FAQ

ISAN is a leading national membership organisation for the strategic development of Outdoor Arts. We develop the Outdoor Arts sector through networking, lobbying, information-sharing, training, research and advocacy support and advice for our members.

  • Joyously liberated from buildings, Outdoor Arts take place all over the public realm. You’ll find us in streets, parks and squares, on roofs and on rivers, across cities, towns and villages, in festivals in fields and festivals in high streets. We’re on mountains and in marketplaces. You’ll see us performing on barges, on buildings, on bridges, on trampolines, on trapezes, on cranes, on cars and in knee-deep mud; Outdoor Arts are supremely versatile and will pop up pretty much anywhere they can. And more often than not they’re free.
  • Outdoor Arts includes many different art forms including theatre, contemporary dance, music, traditional dance, puppetry, comedy, pyrotechnics, visual art, digital art and lots and lots of circus. Outdoor Arts crop up in public processions, enormous carnivals and huge melas, as well as at small local festivals, in shopping centres and in front of major cultural institutions. We are very international, with some great companies from around the world visiting our shores and our own work playing an increasingly prominent global role. There’s often mass participation, so sometimes you’ll see a cast of hundreds or sometimes a cast of just one.
  • In the last fifteen years, Outdoor Arts in the UK has developed into a distinct sector, growing from its roots in community arts movements, street arts, carnival, agitprop and radical theatre, which go back to the 1960s. Now, Outdoor Arts has firmly established itself through some nation-defining moments, ever-increasing artistic standards and an ongoing cooperative network. With our incredibly diverse audiences, our work is increasingly being recognised for the role it plays in social cohesion, place-making and community building. But we tend to love them simply for the joy they bring.
  • The strength of the sector was well illustrated by the central role Outdoor Arts played in the London 2012 Festival and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. And London can never forget that elephant…
  • For more detail click here.
We keep extensive listings of Outdoor Arts events for both public and professionals:
  • You can access the general content of the ISAN website, but some of the more useful content such as funding opportunities, commissions, jobs, resources and events are only detailed in the ISAN Members Bulletin.
  • Certain ISAN Publications are free to members, or available for purchase to non-members.
  • Most of our events are open to everyone, but members get access at vastly reduced rates or for free.
  • Non-members can receive the monthly free Outdoor Arts Newsletter by signing up here.

Membership Rates for 2015/16

There are four rates for annual membership: small, medium, large and extra large. Please see the table below for which definition fits you best. There’s also a trial rate for those new to the sector.
SMALL
small You’re a freelance producer or a performer working pretty much on your own, you’re a newish company or festival finding your feet (suggested turnover under £30K). £35 +VAT
MEDIUM
medium2 You’re a small company, maybe with a few members, perhaps you’ve got a bit of funding and you get regular gigs (suggested turnover £31K - £100K). £70 +VAT
LARGE
large4 You’re a company, you have a full-time administrator (or two!), you’re making an income from touring and fundraising (suggested turnover £101K - £250K). £125 +VAT
EXTRA LARGE
extralarge2 You’re a bit of a big fish, you’re getting regular income, or you’re a local authority, a venue or a big festival, you’ve got a few employees (suggested turnover over £250K). £195 +VAT
TRIAL
emerging3 Try before you buy… you’re a newbie, a student or recent graduate, you’re in your first year or so in Outdoor Arts & haven't been an ISAN member before. (One year only) £20 +VAT
To join ISAN, click here.

Benefits of ISAN membership include:

  • An extensive Outdoor Arts Network of over 160 specialists working in the UK, Ireland and beyond.
  • The National Outdoor Arts Conference: a hugely productive, creative and enjoyable coming together of the sector every two years. Members get substantially reduced delegate fees, including exclusive Early Bird rates and priority booking.
  • The exclusive ISAN Member Bulletin: emailed twice-monthly, circulating news from the sector, funding and employment opportunities. And sometimes a bit of gossip.
  • General ISAN Meetings: events designed to explore the latest developments, ideas and issues in Outdoor Arts. Useful events with good networking opportunities. Free to members.
  • Reduced Priced Training: members can book at the member rates on the excellent ITC training programme.
  • Regional Meetings: connect with local programmers and practitioners. A really good chance to develop a specific local network. Free to members.
  • Practical Seminars: on specific themes including audience development, tax relief, investment & licensing. The useful nuts-and-bolts of working in Outdoor Arts.
  • Outdoor Arts Guidance Toolkits: up-to-date guidance documents on various subjects including fundraising, access, crane working, police charging and health & safety. Free to members.
  • Promotional Opportunities, through the ISAN and OutdoorArts social media campaigns, the general monthly Outdoor Arts Newsletter (sent to over 1500 addresses) and online events directories . We turn to our membership for case studies in our publications, guidance documents, toolkits and national and international presentations.
  • Outdoor Arts specific guidance via our consultancy relationships on health & safety (David Bilton Events), access (Attitude is Everything) & sustainability (Julie’s Bicycle).
Details of how to join can be found here.

You should join us if you...

  • believe that Outdoor Arts are a vital and unique part of our cultural ecology and offer the broadest possible access to public engagement with the arts. The work challenges and entertains; it is our most inclusive and empowering art form; it captivates communities, and inspires innovation and cohesion. The Outdoor Arts sector, joyously liberated from buildings, is key to effecting social change and opening up culture with challenging, engaging and sometimes confrontational work. And they do really great fireworks.

You should join us if you are...

  • an individual or organisation which actively participate in the development of Outdoor Arts in your professional ; so you might be an agent, an artist, a company, a development agency, a festivals, a funding body, a higher education institution, an independent producer, a local authority, a production company, a programmer or a venues.

You should join us if you want to support...

  • advocating for Outdoor Arts across cultural, governmental, public funding and private funding arenas.
  • developing the sector by providing practical information on good working practices and offering advice and guidance for new and experienced practitioners.
  • commissioning valuable reports and sharing important statistics to help our members make ever stronger cases for supporting the work.
  • encouraging creative and beneficial connections between members and keeping them informed of opportunities, commissions and funding possibilities.
  • visiting festivals and events to hold a comprehensive knowledge of the latest national and international Outdoor Arts work and keeping an eye out for emerging artists.
  • providing up-to-date information about professional training and development events and also offering comprehensive public and professional listings of what’s on where and when.

You should join us by clicking...