NEW Arts Development Worker role

The Decorators of Portobello (Multi generational project)
Supported by funding from: Creative Scotland, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic Environment Scotland.

4-month temporary freelance contract (part-time)
Fee: £2,592 (1st June to 1st October 2021)
Approx. 12 hours per week for 18 weeks (£12 per hr) payable on a freelance self-employed basis.

Art Walk Projects are delighted to be able to announce this new role as part of the second phase of their ‘Decorators of Portobello’ project working closely with Nicky Bird (artist/creative facilitator) and Rosy Naylor (Creative Director, Art Walk Projects).

‘The Decorators of Portobello’ is a multi-generational oral history project seeking to create a lasting record of the working lives and social histories of a group of women (many now in their 70s or 80s) who worked as decorators in Portobello's Buchan potteries in the 1950s and 1960s, painting artwork on the various ceramics produced at the time. The project seeks to make visible previously unrecorded social histories for these women, using oral recording and archival photography.

Portobello was one of the main centres of industrial ceramic production in Scotland, dating back to the 1770s. The Buchan Potteries that served this site heralded a sixty year period during which vast quantities of stoneware goods of all descriptions were manufactured. Both utilitarian and fine painted earthenware was produced. Two pottery kilns in Portobello are the only two remaining kilns from across the whole of Central Scotland that are still in existence. No longer in use and normally closed to the public, the kilns are the only physical reminders of a once thriving manufacturing centre that existed in Portobello until the early 1970s.

This new role of Arts Development Worker involves widening audiences around heritage and art related to place, working closely with local schools and older people groups, and providing support to the overall ‘Decorators’ programme that will involve an exhibition, book publication, walks+talks, archaeological mapping events, and audio guide.

It presents an exciting new opportunity offering a chance to gain valuable experience as part of an important social history arts project, as well as joining the Art Walk team at a pivotal time in their own development.

To identify and design ways to involve local multi-generational audiences as part of the Decorators project, developing working relationships with local schools, youth groups and older people groups, which:
o Celebrate the cultural value of heritage
o Enrich education and learning across generations, bringing to life a largely unrecorded site
o Promote knowledge about the historic environment and the industries that once dominated Western Portobello
o Bring together different generations

To deliver and promote a programme of community engagement events working alongside the Creative Director and rest of team.
To monitor, document and evaluate the range of community engagement projects delivered.
To work within budgets set by Creative Director.
To provide support for other parts of the Decorators programme working alongside the Creative Director and rest of the team.
To liaise with other partners and funding bodies as required.

Essential qualities:
-Experience of working with and leading community engagement projects that engage people with place.
-An excellent, articulate communicator with experience of leading small groups.
-A proven organiser working with local communities.
-Fluent writing skills.
-Ease with working with social media.
-Experience of monitoring and evaluation.
-Evidence of being self motivated, happy to work independently from home, as well as being part of a team.
-The successful applicant will require Disclosure Scotland clearance due to working with schools so will be expected to have this in place at time of applying. Please confirm this in your application.

-Experience of working with communities including early years, young and/or older people.
-Enthusiasm around the capacity for art to engage with place.
-Interest in widening audience access to heritage.
-A good understanding of socially engaged arts practice.
-Ideally suited to an applicant living in or near to Portobello, or with a good understanding of the area.

How to Apply

Please send email with two pdf attachments:
-covering letter outlining the reasons why you are interested in this position and what you would hope to bring to the role;
-up to date cv (no more than 3 pages).
Email to:

Deadline for applications: 12th May 2021
Interviews (via Zoom): 17th & 21st May 2021
Start date: 1st June 2021


Read about 2019-20 Decorators Project with Nicky Bird (first phase of project): view here

top image: courtesy Mairi Fortuna

Decorators project 2020