Watershed Talent Development
Our inclusive programmes reach out to people in the spaces where they are, developing their profile, skills, and confidence and providing stepping stones into the creative and cultural sector.
Download our talent map to read more about the opportunities Watershed offers.
Watershed's approach is not characterised in a specific project or programme, but an ethos of open-ness, responsibility, partnership and passion.
Watershed is Open
We believe that to release the potential of the artists, young people and audiences we work with, we must draw from the widest possible pool of collaborators and ask them to engage with people not like them (cultural background, ethnicity, discipline, age and ability).
We do not distinguish between cultural and commercial propositions, but purposefully curate in both. We are open to creative practitioners from all art forms, and to institutions and independent practitioners.
In all areas of the programme, this mix is achieved by investing in producing teams who are highly knowledgeable and well connected; by creating support packages tailored for every participant, and, in the studio, by promoting a rolling open call to become a resident.
Watershed is Responsible
Watershed makes a commitment to work with artists over long periods of time - supporting them to develop their practice in a way most suited to their needs. We consider (and continue to re-visit) how we can best support the development of a specific idea or person. We offer work space, funding, audience testing, advice on business development, access to mentors, new technologies, use of our box office, bid writing etc when it is most needed.
“The Pervasive Media Studio gave me the all too rare opportunity of making work that was considered 'risky' by other cultural organisations and pushed me to change my practice into a new and bold direction. The Stick House was made in 2015, it employed 36 people, sold out a six week run, was seen by over 4,000 people and garnered four and five star reviews. It had a real economic and creative impact. Because the Studio believes in long-term relationships with its residents, our productivity and our collaborations continue to develop in compelling and innovative new ways.” Sharon Clark, Studio Resident
Watershed is Collaborative
Watershed believes our best work is done in partnership. This takes many forms - from those we have worked with over many years, to those we collaborate with on specific themes or opportunities.
We are committed to cross-sector and cross-community collaboration as the best way to nurture the creative innovation ecosystem of Bristol. We seek out opportunities to work with partners in new areas - both geographic and thematic and avoid replicating other people’s work, parachuting into new communities or creating siloed programmes.
With an emphasis on developing talent through creative R&D, we do not presume that Watershed will be the Producer, host or distributor for everything that is developed. We invest in making connections that will enable our collaborators to show their work in the most appropriate contexts and reach the widest possible audiences.
Watershed is Passionate
We are passionate about the potential of new technologies to facilitate citizen engagement, to distribute knowledge and to support creativity. We believe in artists as inventors and innovators and we champion the power of art to lead corporations and governments to more inclusive, magical and appropriate uses of technology, rather than settling for the tools and platforms they sell.