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Rebecca Davis, Audience Development Officer

Rebecca Davis worked as the Audience Development Officer for Craft Scotland from March 2010 to 25 May 2012.

The following information is for archive purposes only. Please contact if you wish to speak to us about partnerships or events.

What do you do at Craft Scotland? 

Rebecca DavisI’m the Audience Development Officer at Craft Scotland, which means that I create the strategy and resulting audience development activity that Craft Scotland delivers. 

Put in less jargony terms I come up with ideas for projects to bring more people into contact with, and learn more about Scottish craft. To support this I spend a lot of time researching information to inform what I’m doing. This includes getting out and about speaking to organisations and makers, seeking support from the craftscotland team, commissioning new research, attending conferences, symposium etc, as well as undertaking and analysing our own project evaluation. I’m a bit of a sponge when it comes to information and have particularly enjoyed getting to grips with the Scottish craft sector, which is excitingly broad, since I started with Craft Scotland in 2010.

I really like working with people and I’m always looking for opportunities to work with new project partners to bring craft to new audiences.  In the last year this has resulted in several partner exhibitions with Timespan in the Highlands, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Collins Gallery Glasgow.

How do you help Scottish craft or makers?

By engaging more people with craft and educating them about the makers that live and work in Scotland, I aim to instil the value of craft across a broad range of audiences. By delivering a variety of activities I aim to provide different ‘entry points’ to craft for different audiences, to enable them to develop an appreciation of craft and aspirations/desire to own craft pieces. 

Through the projects I deliver I also like to include opportunities for makers to develop their practise and engage in new thinking and debate. For example: hosting a symposium as part of Conserving Ecologies: Craft and Biodiversity, and a Makers Day as part of the Unite exhibition. 

I am supporting the collection of research to help inform the sector, particularly with regards to markets and potential audiences, which we can share with our members. 

I also enjoy bringing makers together through projects and have been happy to see long term collaborations happen as a result of makers meeting through presenting their work.

By supporting the rest of craftscotland’s activity and working with the team I enjoy supporting makers through providing opportunities and sharing resources and information.

What are your top three professional achievements?

  1. Getting my job at Craft Scotland.
  2. Convincing Mercury nominees Portico Quartet via Facebook to do a 14 date tour of Somerset village halls. They travelled the County in a Renault Espace and their first gig with me in Somerset followed a performance at the Royal Albert Hall.
  3. Delivering three craft exhibitions across Scotland within my first year at Craft Scotland, engaging over 15,000 audience members.

What are your top three craft moments?

  1. Attending the opening of the William Kirk retrospective at the Scottish Gallery and hear his contemporaries, friends and family talk so movingly about him and his work.
  2. Having my brain stimulated practically (via the steam powered forge) and theoretically at the Causing Chaos symposium.
  3. Being present and proud at each of the exhibition openings I’ve worked on and supporting colleagues and makers at events such as Collect.

What are your topfive skills tags?

  1. Audience Development
  2. Marketing Strategy
  3. Project/Event Management
  4. Business Strategy
  5. Programming

What's your background?

Studying Fine Art until Foundation Level, I married my love of art and penchant for organising by completing a degree in Arts and Event Production in Bournemouth. I spent three years learning strategic marketing and business planning; delivered my own projects and supported myself with a variety of administration and retail jobs.

After graduating I worked at Somerset’s Arts Development Agency, Take Art. My role developed to include providing administrative and accounts support; co-ordinating the biannual Theatre showcase; creating and delivering marketing strategy; maintaining and developing the website and programming and co-ordinating the rural touring scheme. I also did freelance graphic design, worked for Glastonbury Festival and explored developing my own artistic practice with under fives.

Tell us something surprising about you:

I have been on a bouncy castle with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Finally, what's your favourite beverage?

Gin and Tonic or a nice hot herbal tea. 

Photos from Rebecca

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