The Tetley

Leeds

Contact: Bryony Bond, Creative Director

The Tetley, a contemporary arts centre, has several links with universities, but none of them is a formal partnership. Leeds Beckett, Leeds University, Leeds Trinity and Leeds College of Trinity all work with the centre in more or less the same pattern.

Students do placements, as volunteers, usually a couple of hours a week over a three-month period. Their activities range from helping with exhibitions, delivery, performing, finance and office management.

The universities are partially involved in the recruitment process. Opportunities are circulated to course tutors, through a rolling programme, and students then come to work at the centre. Students are at all academic levels from undergraduate to post-graduate, including a doctoral student from Leeds University who developed an event based on his own work. Often, the students self-select.

Their placements are not formally assessed, but whatever interests and aims are expressed in their letter of application is broadly evaluated on their own, usually without reference to the college or university.

There tends to be little diversity in the range of students doing placements, a reflection, perhaps, of the lack of diversity in the visual arts scene in the area.

The challenges of doing this work vary, but the financial ones are most common.

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