Open call to artists - 4 Squares Weekender 2015

An open call to both artists and artistic companies who are based in Birmingham and the West Midlands!


Call for entries: Arts festival performances, arts activities and installations.

Deadline for submissions: Thursday 14th May 2015.

Performance dates: 25th to 27th September 2015.


Artistic Opportunities;

We are seeking expressions of interest in artistic work across all art forms which has a total creation and presenting  project cost from between £500-£4000. The work will be included in the Festival programme.

What we are looking for:

High quality, engaging, outdoor based work that can appeal to a broad audience. Work will be based mainly in and around the Bull ring and Victoria Square and Centenary Square. There are some particular areas of interest.


We are particularly interested in work for families and children.


Activities that give adults and children an opportunity to express themselves creatively.


We are interested in receiving applications from organisations who might not usually work together and would like to explore the possibility of presenting something new and interesting in partnership.


Performances that engage audiences on a low-level participative basis.


One of the main partners and funders of the festival is Retail Birmingham.  Work with or in a shopping context are welcomed.

Who can apply?

Independent companies (none ACE national portfolio organisations) and individual  artists are encouraged to apply for this fund. You will work with the festival creative and producing team to assist with the development and placing of your work in the context of the festival programme. You must be able to present the work on the festival weekend. Partnerships or support from Birmingham Arts Partnership members is welcome. Artists may submit more than one proposal.  Funding will be paid 75% at the point of contract and 25% on the successful delivery of the event.


The process is as follows:

14th May - Deadline for proposals.

W/c 18th May - Shortlisting panel convenes, dialogue with potential artists and initial decision making.

W/c 26th May - Confirmation of successful projects.


4 Squares Weekender 2015 (working title) is a cross- arts form Festival of high-quality, free performance, music, visual arts and participative events. Building on the success of the 2013 event, this year's festival celebrates the re-opening of a transformed New Street Station / Grand Central and adjacent city centre. The Festival seeks to bring “great art for everyone and has been designed to have a broad appeal to the city's diverse population and international visitors.  In particular it offers young people and families the opportunity to enjoy two great cultural days out and enhances Birmingham's growing reputation as a leading destination for culture. 

The Festival includes a wide range of work from  large scale performance such as Birmingham Hippodrome presenting Compagnie Transe Expresse 'Maudits Sonnants'  to dance you 'happen' across  in shop windows. There's opportunities to listen to music with Town Hall Symphony Hall's Outdoor Musical Picnic, watch Vanley Burke and Gambian dancers brought to Birmingham by the IKON Gallery or get involved in sketching the festival with Urban Sketchers. There will also be independent food stalls.

Events will be presented during the days and into the evenings in Birmingham's main civic squares and shopping spaces. These include: Centenary Square, Rotunda Square and Victoria Square, Bullring, Mailbox and retail shops along New Street and in the shopping centre. The event will take place on the weekend of 25-27th September 2015. Almost all events will be free of charge.

A short video of the 2013 festival can be found here:

The event saw attendances of over 95,000, significant media coverage and positive feedback from audiences and partners. Now granted signature festival status from Birmingham City Council, the event is planned to take place biennially. 

The festival is an initiative of the  Birmingham Arts Partnership  who have appointed an artistic team - Creative Director, Roxana Silbert (Birmingham REP) and Associate Directors Corey Baker (Choreographer), Tim Hodgson (Theatre Maker and Festival Director) and Ola Animashawun (Producer and Theatre Director).  It's being coordinated by the Birmingham Hippodrome.

Artistic Contact:

Ola Animashawun;  Freelance Producer & Theatre Director or 07814 123 816

Producing Contact:

Caroline Davis; Birmingham Hippodrome, or 0121 689 3044 

DIY 12: 2015 - Call for Proposals

DIY is an opportunity for artists working in Live Art to conceive and run unusual training and professional development projects for other artists.


We want to hear from you if have an idea for an exciting, innovative and idiosyncratic Live Art professional development project that offers something new and is geared to the eclectic and often unusual needs of artists whose practices are grounded in challenging and unconventional approaches, forms and concepts.
We are planning to support 20 DIY projects that will take place across the UK between July and November 2015.

Each project will receive a grant of £1500.
DIY projects may take any form, and can be loosely or rigorously focused on an idea or theme of your choosing. We also welcome proposals that specifically respond to particular themes identified by DIY partners - see the full Call for Proposals for more information on these opportunities and the online application process.
Deadline for proposals: 12 noon on Thursday 9th April 2015.

