DIY: 2013 – Call for proposals

Our Call for Proposals to lead a project has now closed.

More info about DIY.

More info about DIY 10: 2013.

Professional development projects BY artists FOR artists

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

To mark the tenth anniversary of DIY, 2013 will be a bumper year with 20 projects supported across the UK.




Deadline for proposals to run DIY 10 projects: Noon Monday April 8th, 2013.

These guidelines are available in large print on request
Download a PDF version of this Call for Proposals.
Download a version of the Monitoring Form.
Information on DIY projects in past years.

DIY is an opportunity for artists working in Live Art to conceive and run unusual training and professional development projects for other artists. DIY understands that the development of a Live Art practice is as much about the exploration of ideas and experiences as training in skills and techniques, and past DIY projects have proved to be invaluable experiences for project leaders, participants and organisers alike. 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. If you think you can initiate and run a DIY professional development project then read the guidelines below and send us a proposal.

DIY 10 is a Live Art Development Agency initiative developed in collaboration with the following partners:

Abandon Normal Devices (North West)
Artsadmin (national)
Buzzcut with Imaginate (Scotland)
Cambridge Junction (East)
Chapter Arts Centre (Wales)
Chelsea Theatre (London)
Colchester Arts Centre (East)
Compass Live Art (Yorkshire)
Duckie (London)
Fierce Festival (West Midlands)
Forest Fringe (Scotland)
In Between Time (South West)
Live at LICA (North West)
National Theatre Wales (Wales)
Norwich Arts Centre (East)
Platform (national)
The Showroom, University of Chichester (South East)
Sound and Music (national)
Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Yorkshire)
The Works Performing Arts Cornwall with University College Falmouth (South West)

This is the tenth year of DIY, and, following unprecedented enthusiasm from partners and participants, will be the largest to date. We plan to support twenty DIY projects all across the country that will take place between July and November 2013. Each project will receive £1,000 support.

DIY projects may take any form, can be based anywhere, and can be loosely or rigorously focused on a specific theme/content. We particularly welcome proposals from artists from culturally diverse backgrounds and disabled artists, and artists working in other “politicized” territories.

Although DIY projects can take place anywhere and be about anything, this year we will also be looking for some projects to happen in the areas where the various partner organisations are based, and inviting projects that respond to a number of specific themes.

Some partners would like projects to happen local to them and/or in specific programming contexts, so please do think about projects you might like to develop with these particular DIY partner organisations in mind: Forest Fringe (at the Edinburgh Festival), In Between Time, Chapter Arts Centre (as part of Experimentica13), Live at LICA, Fierce Festival (around their 2013 festival), Norwich Arts Centre, The Showroom, University of Chichester, Chelsea Theatre, Colchester Arts Centre, The Works: Dance and Theatre Cornwall & University College Falmouth. Artsadmin are open to any proposal that could happen anywhere.

This year, nine DIY partners have also written specific briefs for artists to respond to, which cover an exciting and diverse range of themes:

1. Live Art and feminism

The Live Art Development Agency particularly encourages DIY proposals addressing feminist discourses, practices or histories in relation to Live Art. The Live Art and Feminism DIY will complement the Agency’s Restock, Rethink, Reflect initiative, which maps and marks the work of artists who are engaging with issues of identity politics in innovative and radical ways. Following RRR projects on Race (2006-08) and Disability (2009-11), RRR3 (2012-14) will consider the impact of feminist artists and practices on cultural discourses and representations of gender. We encourage proposals which respond to notions of feminism in outlandish and hopefully provocative ways. This DIY project could take place anywhere in the UK.

For further information and questions, contact Aaron Wright.

2. Live Art and Sound and Music

Sound and Music will support two separate DIY projects which will focus on questions of sound, or music, or listening in relation to Live Art. We welcome broad and imaginative interpretations of these themes and also encourage applicants to explore innovative approaches to audiences’ experiences of sound-based work. Sound and Music’s vision is to create a world where new music and sound prospers, transforming lives, challenging expectations and celebrating the work of its creators. One DIY project will focus on artist development, and one on innovative approaches to audience development. These DIY projects could take place anywhere in the UK.

This project is supported by Sound and Music. For further information and questions, contactRichard Whitelaw.

