Call for Proposals: The Arthole Artist’s Award 2019/20 – Open Call Closed

Deadline for proposals: 12 noon, Monday 4 March 2019

The Arthole Artist’s Award supports a groundbreaking and inspirational UK-based artist working in Live Art to undertake a self-determined year-long research and artistic development programme that will have a significant and lasting impact on their practice, and on wider contemporary culture in the UK.

This Award is intended to plug a hole in art funding for open-ended research and professional development.

The Arthole Artist’s Award recipient will receive £10,000.

Application deadline 12 noon, March 4 for a programme of activity to take place from April 2019 to March 2020.

The Arthole Artist’s Award will afford the recipient the space, time and resources to research a range of critical, cultural, and practical concepts and ideas in relation to their practice; to engage in dialogues with leading thinkers, researchers and artists; to explore new approaches to knowledge sharing and intergenerational collaborations; and to consider the possibilities of both their legacy and their future potential.

Background to the Award

The Live Art Development Agency’s Arthole Artist’s Award was conceived by the artist Joshua Sofaer in 2016 as an initiative to support individual Patronage of Live Art, and was developed by LADA in collaboration with Gary Carter. More details.

The first Arthole Artist’s Award Patron was Lucio A C Shala and the first Arthole Artist’s Award recipient was Marcia Farquhar who undertook a programme looking at the past and future of her performance practices, its place in history and its archiving as well as attending to some unfinished business. More details.

The Arthole Award provided me with a way to move forward at a critical period in my practice and in my life. It was invaluable in buying me time – time off my patchwork of part time teaching days, and time on the job of thinking towards my own work. It enabled me to develop new projects such as the weekly spontaneous Audio Arthole podcasts, and the written-to-be-read work Pushing 60. I was able to pay for mentoring and create a lasting work to ‘commemorate the future’ – the Onwards sign which is now permanently installed at CGP in Southwark. Park, London. Arthole supported me to come to all sorts of new ways of making space in old patterns, and new ways of listening.” – Marcia Farquhar

The call for proposals for the second Arthole Artist’s Award has been made possible thanks to the generous Patronage of Alex Mahon, Chief Executive of Channel Four.

“I believe – particularly in times of great change, challenge, and revolution – that one of the important functions of art is to open our hearts, eyes and minds. To help us think about who we are, and who we can be. I am a female leader working in the creative industries and I believe passionately in diversity, access and representation both as human rights issues, and as precursors for creative innovation. As a physicist by training, I am sure that innovation does not occur without research.   Onward professional development, and the research which is the foundation of that development is of vital importance not only to individual practitioners, but to society as a whole. Live Art is significant, and so is the kind of funding represented by Arthole, and so it is my great pleasure to support the Arthole Artist’s Award for 2019.” – Alex Mahon


To be eligible for the Arthole Artist’s Award artists must identify as working with/within Live Art.

Applicants must have been based in the UK for a minimum of 10 years, and been practicing for a minimum of 10 years.

Applicants should have developed a substantial body of work that has tested the nature and possibilities of ‘live’ practices, be open to intergenerational dialogues and exploring new approaches and ways of working, and interested in questions of archives and legacies.

Applicants’ capacity to undertake self-determined research, and the timeliness and appropriateness of this Award to their practice will be critical.

Full time students are not eligible for this Award. Anyone studying part time at MA or PhD level may apply, but must clearly demonstrate that they are able to undertake their study at the same time as completing their proposed Arthole programme and that there is no duplication between the two proposed programmes.

Proposal guidelines

We encourage applicants to think in creative, provocative and timely ways that are appropriate to them when developing their proposals.

The Award should allow the recipient to:

  • Have the space, time and resources to research a range of critical, cultural, and practical concepts and ideas in relation to their practice;
  • Engage in dialogues with leading thinkers, researchers and artists;
  • Explore new approaches to knowledge sharing and collaborations with artists across generations, from the emergent to those who have been working for decades; and
  • Consider the possibilities of both their legacy and their future potential.