DIY 12 is a collaboration with partner organisations across the UK and is part of the Collab Arts Partnership Programme co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

Craftspace opportunities

Open calls for exhibitions - exciting opportunities for artists!


TOW15 call for entries now open:

the open west is an annual open submission exhibition inviting work from national and international artists practising contemporary and conceptual art.

Work submitted can include painting, installation, film and sound, textile, photography, ceramics, drawing and print, performance, sculpture, glass, metal and plastics.

Proposals for new and site specific works are considered - size limitations are according to available space. There are no geographical restrictions - all artists over 18 can apply.

Up to 45 artists will be included in the six week exhibition, each with the possibility of showing more than one work at The Wilson, Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum. Exhibition; 16th May to 28th June 2015.

Deadline for submissions: 20th February 2015.

apply online or download postal entry form


Made@EU Call for Participants, CALL FOR APPLICATIONS:
As part of the EU funded 'Made@EU' Creative Europe project, we are able to offer a highly subsidized five-day intensive 'hands-on' introduction to 3-D digital fabrication systems for professional practitioners.
You might be a fine artist, crafts person, designer-maker, fashion designer, animator, or working in many other creative, art, design, media disciplines.

Whatever your practice, the purpose of this workshop is to introduce you to the potential of 3-D digital 'maker' technologies - allowing you to understand how they might be integrated into existing work-flows, and helping you to evaluate the benefits they might bring to your particular form(s) of practice.

Sign Up Now

Further dates will be announced soon for workshops taking place in Paris, Amsterdam and Budapest. Subscribe to the mailing list here to be the first to know!

Tu Fewn deadline is approaching

Time is running out to apply for the three Tu Fewn commissions, with our project partners - Ffotogallery, g39 and Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre!


With the commission deadline on the horizon, here's a quick reminder of the three individual commission opportunities on offer!

The commissions are in brief:

  • Ffotogallery - want to commission a Disabled artist to create a public-realm/digital cross platform artwork as part of the Diffusion Experience for Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography in October 2015. The commission is open to UK and international Disabled artists. 
  • g39 - seeking an ambitious disabled artist-curator to contribute to their process of programming. The successful artist-curator will be commissioned to work with the g39 team for a twelve-month period and will be responsible for devising one of g39's 3-month seasons, comprising a main exhibition with associated projects / exhibition spaces, seminars and talks. 
  • Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre - looking to commission a disabled artist/maker to curate an exhibition as part of our 'Maker to Curator' programme. The resulting exhibition will be presented at LGAC in January 2016. The commission is open to all UK and International disabled makers/artists. 

The three commissions can be viewed in more detail and downloaded, via the Tu Fewn page in the Projects area of the DASH website.

Two major commissions in one week

DASH Patron Rachel Gadsden, is feeling elated - having announced two major commissions in the same week!


UK Parliament - Parliament in the Making:

UK Parliament has recently announced plans for a major exhibition to commemorate significant historic anniversaries in 2015 and Rachel is absolutely delighted that she is one of the artists who has been selected to be part of this absolutely thrilling commission.

For further information, visit:

Silence  - the Breath is Precious:

Rachel Gadsden's ambition for Silence – the breath is precious is to create a multi-layered narrative film that employs the epic nature of the desert landscape and the Shamal (شمال, north wind) as a metaphor for exploring the complex and often painful emotions that individuals and communities may have to endure when embarking upon a cultural shift.

It also looks at the challenges and real anxieties experienced in embracing unfamiliar ideas and moving towards a different way of seeing and doing. The overriding motivation of this project is a heartfelt belief that complete openness and visibility can be achieved in relation to disability and diversity within families and communities, both in the UK and in the greater Arab world.

For additional information, visit:

Jerwood Encounters: 3-Phase

Closing date is today! Jerwood Encounters: 3-Phase, is a new commissioning project.


Jerwood Encounters: aims to set up a space of encounter between the developing bodies of work and thinking of two artists and three visual arts organisations.

This exhibition and development opportunity will offer one ESP member and one WARP user the opportunity to make and exhibit new work at Eastside Projects, Jerwood Visual Arts (London) and g39 (Cardiff) during 2015, with curatorial and practical support from all three organisations.

This is a substantial opportunity and we are looking for ambition, compelling ideas and a commitment to developing an outstanding art practice. Each artist will receive a generous fee, budget for production and travel and a publication will be produced with new writing commissioned on the selected artists' work.

