Welcome to ISAN

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. We also provide general sector services. We represent 100 members comprising artists, producers, presenters, promoters and support agencies working in Outdoor Arts in the UK and Ireland. We are committed to supporting Outdoor Arts in all its forms and advocating its benefits and practice.

We are a not-for-profit organisation in receipt of NPO funding from Arts Council England.



ISAN Spring General Meeting 2014

Thursday 27 February 2014

The Friends Meeting House
Ship Street

11.30am (registration)
12noon to 4.45pm

Join us for our first General Meeting of 2014 to learn about our latest announcements and plans in moving forward into 2014 and beyond.  Find out about the latest developments in outdoor arts and new opportunities.

A packed agenda including the announcing new ISAN initiatives and projects:

  • Making the Case – Outdoor Arts PR Campaign 2014: project led by ISAN and to be delivered through the appointment of Four Colman Getty PR Agency on behalf of and as part of the Catalyst Outdoor Arts Consortium comprising: EEA (Catalyst lead), BOSI, ISAN, Kazzum, Kinetika and Tangled Feet. This PR campaign is being designed with the aim to transform public and stakeholder perceptions of Outdoor Arts so that more funding comes into the outdoor arts sector. The PR Campaign is part of a programme of work supported through Catalyst Arts funding made up of investment from Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Catalyst Arts is aimed to help cultural organisations diversity their income and access more funding from private sources.
  • ISAN Website New Design & Launch: is a whole new website with a clean new design, that will be dynamic and easy to navigate positioning ISAN and our members, as the ‘go to’ destination for anyone wishing to find out about, organise or commission outdoor arts. The website will prioritise the visually exciting and inspiring nature of our members work, making it easy for members to update their own information, add news and pay membership fees online including a ‘members only’ zone. The website will enable members and non-members to access resources to help organise outdoor arts events (download guides and ordering publications) and will provide access to the research and advocacy work undertaken by us here at ISAN. Overall, the new website will have enhanced functionality with lots of new features. It will be much easier to find information on the work that we are doing and to search for members. Plus, the website has been designed to be future proofed by automatically resizing correctly for mobile phones and tablets.
  • Event Guidance: learn about the latest developments from our expert advisor, plus the launch of our new guidance documents detailing current advice on Cranes and Police Charging. These guidance documents are free to ISAN members.
  • Future Directions for and Current Issues in Outdoor Arts: facilitated discussion exploring future direction for and issues currently affecting outdoor arts.

Join us: members and non-members alike, to learn and share your own news. There are plenty of opportunities for informal networking with extended breaks throughout the day, including lunchtime and mid-afternoon.

Please arrive for registration and light refreshments at 11.30am, for a 12noon start. The meeting will finish at 4.45pm when we will convene at a nearby bar for early evening drinks. There are lots of good value places to eat in the evening within a few minutes of the meeting venue.

Please confirm your attendance by Monday 24February. Priority booking will be given to those on a first come first serve basis.

You can confirm your attendance here at Eventbrite. Go to Eventbrite for a detailed agenda to be available from Monday 17February.

This event is FREE to ISAN members.  We welcome anyone interested in outdoor arts. Non-members are required to pay a day rate of £15 (organisational attendees) or £10 (individual).

We look forward to meeting with you!


87% Say Yes and Want More!

ISAN Sixth Biennial Conference 2013 Feedback & Evaluation

THANK YOU to all of you who attended our two day conference in November. It was great to meet up again with familiar faces and meet so many more new people involved in outdoor arts across the Midlands, Wales and the UK.

And thank you too to those of you who completed our evaluation forms. Your input is incredibly helpful in giving us feedback to the event, what worked, what didn’t, and recommendations for improvement. We have an initial quantitative based summary with the key statistics detailed here. This evaluation will be further developed with a narrative based analysis including comments and suggestions to be made available in the New Year.

But at this point, it’s clear from responses, that overall the conference has been a resounding success!

Of course, there are areas for improvement to address in future editions. But overall, the response has been very positive demonstrated through the evaluation and the positive feedback during the event itself. Many delegates said they’d felt the general experience of the conference to be ‘inspiring’. This delegates feedback is a good illustration of the general experience of the conference overall:

“The conference was inspiring/overwhelming/exhausting and great fun!”

Of the 178 conference delegates (average attendance over x2 days), 32 people completed the evaluation, that represents 16% of attendees. This is a good survey response. Note, for the purposes of this summary, the % responses referenced below combines ‘very satisfied’ with ‘satisfied’.

The key feedback overall to the conference themes, speakers and presenters has been very good, as:

  • 97% of respondents were overall very satisfied with the quality of speakers and presenters


  • 91% of respondents were overall very satisfied with the conference programme overall.

It’s clear that conference delegates motivation and intention to attend the conference were met as:

  • 75% cited ‘networking’ as the main reason for attending the ISAN conference.

And that these expectations were met as:

  • 78% agreed with the statement that – the conference provided facilitated discussion and networking.

Whilst, for others:

  • 63% cited ‘interest in event topics’ as the main reason for attending the ISAN conference.

And again, these expectations were met as:

  • 94% agreed with the statement that – the content of conference sessions was relevant, appropriate and informative.

And finally:

  • 94% of respondents strongly agreed with the statement that – the conference was well organised.

Yes, there are improvements to be made to the next edition. But we’re pleased this edition proved to be a good experience for those that attended opening up new opportunities, networks and potential for working partnerships and collaboration in the future.


ISAN and The Audience Agency New Partnership Announcement: Outdoor Arts Sector Cluster

Making the Case for Outdoor Arts

We are delighted to announce our partnership with The Audience Agency (TAA) to research audiences in the outdoor arts sector as part of the Audience Focus programme, funded by ACE and devised and delivered by TAA.  The overall aim of our partnership is to change outdoor arts for the better, helping the sector reach new and bigger audiences and access new resources.

The years ahead will be challenging for the arts.  This programme will enable ISAN to support all in the sector, including artists, to meet this period of challenge. This programme will provide us all with real evidence to make the case in support of continued public and private investment in outdoor arts.

This is the start of a two year process of gathering evidence with our members through partnership with The Audience Agency.  In this way our members will be able to benefit from the sector wide results and reporting. ISAN helping to make the case for outdoor arts.

If you would like to be part of this initiative and are not currently a member join up by contacting us at info@isanuk.org 



  • The Great Outdoors DVD

    The Great Outdoors DVD

    Click on image to view DVD

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  • “What is Outdoor Arts?”

    Outdoor arts have a unique ability to inspire individuals and bring a sense of shared experience to communities. They use the power of the human imagination to transform familiar places and make the everyday seem remarkable.
    Read more »
  • Outdoor Arts Training Guide

    ISAN was commissioned by Arts Council England to research and map training and professional development within the outdoor arts sector. Outdoor Arts Training Guide is the result of that commission.