynamic, open exchanges that give everyone the opportunity to learn and benefit from the arts.

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Careers advice

Tracy Morgan

  

 

Your name: Tracy Morgan

Job title: Learning Programme Manager (Maternity Cover)


Organisation: The Fruitmarket Gallery


What do you most enjoy about your role?


I really enjoy working with people and I am constantly inspired by working with artists and contemporary art. I am lucky to have a career that I love.


What are the main challenges you face in your role?

Lack of funding to deliver more and better arts education projects – its very frustrating. Also a lack of a dedicated learning space in The Fruitmarket Gallery.

What’s a ‘typical’ day in your working life like? 

Always busy and always learning. I work full-time 9 – 5pm Monday to Friday - however because I organise a lot of learning events they are held in the evenings and weekends and I take time back during the week.


A typical 9 – 5 working day is spent checking emails, meetings to plan learning programme projects, writing artists contracts, paying invoices, promoting events through eventbrite, social media and emails, downloading documentation photographs from events and inputting participation figures onto a spreadsheet and writing funding applications and reports.

I was working on a multi art-form community arts project in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh, prior to moving into gallery education but visual arts is my specialist subject and I was drawn to gallery education.

How did you get where you are today? What skills, experience or qualifications have you needed?


I have a degree in Tapestry and Drawing from Edinburgh College of Art and a PGCE in Art and Design Teaching from Glasgow University. I started out as a freelance artist delivering arts projects with children and young people, I then spent 3 years project managing community arts projects prior to moving into gallery education. I started working as Education Manager at The Fruitmarket Gallery in 2002 and was there for 7 years. After having my daughter I decided to set up my own business 4 Arts Education, fundraising and project managing arts projects for cultural organisations. I have now worked in the arts for over 20 years – yikes!

 

What advice would you give to those thinking about a career in gallery/visual arts education?

 

Networking is absolutely key to building up good relationships and getting your face known in the art world and often leads to job contracts. Be prepared to work very hard. Your path will not be straight – it will be more of a meandering and winding route to your destination. Enjoy your creative work and inspire the participants you work with to progress into positive destinations including training, education and employment.

Engage often receives enquiries about how to gain work experience in the sector. What advice would you give to these people?

Do your research, find out what is available and make sure it matches your skills and ambitions and then offer your services. Work hard and make yourself invaluable to the team you are working with. Be prepared to be rejected as the competition is very high but don’t lose faith keep on trying.

What have been your career highlights/best moments so far?

Securing major funding from Creative Scotland and Paul Hamlyn for The Fruitmarket Gallery, Opt in for Art Programme, which was a 2 year arts programme working with children and young people 2005 – 2007. Organising the North Light Arts, Fertile Ground Conference 2014, which explored new creative ways of working within the community of Dunbar, East Lothian to develop environmental arts projects. Organising the The Fruitmarket Gallery, Making Matters schools exhibition in 2016.

How has being an Engage member helped your career?

I enjoy being part of Engage and find that their events provide opportunities to network with other learning programme managers and arts educators, this is useful in terms of developing best practice in gallery education and its very inspiring.


Read more member Q&As here



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