Interviews will be the week commencing 29th September 2014.

For details about who this opportunity is for, how to apply and what the selection process will be please download the PDF.

3-Phase is a Jerwood Encounters project in collaboration with Eastside Projects and g39.

Co-commission call out in Birmingham

For Artists based in Birmingham to exhibit at the Fête Des Lumières, Festival of Lights.


An exciting opportunity has arisen for a co-commission between Fête des Lumières de Lyon and WERK, for an Artist or Organisation based in Birmingham to produce one or multiple Monumental Light Object (meaning a light object which will need to reach between approximately 4 to 7 metres high to ensure visibility for the visitors), for a key central location in Lyon e.g. “Place Louis Pradel” or a similar location during the Festival of Lights event from the 5th to 8th December 2014.

There is also the opportunity to exhibit the work within the Longbridge Light Festival in 2015, if considered appropriate by WERK.

WERK and Fête des Lumières de Lyon view this as an exciting opportunity in continuing to develop international partnerships, artistic and knowledge exchanges between sister cities and proactively maintaining the partnerships developed between the two organisations.

This Call Out is open to any individual artist, collective, collaboration, organisation, lighting designer, lighting engineer, cinematographer, set designer, designer, graphic designer, filmmaker, architect, artist and scientist but the individual or group must include a lighting or projected image professional, as well as a management role to produce the installation.

All involved must be highly experienced. The use of new technologies to save energy is also to be considered by the artists. The co-commissioners are seeking proposals for the conception with a maximum budget of £15,000 Euros (including VAT).

To apply or if you have any questions please send to the WERK Project Manager, Sophia Tarr: by Friday 8th August, 12 noon deadline.

Artists Opportunity with The Art House

The Art House would like to commission an artist to create an original image suitable for Screen Print, that responds to their development of the Drury Lane Library.


Work has started on converting the Grade II listed building into 34 artists' studios and public spaces.

The Art House would like artists to respond to the 'Then and Now' aspects of the development with the potential to use and develop ideas from the photographic archive.

Artists can access archival images here:

The image will be used to engage their audiences with the new developments, as well as experience printmaking through demonstrations at events. The first event will be at The Orangery on 6th August as part of BEAM's 'Our Creative City' (

The image will also be used as a limited edition run of prints for The Art House's fundraising campaign, be used on marketing material and potentially be used on hoardings around the Drury Lane site.

They are happy for the artist to work with them to develop and gain their own experience of the Screen Printing process with support from a Print Studio technician.

The image must be:

  • No more than two colours.
  • 600 dpi resolution (for potential scale up for hoardings).
  •  As well as a design file showing the final artwork, the design must be sent to in a suitable format ready to go directly onto silk screen.
  • Finished Art work must be supplied in a layered PSD file (one layer for each colour) and in black, ready for koda-trace and photo exposure. Please make sure photographic images are converted to suitable half tone.

FEE: A flat fee of £200 for design and £50 for materials will be paid to the artist whose design is chosen.

TO MAKE A SUBMISSION: Visit The Art House's Curator Space page here: 


The final IN Project commission

International artist Chris Sun Kim will be commissioned by Arnolfini in Bristol, as the last of the five commissions.


Speaking of the commission, Christine said "I am grateful and pleased to be commissioned by DASH. It will be a great opportunity for me to get to know another art community." She added "It is also a nice reminder that there are organisations out there, working hard to pave roads for artists with disabilities."

Visit the Projects page of the website for further details of the other four IN commissions.

Deadlines are approaching

Over the course of the next week, two of our application deadlines will be passing - so make sure you don't miss out!


Tu Fewn:

Tu Fewn is an exciting development opportunity for all arts organisations in Wales to commission new high quality work by Disabled visual artists from across the UK and Internationally.

Working in partnership with Disability Arts Cymru we will be working across the whole of Wales from 2014. There are three commissions on offer and the deadline is Friday 28th March!

Shrewsbury Commission for IN Project:

In partnership with DASH, Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery is offering an opportunity for a disabled artist-filmmaker to undertake a commission from April 2014 onwards, to be completed by early February 2015.

This opportunity is open to artist-filmmakers working in the realm of Disability Arts with an aim to support professional development by enabling access to Shropshire Museums and Shropshire Archives collections, curatorial staff and associated professional networks.

More information on both of these opportunities - including the application packs and forms, can be found via the Projects page of the website.