Request for Proposals: Strategic Re-Imagining of Gallery Stratford

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Gallery Stratford invites consultants or consultant teams to submit a proposal to work with the Board of Trustees, staff, volunteers and community to help us create a new vision that: imagines the art gallery of the future, looks at how we can embrace and engage our community, and how we can excite and engage new visitors and audiences to the contemporary arts.

Tentative Start Date: March 2022
Project Completion: December 2022
Location: Stratford, ON
Budget: TBD
Deadline to submit: February 11, 2022

Gallery Stratford, a public art gallery, located in Stratford, ON is looking for a consultant to guide us through a strategic process of re-imagining and re-visioning our future. Founded in 1967, and first operating as Rothman’s Art Gallery, the gallery has a history of offering innovative contemporary art exhibitions and creative educational programs. Situated in Stratford, ON (Pop. 32,000) home to The Stratford Festival, the Stratford Chefs School, Stratford Summer Music and a rich performing arts scene presents Gallery Stratford with unique opportunities and challenges.

Located in a City-owned, original 1883 Waterworks building, Gallery Stratford receives just 15% of its $425,000 annual budget from municipal and provincial arts council sources. The remainder of our budget is generated annually through donations, memberships, fundraising and art classes. An entirely new 10 member Board of Trustees brings a range of skills and expertise to their role of governing the gallery, supported by a Director / Curator and grant-funded students and interns.

The gallery houses three gallery spaces, a recently expanded lobby with exhibition space, a recently enlarged art studio, and newly created multi-purpose indoor – outdoor studio / exhibition / performance space. The gallery mounts 12 temporary contemporary art exhibitions annually with a focus on under-represented and emerging artists. We have recently extended our exhibition program into the park adjacent to the gallery. Art in the Trees presents four rotating photography exhibitions annually that are available and accessible for viewing 7 days a week year-round. The Steelbox Art Lab, located in a re-purposed shipping container close to the downtown core, presents exhibitions and projects during the summer months as well as rotating temporary mural projects created by local artists.

We offer a variety of educational and outreach programs for all ages and are currently experimenting with smaller class sizes and more studio oriented programming. In an effort to engage and expose the community to art making and creative discovery, ARTspace at the Mall, is open daily offering free drop-in art making and creation opportunities.

We are looking for a consultant who is open to the idea of:

  • Helping us look for a new vision of what an art gallery can be
  • New ways to embrace and engage our community
  • Discovering how to excite and draw new visitors and audiences to the contemporary arts.

We are looking for fresh ideas and thinking as to what a gallery is, and how it can function in and with a community, with the hopes that this will allow us to take a bold step forward as we chart a sustainable and forward-thinking future.

We are not looking for a boiler-plate approach to strategic planning or a staid or traditional vision of what art galleries should or can do. We are looking for someone who is going to bring creativity and innovation to this work. If you have experience working with art galleries, are passionate about contemporary art, energized by working with a community, and knowledgeable about trends in the artworld, and up to challenge of working with us we want to hear from you.

We don’t want a long proposal or standard RFP response. We hope you will tell us what excites you about working with arts organizations, what you think are some of the most important challenges and opportunities facing small art galleries and museums today, as well as a little about your background and experience working with contemporary visual arts organizations, why you think you will be a good fit, and why you think you want to work with us?

If you have some ideas of what an innovative strategic re-imagining process might look like – we would love to hear that too. We are looking for a short one or two page proposal that excites you and inspires us.

Suggested Project Deliverables:

  • Team-building / level-setting of Gallery Stratford Board and Staff
  • Community / stakeholder consultations
  • Re-imagining
  • Scenario planning
  • Recommendations for Strategic Plan

Please submit a 2-page proposal to Angela Brayham, Director / Curator and Gail Bennett, Chair Strategic Planning Committee by email to abrayham@gallerystratford.on.ca. For questions, clarification or discussion about the proposal email Angela Brayham or call 519-271-5271 x 222.

Gallery Stratford
54 Romeo Street S
Stratford, ON N5A 4S9
www.gallerystratford.on.ca

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