Frequently asked DIY questions

What sort of project can I propose for DIY?

We are seeking proposals from artists for adventurous and possibly outlandish projects that respond to the issues impacting on artists' practices. The development of a Live Art practice is as much about the exploration of ideas and experiences as training in skills and techniques -- we are therefore not seeking proposals for training programmes or masterclasses in any conventional sense but for projects that explore interesting ideas through interesting methodologies. The artist(s) running the DIY should gain as much from the experience as the participants!

The projects may take any form. Previous projects, for example, covered practical and conceptual issues and took in unexpected train journeys; rural retreats, makeup masterclasses; skills swap shops; lap dancing lessons, immersive Elvis Presley tribute weekends; urban audio recording/listening; professional wrestling intensives; GPS lessons; psychological experiments; medical consultations; bouldering; sleep denial; chance; plagiarism; archiving; the weather; criticism; feminism; participation; ageing; documentation; wage; and much more.

Please see the documentation from previous year's DIY projects for more information. As part of all DIY proposals we expect you to identify the kinds of artists who will participate and how you will select them. We want to know how your project will contribute to the artistic and/or professional development of the participants as well as your own practice.

How much are the DIY awards and how many projects will be supported?
We expect to support around 25 projects with awards of £1,500 each (inclusive of all taxes and expenses). The award is expected to cover all artists' fees and direct costs for running the project.

Who can propose DIY projects?
We accept applications from individual artists or groups of artists. If applying as a group you must identify one artist as the lead/contact artist (any award will be paid to the lead/contact artist). We welcome applications from artists who have previously applied, run or participated in DIY projects. Applications can be made from artists based outside the UK. However, all your expenses would need to be covered by the award and we are reluctant to support applications that spend a large percentage of the budget on lead artist travel.

When would my DIY project have to take place?
Your DIY project must take place between June and November 2017. The length of your project should be proposed by you. There is no set minimum or maximum duration. Your project can last anytime from one day to a few months. If your project is more than a couple of days we suggest running it later on in the year to give participants as much notice as possible. You should also be available to attend the DIY Picnic – an afternoon of presentations, discussion and feedback with other DIY project leaders, participants and invited guests. This will take place on Saturday 2 December 2017 in London.

Where could my DIY project take place?
Projects can take place anywhere you want, however we will be looking for some projects to happen in the areas where the various partner organisations are based.

Projects could therefore be developed with particular DIY partner organisations in mind; for example, in addition to the specific briefs listed above, many of the other partners would like projects local to them. Depending on the location you require (a rehearsal studio? a house? a forest?) it would be good to think about which partner organisations might have access to the kind of space you need. Please assess the opportunities and challenges of locating your project in your home town/city, or whether the project might take place elsewhere in the UK. Tell us about this in your proposal. We understand that some projects will have no flexibility in terms of location (eg. certain site-specific explorations) but other projects might be able to happen in any location.

Do we report back on our DIY experiences?
DIY project leaders are required to submit documentation of their experience. This involves a series of short, open questions, accompanied by 10 images, but it can also include video, drawings, performance relics, participant feedback and more. We will distribute more information regarding the report after 2017's projects have been selected.

Can you help develop my proposal?
DIY encourages artists to self determine and run their own projects. However, we are happy to discuss your proposal with you as you develop your ideas. Project proposals can also be developed in collaboration with the DIY partner organisations in those regions – in some cases, this may include being housed at a partner venue or in a space they can provide. Please contact one of the DIY partner organisations (details below) if you would like to discuss a project idea in advance of submitting a proposal – please only contact an organisation if they could be a potential collaborator on your project. We are sorry we cannot meet in person to discuss proposals.

How do I apply?
Please apply using our online application form here.

Do the participants pay to attend?
Ideally DIY projects will be free to participants but the nature of some projects may necessitate small financial contributions from participants towards their expenses, such as travelling to the location of the DIY. We encourage lead artists to build participants' expenses into their budget wherever possible.

What is the Lead Artist fee?
We expect the artist(s) organising the project to be paid a fee for the time they contribute to the project. Other budget items may include transport, materials, tickets for events, space hire, guest speakers' fees, etc. The fee and expenses should be covered by the £1,500 DIY award (or £4,000 DIY+ award).

Supporting Material
Supporting material is not required, however you can send weblinks and a CV to support your proposal via the application form. You must also complete the monitoring questions. Your application will not be eligible without the completed monitoring questions.

Who will make the decision about which projects are funded and how will they decide?
Selections will be made by representatives of the DIY partner organisations.

The criteria for selection includes:
• The relevance of the proposal to the aims of the DIY initiative.
• If appropriate, the relevance of the proposal to one of the specific project opportunities.
• The relevance of the proposal to Live Art practice and artists.
• The extent to which the proposal shows clear artistic direction and vision.
• The degree to which the proposal will contribute to the professional development of artists and regions. This will include the viability of locating projects in certain regions.
• The viability of the proposal.
• The ability of the applicant to achieve the stated aims of their proposal.

It is our intention to support a range of forms of projects which together represent a coherent national programme. The final decision on which projects to fund will therefore by informed by this and a project may be prioritised over another because of the alternative vision for professional development that it offers. All decisions will be notified by email. Complaints and appeals in relation to DIY applications are undertaken under the Complaints and Appeals Procedure of the Live Art Development Agency.

What happens if my proposal is selected?
After the selection process, successful applicants will be invited to discuss their projects and plans with the Live Art Development Agency and/or relevant regional DIY partners to develop the shape and location of the projects, who they will be aimed at, how best to market them and recruit identified participants, and strategies for monitoring and evaluation. Successful applicants will be notified in April, and will have one week to write the public Call for Participants for their projects. We generally pay around 80% of the award up front, with the remainder following completion of the project and submission of documentation materials.

DIY projects will then be publicised through the partners' extensive e-lists networks and websites and all partners will disseminate information including details of individual projects, dates, costs and application or registration procedures through their regional contacts.

For more advice 

For general DIY advice, please email Megan Vaughan at the Live Art Development Agency. Contact details for specific organisational briefs are listed on the Call for Proposals.

Part of DIY 14: 2017 - Call for Proposals