Extra Ordinary People (EOP) is Eastside Projects’ artist development scheme*.
Since 2008 EOP has supported artists, artist-curators and artist-writers to develop work, ideas, careers and community through a responsive programme of events, opportunities and projects. EOP is open to all and we take a holistic approach to artists’ development, supporting both people and practices with activity ranging from professional opportunities to wellbeing workshops.
EOP is one of the UK’s leading development programmes for visual artists. By joining EOP you become part of an active UK wide community that supports, and is supported by, Eastside Projects. As well as free entry to most of Eastside Projects’ talks and events, members are able to access exclusive workshops, toolkits, wellbeing sessions and 1-2-1 chats with Eastside Projects staff. They can also apply for opportunities including the annual EOP Members Exhibition, residencies, Crit Clubs, Away days, Summer Camp.
EOP reaches out in many different directions, working with partners locally in the West Midlands and nationally through initiatives like The Kaleidoscope Network, a collaboration with Primary (Nottingham), Spike Island (Bristol) and The NewBridge Project (Newcastle), which offers mutual support, shares programming and connects communities of artists.
Membership costs £5 a month and all income is invested directly in the EOP programme activity. Membership is free if you are a Black or Asian person or from a Global Majority background, or if you are a Disabled, Crip, Critically Ill or D/deaf person.
*In Summer 2019 we decided to rename the programme, shifting from Extra Special to Extra Ordinary People in response to ongoing conversations with members and other publics where we had been questioning what it means to be ‘special’. We believe it should be a normal state of affairs for civic space to be populated with artists, ordinary people challenging and reimagining the world in extraordinary ways. The new name reflects this aspiration.
EOP is currently supported by Arts Council England and Birmingham City University.
EOP has previously been generously supported by:
Jerwood Charitable Foundation
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Paul Hamlyn Foundation
Diversity Art Forum