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Area Groups

Established in 1989 as the National Association for Gallery Education, engage is the membership organisation representing gallery and visual art education professionals in the UK and over 20 countries worldwide. We work through our members to promote access to and enjoyment of the visual arts.

The engage Network
engage provides a platform for education professionals working within galleries, museums, heritage venues, schools and other community venues, to meet and connect through Area Group Meetings.

These meetings are convened across the nine regions in England, and Wales. Meetings are programme by Area Group Representatives, who work across the UK to:

- Support engage members in their area
- Help to shape engage’s work nationally
- Build engage’s external networks
- Act as advocates for gallery education

engage Area Group Reps and Special Interest Reps come together to form the engage Council of members, which meets regularly to offer feedback on projects and programmes, helping engage to shape activity to benefit colleagues working in the sector. Special Interest Reps represent areas of expertise such as diversity, freelance practice, higher education and digital learning. In Scotland and Wales volunteer Development Groups and Area Reps support the coordinators to develop and deliver their programmes.

Serving on Council is a fantastic professional development opportunity - vacancies are advertised on to members when they become available. You can find a complete list here of engage Council Members by clicking here.

Area Group Meetings
engage Area Group Reps programme up to four meetings per year in each region. Meetings often include the opportunity for members to take part in a practical workshop, or hear presentations on research or case studies from within or outside the sector which might help develop your work. Members are encouraged to attend meetings to share and promote your practice and build networks with colleagues. 

Meetings are free of charge to engage members, and members from any region are invited to attend. Non-members are welcome to attend one 'taster' meeting for £5 before joining.

What's happening in your area?

Members can log-in (see the top right of the screen) and view forthcoming and past activity in their region, using the toolbar on the left to navigate to the right regoinal area. Non-members can view two sample reports here from: Yorkshire and the East Midlands.

Members are welcome to contact their local Rep for advice or to find out what's going on locally. Area programmes, including newsletters, training and networking events are run on a voluntary basis, and depend on local interest and resources.
How engage can help you network
In addition to Area Group meetings, and professional development training and events, engage offers members and non-members lots of ways to build networks and meet colleagues - both within their geographical area or within specialist knowledge or experience.

Logged-in members can use the Member Finder database to:
 - See who's in your country or area group
 - Message other members privately
 - And to update your own entry

Members and Non-Members can use Educator Locator to search for freelance education consultants, gallery educators, or artists to meet their needs for any given project. engage members seeking freelance work can add their details to this database by logging in and going to 'My account'. 

Members and Non-Members can use Gallery Finder to search for a gallery, art museum or arts centre for an education project or advice. The database includes some 500 galleries, arts museums and arts centres listing educational opportunities and contact details for teachers and parents planning projects or visits. 

Stay in touch
engage values the views and input of its members. 
Members are invited to to contribute to the review and development of engage activities via an annual survey; all engage professional development events and programmes are evaluated; and feedback is also welcomed by email throughout the year.

See further information on the benefits of engage membership and how to join.


Area news

Inspiring digital creativity in young people with TTS.Digital
TTS.Digital was a funding programme designed to inspire digital creativity in young people. It supported a series of projects led by young people and working with a collaboration of arts organisations with technology partners. Part of Time to Shine - Scotland's National Youth Arts Strategy - it was delivered in two phases. With a full evaluation of the project just published, Allan Berry, TTS Digital Coordinator, reflects back on the programme and shares his thoughts on what we've learned. Read the full story here.

‘Creative Pathways Finder’ – offering an insight into vast careers opportunities in the industry
The ‘Creative Pathways’ brochure developed by Dundee Creative pathways brochureCity provides anyone interested in working in the creative industries sector with all the information required to consider the wide variety of jobs that exist within it. Dundee, and Scotland as a whole, have an exciting and ever growing cultural economy. To continue to build on our reputation as an innovative and entrepreneurial nation, it is important that our young people are equipped with the correct skills and knowledge to thrive and succeed, in order to grow and sustain Scotland’s economic future. Find out more here.

Apply for the Aspiring Communities Fund
The Scottish Government’s new two year £18.9 million Aspiring Communities Fund is currently inviting applications for the first funding round.  This funding round closes on the 7 April 2017.  There are two stages that organisations should consider applying for, and we intend to run several funding rounds for both stages.  This challenge Fund is being delivered by Social Justice and Regeneration Division, with the Scottish Government as Lead Partner for the 2014-2020 European Social Fund (ESF) Programme. About the Fund The Fund will help enable community bodies and third sector organisations in our most deprived and fragile communities to develop and ...

