COMPASS: Emerging Curator Programme

1 Aug 2023 - 30 Mar 2024

COMPASS: Emerging Curators / Photography by Alan Dimmick

Our newest COMPASS programme focuses on nurturing craft curators at a crucial time in their careers.


All Across Scotland

Curators play a key role in sustaining and innovating contemporary craft, however, there has been little infrastructure to support their professional development to date. In our role as the national development agency, we believe it is more important than ever to invest in makers and the wider contemporary craft ecosystem to ensure a thriving and resilient sector in Scotland.


Following our ‘Sustaining Curatorial Careers Research’ report by Dr Stacey Hunter published in April 2022, Craft Scotland have developed a new strand of our learning and development programme COMPASS, specifically for craft curators.


The COMPASS: Emerging Curator Programme aims to address this gap in infrastructure and provide a development programme to support emerging curators at the early stages of their creative practice. 


The programme will run between August 2023 and March 2024, and serve as a pilot to allow us to test the model and impact for the sector.


Curator, educator and maker Katy West will be leading the programme, bringing over 15 years of experience working as an independent curator. Her practice considers the cultural status of craft workers, designers, and makers within the fields of material production. Notable past projects include Bothy Stores for The Bothy Project, Modern Languages for Crafts Council and the India Street exhibition and project.  


The COMPASS: Emerging Curator Programme involves online and in-person networking and professional development sessions, and a research trip to Stockholm Craft Week 2023. It will draw on the experience and skills of more established curators and creative industry experts who will share their connections, insights and advice with the cohort.




COMPASS is Scotland’s route to a flourishing craft sector.  

Craft Scotland’s dynamic learning and development programme, COMPASS, delivers tailored support for the craft sector. We want to support craft talent and equip individuals with the necessary skills to create a thriving creative and business practice. COMPASS approaches learning and development holistically exploring values and self-development topics alongside business subjects such as finance and marketing.  

Originally launched in 2018 to focus on makers, COMPASS has since expanded to also provide support for curators and craft professionals. It is a continuously evolving programme of support responding to the unique needs of the community, informed by industry experts and feedback from the sector.  

Current activity includes our year-long flagship Emerging Maker programme, pilot project Emerging Curatorial programme. 

Previous COMPASS activities have included free webinars, industry networking sessions, bursaries for established makers to develop their practice and for graduates effected by the pandemic, and residencies for Next Generation makers.  


COMPASS: Emerging Curator Programme 2023 is supported by the William Grant Foundation and Creative Scotland. 

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