Photo Oxford 2023:
Artistic Director Vacancy


An exciting freelance opportunity to join the Photo Oxford Festival team as Artistic Director starting this summer, bringing your expertise in photography and the visual arts, and your interest in the power of festivals and partnerships, to help us find the work of known, hidden and emerging photo- graphic artists, curators and collectors and share it with new and diverse audiences during the Festival scheduled for April/May 2023.


Photography Oxford was established as an independent charity in 2013 and since then has produced four Photo Oxford festivals, most recently celebrating ‘Women and Photography’ across 2020 and 2021.

Our mission is:

To deliver a biennial international photography festival featuring a diverse and ambitious programme of exhibitions and related events, professional development opportunities, and a public engagement and outreach programme, delivered in collaboration with strategic partners across the city of Oxford, nationally and worldwide.

Our values are:

  • To be audience-focused, developing close, long-lasting, and respectful relationships in our work.

  • To be accessible to all, creating physical and digital opportunities for diverse audiences to engage meaningfully with photography.

  • To be impact driven, encouraging high-quality photographic exhibition, debate and learning opportunities.

  • To be grounded in the cultural opportunities offered up by our unique location in Oxford – one of the most diverse cities in the UK outside London.

  • To be environmentally responsible.

We work in partnership with a wide range of photographic, cultural and educational organisations, and with photographic artists and communities in Oxford, nationally and internationally.

About the role

The Artistic Director will work closely with the Festival Director to develop and deliver the programme for the Photo Oxford Festival scheduled for 14 April - 6 May 2023. This is an opportunity to help shape and develop the Festival for 2023 and coming years. The Festival theme for 2023 (title to be settled) will focus photographically on archives and collections, institutional, individual and collective, opening up, responding to, and sharing them with local, national and international audiences.

This freelance role is to:

  • Work in collaboration with the Festival Director, building on the strategic partnerships and outline programme already in place;

  • Further research, develop and deliver the Festival programme;

  • Co-develop and co-deliver professional development, educational and community focused projects or activities around the Festival programme;

  • Build on existing and develop new long-lasting and productive strategic partnerships, locally, nationally and internationally;

  • Work closely with freelance Marketing and Communications colleagues on clear and accessible interpretation of online and in-person content;

  • Create and contribute to engaging digital content, including social media;

  • Lead on artist liaison and support for guest curators;

  • Lead on liaison with venues and exhibition arrangements and installation;

  • Contribute to evaluation planning, collection and collation;

  • Contribute to Festival budget development and management;

  • Contribute to the preparation of funding applications, grant management and reporting, and development and support of sponsorship relations

  • Manage delegated budgets;

  • Lay the ground for and, in the longer term, lead between-festival projects and commissions.

We are looking for someone who is passionate about photography within a broad cultural and festival context; a person who is dedicated, supportive and dynamic, with a keen interest in artist liaison and the opportunities offered by the festival format to reach new audiences in different ways. The ideal candidate should be interested in contributing to a small, collaborative freelance team, working creatively with a range of strategic partners and with diverse artists and curators, within a tight budget, to present an attractive festival programme to high standards. The Artistic Director will need to be flexible, a problem-solver, open to opportunities, and willing to initiate and contribute to fundraising applications and income generating initiatives.

We are particularly interested to hear from candidates from backgrounds that are under-represented in our organisation, in particular candidates from Global Majority backgrounds.

We are happy to answer any queries and/or to have a discussion about the role before the application deadline.

Freelance Fee: £10,000 (based on an estimated 50-60 days during the period from July 2022 to May 2023; monthly payments; may be subject to review in light of fundraising)

Availability: You must be available to be in Oxford as necessary during the Festival period (14 April - 6 May 2023) including evenings and weekends

Location: Your own work base, with availability for some face to face and venue meetings in Oxford during the preparatory period. Ideally you are Oxford based or with easy access to Oxford, in particular in the lead up to and during the Festival period.

Closing date: Tuesday 5 July 2022, 12 noon

Interviews: 19 or 20 July 2022 (Please advise if you are unavailable on these dates. We will make provision for access needs as appropriate.)

Person Specification


• A passion for and knowledge of photography

• Experience of putting on exhibitions within a variety of spaces

• Ability to take initiative, multi-task, work effectively and efficiently under pressure, with an understanding of project-based and/or festival working

• Resourcefulness, ability to think outside the box, willingness to be hands-on, capability to problem solve quickly and independently

• Ability to work successfully as part of a team to deliver to a high standard

• Experience and/or a good understanding of fundraising including Arts Council England project grants

• Good administrative skills with strong attention to detail and some proven track record of project planning, monitoring and evaluation

• Experience of developing and managing project budgets effectively and delivering on target

• Excellent written and oral communication skills, plus sound IT knowledge

• Availability to work evenings and weekends as required


Experience of audience development and evaluation

• Experience of educational engagement activity

• Experience of developing and/or working with strategic partners

• Experience of working with sponsors and initiating/managing income generating activity

Contact details & how to apply

See for information about the Photography Oxford charity and previous Festivals.

Contact the Festival Director on with any queries or if you would like to arrange a time to discuss the role before application.

To apply please send an email letter of application, setting out your interest in and suitability for the role and how you meet the person specifications. Please include details of previous employment and/or freelance work, and the names and contact details of two referees (we will not contact your referees without your agreement).

Please email your application to by 12 noon on Tuesday 5 July 2022.