Artist development

ACAVA Talks is our professional development event programme for creative practitioners.

Through skills training and peer-to-peer networking, ACAVA Talks is designed to support creative practitioners in establishing and sustaining careers in the creative sector by enhancing skills, knowledge, networks, confidence, and well-being.

Our pilot series includes webinars from sector experts on how to present yourself and your creative practice, writing impactful fundraising applications, demystifying artist residencies, pricing your artwork, and how to develop a socially engaged artistic practice – a theme that will run through the series.

And in-person and networking events create spaces where artists and creative practitioners can come together to make new connections and share ideas.


Tickets are now available for the first four events in the programme. Book your place via the event link.

Webinar ticket: £5 / £1 concession*

ACAVA studio holder webinar ticket: Free

Networking event tickets: Free for all

Recordings of online events will be available to all ticket holders after the event.

*Concession tickets are available for those on low incomes or unwaged. If you are able to please consider paying the full fee, we are a registered charity and income from tickets directly supports the ACAVA Talks programme.

Book your place for an ACAVA Talks event

Events programme:

How to present yourself and your creative practice


When: Thu 19 Oct 2023, 1-2.30pm

Format: Online talk with discussion facilitated by Becca Pelly-Fry

Do you find it challenging to accurately present yourself and your creative practice? Have you struggled to approach galleries and curators?

Join this ACAVA Talks webinar to hear independent Curator Becca Pelly-Fry discuss what attracts curators to artists and how to build long-lasting working relationships with other creative professionals. You’ll also learn how to best showcase your work online and present yourself as professional and reliable.

About Becca Pelly-Fry:
Becca is an independent curator, facilitator and cultural consultant who works collaboratively with a wide range of artists and arts organisations across the UK. She was Director and Curator of Griffin Gallery and Head Curator for Elephant West before going freelance. Becca is currently ACAVA’s Interim Head of Professional Development and is leading the rollout of our new professional development programme.

Networking event

Online event

When: Fri 20 Oct 2023, 5-6.30pm

Format: Online networking

A warm and welcoming online gathering, designed and lightly facilitated by ACAVA to enable conversation and collaboration between creatives.

Writing for Impact


When: Tue 21 Nov 2023, 1-3pm

Format: Online talk with Q&A led by Lucy Stone

Are your funding applications lacking impact? Could your case for support be refined?

Funders receive huge numbers of applications and letters so it’s important to make your writing and applications clear and stand out. Sign up for this ACAVA Talks webinar with fundraising consultant Lucy Stone to learn how to improve your applications, with insight into: using behavioural economics to transform your writing; top tips on what works including language and layout; funders’ pet peeves; types of writing including free form applications, letters and applications; cases for support – what are the key messages you need to include; using examples to highlight key information; common traps people fall into and useful resources. Come prepared with questions and Lucy will do her best to help!

About Lucy Stone:
Lucy Stone from No Stone Unturned Fundraising has worked in the Charity sector for over 20 years and has raised £11.4 million writing applications ranging from £100 to £1.2million. During COVID Lucy supported organisations to raise £92 million through advice, guidance, webinars & application reviews by working with membership organisations and Local Authorities. For this work Lucy won the Music Venue Trust Outstanding Contribution Award in 2021. Lucy is currently supporting a range of organisations including Music Venue Trust, De La Warr Pavilion, Creative Crawley, Together Co and Brighton Fringe.

Networking event

Online event

When: Nov 2023, time TBC

Format: Online networking

More info and booking information coming soon

A warm and welcoming online gathering, designed and lightly facilitated by ACAVA to enable conversation and collaboration between creatives.

A practical guide to developing a socially engaged artistic practice


When: Thu 18 Jan 2024, 2–3.30pm

Format: Online talk with Q&A by Isabella Niven

Are you interested in co-creation as part of your socially engaged artistic practice? Would you like to work with charities and cultural organisations engaging creatively with communities?

Join this ACAVA Talks webinar with Isabella Niven to gain an understanding of what organisations are looking for when recruiting socially engaged artists. Find out what values, skills, and experience are required to successfully deliver a co-created community project; and how positive social, health, and wellbeing outcomes can be achieved through co-creation.

About Isabella Niven:
Isabella has led on the development and delivery of ACAVA’s arts in health and wellbeing programming for the past 12 years. She grew ACAVA’s community offer in North Kensington from a single project in 2011 to a programme of life-long opportunities for local children, families, young people and older adults. She now heads ACAVA’s Social Practice team, developing sector leading co-creation opportunities for artists and communities in locations across our studio portfolio and beyond.
With 18 years of experience in the cultural and charitable sectors, organisations Isabella has worked for include BOP Consulting, the NSPCC, and Milton Keynes Gallery. She has sat on the RBKC Arts Grants Panel, the NHS WLCCG Third Sector Transformation Steering Group, and most recently 3ST, a group of like-minded charities joining together to support & develop health and statutory services across northwest London.

How to price your artwork


When: Tue 20 Feb 2023, time TBC

Format: Talk and discussion delivered by Artquest

More info and booking information coming soon

Do you struggle to price your artwork correctly? Are you confused by the various resources online?

In this special edition of the ACAVA Talks webinar series, we’ve partnered with Artquest to offer this webinar on how to price your artwork. This event is free to all.

About Artquest:
Artquest exists to help make the art world more equitable for artists. They support visual artists at all stages of their careers in England, providing free access to robust and trusted careers information, advice, opportunities and resources. They also carry out specialist research in artists’ livelihoods to produce insights that support the wider arts sector help artists meet their ambitions.

Demystifying artist residencies


When: March, date and time TBC

Format: Online panel discussion

More info and booking information coming soon

Having trouble finding and applying for artist residencies?

Join us for a panel discussion with staff from organisations offering artist residencies to find out more about different types of residencies, how to make your application stand out and how to maximise the opportunity once you’ve been selected.

We will also be hosting two in-person networking events to create a space where artists can come together to find connections and support. More information will be announced soon – watch this space!

We will be collecting feedback on the content and formats of this pilot programme to inform the future development of the ACAVA Talks programme.