The Background and context notes, below, might suggest ideas and activities, which could be relevant to your proposal.

It is anticipated that the Award will substantially be allocated towards supporting the professional development of the recipient, alongside some direct engagement and/or collaboration with other artists. The Award is not a project commission or production support.

We particularly welcome proposals from artists of colour, disabled artists, women artists, queer and trans artists, displaced artists and artists working in/with ‘underrepresented’ territories.

Application process

The Arthole Artist’s Award will be selected through an open application process.

Artists who meet the eligibility criteria above should submit an application through an online application process by March 4th and address the following:

Full name, contact details and URL (where applicable).

  • 150 words on the nature of their practice, and selected recent and current projects and activities.
  • 150 word summary of their proposed Arthole programme of artistic and professional development strategies and their anticipated impact.
  • 1,000 word description of the programme they plan to undertake. This should include: how the proposed work relates to the artist’s recent practice and ongoing professional development; the practical and conceptual needs of the proposed programme; and a statement regarding the artistic impetus, aspirations and desired outcomes of their proposal, including how the Award will contribute to the wider Live Art sector.
  • A proposed allocation of the £10,000 Award, across fees and expenses.

Applicants must complete a monitoring questionnaire and applications will not be eligible without it.

The Arthole Artist’s Award recipient will be selected by LADA staff in dialogue with Arthole Patron Alex Mahon and invited experts in the field.

Decisions will be made in relation to:

  • The relevance of the proposal to the overall aims of the scheme.
  • The significance and timeliness of the proposal to the artistic development of the applicant.
  • The uniqueness of the proposal and imaginative approaches to the proposed programme.
  • The viability of the proposal and the ability of the applicant to realise their aspirations within the time and resources available.

A demonstrable need for financial assistance for the programme of work and/or the programme of work being such that it would be unlikely to be funded through other sources.


The deadline for applications is 12 noon Monday 4 March 2019

The recipient of the Arthole Award will be announced by Friday 29 March 2019

The award will run from April 2019 to March 2020

Further context to the Award

The Arthole Artist’s Award builds on the strengths and successes of a number of highly influential artists’ professional development initiatives that LADA has pioneered over the last 20 years, including the self determined approaches of the One to One Bursary Scheme, the participatory and intergenerational methodologies of the annual DIY professional development scheme, and the space that Legacy: Thinker in Residence Awards allowed for artists to consider the impact and potential of their practices:

*One to One: Running from 1999 to 2006, LADA’s One to One Bursary Scheme supported over 50 mature artists in undertaking self-determined artistic and professional development programmes that explored and tested new ways of working and had a demonstrable and lasting influence on their practices.

​*DIY: Running annually since 2002, DIY is LADA’s flagship training programme. Each year, DIY supports at least 20 artists from across the UK, and at all stages of their practice, to conceive and run free, collaborative workshops for other artists based on unusual, challenging, and outlandish ideas and methodologies.

*Legacy: The Legacy: Thinker In Residence Awards (2008-13) was a landmark collaboration between LADA and Tate Research, celebrating influential artists whose work has tested the possibilities of live practices and its legacies. Legacy recipients Anne Bean and Tim Etchells both viewed archiving as a creative process, a re-imagining of documents and words, with Anne creating the collaborative film project TAPS: Improvisations with Paul Burwell, and Tim producing the artist book While You Are With Us Here Tonight.


LADA is a Centre for Live Art: a knowledge and research centre, a production centre for programmes and publications, and an online centre for digital experimentation, representation and dissemination.

LADA supports everyone who makes, watches, researches, studies, teaches, produces, presents and writes about Live Art in the UK and internationally.

Through a portfolio of Projects, Opportunities, Resources and Publishing, we create new artistic frameworks, legitimise unclassifiable art forms, and give agency to underrepresented artists. Our work sets artists and ideas in motion, serves as a research lab for mass culture, and contributes to mainstream culture in the long-term in ways which can’t be foreseen.

Banner image credit:

Photo: The Arthole Cockle Medal for Live Art Philanthropy, by Joshua Sofaer

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