Scotland + Venice 2017 Professional Development Programme participants announced
The Scotland + Venice partnership has announced that 14 art students from six Scottish art colleges have been selected for the Professional Development Programme as part of the Scotland + Venice presentation of a solo show of new work by Rachel Maclean at the 57th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia (13 May – 26 November 2017). Working closely with Scotland + Venice and Alchemy Film & Arts, Talbot Rice Gallery and the University of Edinburgh have been spearheading the programme, initiating the partnerships with colleges across Scotland including Borders College, City of Glasgow College, Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of ...

Museums Galleries Scotland offering six fully funded places on the Museums Association Transformers programme
Museums Galleries Scotland are offering six fully funded places on the Museums Association Transformers Programme. There are two strands; 'Influence' is a three day programme aimed at museums professionals and volunteers that believe in the social power of museums, and 'Diversify' is a five day programme for museums professionals and volunteers who want to reflect diversity and inclusion in their practice. The closing date for applications is the 7 March. For further information and to apply, click here.

Call for participants: Curatorial Studio 2017
16 February, 2017–16 March, 2017 Curatorial Studio is a unique programme which consists of a series of weekend seminars and workshops organised for, and with, the selected group of participants. The project is developed through an organisational partnership which aims to support contemporary practice curators throughout Scotland in the early stages of their career. Based in Glasgow, but with a national scope and occasional events in other cities, the programme encourages participants to look critically at their own work and develop new approaches. T he programme encourages cooperative learning as a means of engaging with contemporary theory and extends a ...

Artworks Cymru Quality Principles
The journey to create these principles started with a big discussion in Carmarthen. We asked lots of questions - what does ‘ quality ’ mean when you are creating work with people ? How do we know when we see / feel / hear quality? What do we need to do to ensure quality? We didn’t really have a framework to help us structure our conversation. Arts Council of Wales asked us to create The ArtWorks Cymru quality principles to move the conversation on. They will give you a way to talk about quality that can be used by everyone ...

Letting in the Light
From April 2017 engage Cymru will deliver a 12-week intensive animation project in partnership with Cyfarthfa Castle Museum & Gallery, Pen y Dre High School and artist animator Gerald Conn to mark the Contemporary Art Society for Wales’ 80th anniversary. Pupils will bring a number of paintings acquired from CASW to life through animation creating innovative interpretation resources for the gallery which will sit alongside the original paintings. This project has been inspired by the ‘Animating Art History’ programme initiated by the Courtauld Institute. The screening premier will take place at the Red House, Merthyr on 8 July. More details ...

engage North West Area Group Meeting
engage North West Area Group Meeting Wednesday 5th April 2017, 11am – 3pm The Atkinson, Southport   MAKE/SHIFT – creative collaborations with SEN schools   engage members and regional colleagues* are invited to join North West Area Reps Catherine O’Donnell, Betty Ritchie and Hannah Gaunt for an Area Group Meeting at The Atkinson in Southport on 5th April, 11am – 3pm (arrivals from 10.30am).   Our spring 2017 meeting will focus on sharing strategies, barriers and opportunities for engaging with local schools supporting pupils with Special Education Needs.   Helen Thackray, Lifelong Learning Officer at The Atkinson will share learning ...

engage East Midlands Area Group Meeting
engage East Midlands Area Group Meeting Tuesday 28 March 2017, 1.00-4.00pm   Research & Collaboration Between artists, galleries and universities.   engage members and regional colleagues are invited to join engage East Midlands Area Group Reps for a series of presentations that shall explore how artists, galleries and universities can collaborate in research. The meeting will take place in Studio 1 at the Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester on Tuesday 28th March from 1.00-4.00pm.   Richard Sandell will present ‘Unruly Bodies’, exploring the potential for museums and galleries to use their collections to engage audiences in debates around contemporary social issues. He will share experiences from a ...

engage South East Area Group meeting 4 July 2017
engage South East Area Group Meeting Tuesday 4 July 2017, 14.00 – 16.30 Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne   How can galleries work effectively with schools?   98% of schools in England will see per pupil funding cut by £3 billion a year by 2020, according to the National Audit Office. How can we as gallery educators, respond to the current and predicted national educational landscape in schools? What are the limits and potential of our role within this context? Join us for a meeting at Towner Art Gallery to discuss approaches and opinions as to how as gallery educationalists we ...

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Select a region below to see details of past and forthcoming meetings: 

London South East
East East Midlands
West Midlands North East
North West South West
Yorkshire Wales/Cymru


Events in Scotland and Wales are listed on the Scotland and Cymru pages.









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