OutdoorArtsUK began in the late 1990s as ISAN (The Independent Street Arts Network) when a group of programmers and producers began to meet, network, pool resources and lobby for greater investment in Outdoor Arts, particularly from Arts Council England and local authorities.

In 2001, ISAN was formally constituted as an organisation and, through the support of project based funding from Arts Council England, appointed part-time and freelance workers for the first time to further develop its role and function.

In 2004, ISAN was awarded ‘regularly funded organisation’ status by Arts Council England, which was enhanced significantly in 2008.

In the mid-2000s, the ISAN constitution was amended to include artists and artistic companies as members.  This has enriched how we work as an organisation ensuring that the voice and needs of the artist is central to our core aims and mission.

OutdoorArtsUK took its new name in 2018 to reflect the developments in the sector and to allow us to more fully represent organisations and artists working in the public realm and beyond buildings.