Why is Artquest free? And where did we come from?
Q. How can you afford to give away your web content?
A. It does not cost anything to use Artquest's website, and no registration is necessary.
We are funded as a National Portfolio Organisation by Arts Council England, and our principal partner is University of the Arts London, Europe's largest higher education institution. Our programme, artist fees and salary costs are covered by our grant from Arts Council England, and the University pays for our rent, facilities and administrative support.
Both of these partners understand that artists have among the lowest incomes in the creative industries, but also that their future career prospects - and successes - are in tune with their own. Artists are among the least likely to be able to afford the information they need - in many cases, because the information they need helps them to earn enough money to survive, without leaving much left over for their own professional development.
To help cover some of our costs, we charge around £4 for our live events programme. This helps us pay the artists and professionals we ask to speak at our talks, which, without our subsidy, would cost around £20-40 per ticket.
Q. How can you have a free, high quality service?
A. A free service is not a bad, or poor quality, service. Artists are among the least likely to be able to afford accessing the professional development they need, a fact recognised by our partners and funders.
Our staff are paid to do the research, compile the listings, write the articles and cross-check the information we provide - and are all professional and dedicated to the task.
All of our web content is rigourously checked, cross-checked and checked again to make sure it is high-quality, accessible and written in a language that artists understand - stripped of the jargon and technicalities used in the arts more widely.
If we find something online that fits the bill - an article about tax for artists, or about copyright, or a useful take on contracts - we know we don't have to commission this content ourselves. We link to free content around the internet, making the Artquest site a conduit for information, advice, guidance, support and opportunities.
Every month, over 9,000 of our visitors leave Artquest to visit a different site that we link to. We recognise that Artquest is part of a much bigger service, provided by our partners including Axis, DACS, ACAVA and ACME studios, Art Monthly, CARFAC, the Crafts Council, Creative and Cultural Skills, engage, and the 70-odd more partners we've worked with since 2001.
Q. Where did Artquest come from?
A. Artquest launched in 2001, a project of the visual arts department of the London office of Arts Council England (then London Arts) and University of the Arts London (then The London Institute).
London Arts commissioned research that found that artists in the capital wanted a central service where they could go at any time, and at any stage, to find up to date advice and information. London Arts entered a partnership with The London Institute to create Artquest to fill this gap, and they co-fund and support us to this day.