3. Live Art and Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Set in the 500-acre Bretton estate, Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) is an international centre for the creation, display and appreciation of modern and contemporary sculpture, pursuing a curatorial policy of balance, between established and young artists; object and experience, gallery and open air. One of the founding principles of YSP is to enable access to work by international artists and to a landscape that had been in private ownership for centuries. Past hosted DIY projects have been led by Eloise Fornieles and Daniel Belasco Rogers, and in 2012, we hosted the performance MAKE by artist Florence Peake, a result of the 2010 DIY project led by Joshua Sofaer. In January 2013, Hester Reeve, another 2010 DIY project participant, began a two-year residency at YSP. YSP is keen to enable another DIY project that responds in some way to the Park, whether that is its art, history, heritage, landscape, nature or people, and welcomes the possibility of public engagement as part of the project or concluding in a public event.

This project is supported by Yorkshire Sculpture Park. For further information and questions, contact Damon Waldock. Please note that YSP in unable to offer overnight stays or camping within the grounds.

4. Live Art and National Theatre Wales (WalesLab)

National Theatre Wales uses the nation of Wales as its stage and encourages DIY proposals which explore performance beyond an urban context. The DIY project should be rooted in the landscape and make-up of Wales, and provide opportunity for artists and participants to explore their practice in new contexts. This DIY project is supported by WalesLab, National Theatre Wales’ artist development initiative, and will take place in Wales.

For more information, please contact Matt Ball, or visit

5. Oblique Strategies (Over One Hundred Worthwhile Dilemmas)

Abandon Normal Devices (AND) is a call to arms! A festival that questions the norm and champions a different approach. A catalyst for production and experimentation. AND exists to create a space where artists and filmmakers can offer striking new perspectives, and visitors can enjoy, discuss and interact with ideas. This year AND celebrates it’s 5th year with a series of events in Liverpool from 4-6th October 2013. As the festival leaves its cultural olympiad journey behind and looks to the future we will be reflecting on the origins of it’s title and core programme ethos, which was inspired by the Oblique Strategies card, Abandon Normal Instruments. The Oblique Strategies is a deck of 7×9 cm printed cards in a black container box, created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt, first published in 1975 each card offers an aphorism intended to help artists break creative blocks by encouraging lateral thinking. For this years DIY AND challenges those with creative blocks to look to the abandon their normal devices in relation to live art at it’s intersection with technology.

This project is supported by Abandon Normal Devices. For further information and questions, contact Ruth McCullough.

6. Live Art and In Between Time: Water Proof

Up To Nature is a project initiated by In Between Time and Brut Wien in 2010 to produce unplugged live art work in natural or overtly unnatural locations across Europe. In 2013, as part of Up To Nature, IBT will begin a new programme of work around the theme of WATER. Water as vapour, cloud, sweat, sea, river, ice. 71% of the earth is covered by water. The human body is 75% water. Humans cannot survive for more than three days without water or longer than 5 minutes under water. Millions of people are currently endangered by flooding and drought. Climate change is expected to increase these global incidents of extreme dry and extreme wet. Bristol, where IBT is based, is a city built on, surrounded and encroached by water. It’s history is one of settlement, global trade and human exploitation. In Between Time are seeking to commission a DIY project that will focus on these themes and explore the ideas and implications of making new live art work in Bristol in the public realm.

This project is supported by In Between Time. For further information and questions, contact Lynn Goh.

7. Live Art, performance as protest and the online element

Platform invites proposals that look at performance and protest via the internet. Many artists make work with an online element. Protest art often takes place via the internet. What approaches might artists want to explore for this kind of work? What questions does this raise for artists and groups making art interventions around where they situate their work, how they reach new audiences, the potential of the web to add a new layer to their performances, and the impact taking place online has on the work? We’re open to proposals from artists, activists, social media geeks, video editors…anyone who wants to propose a project that looks at live art and protest with an online element. Proposal-makers might want to refer to the live streaming of Marina
Abramovic’s The Artists is Present
Tate Live/The Performance RoomLiberate Tate and Link Up
 – whose films were online usually within two hours of Liberate Tate’s performances, and
the live streaming of protest events e.g. Occupy Wall Street.

This project is supported by Platform. For further information and questions, contact Mel Evans.

8. Live Art and young people

Cambridge Junction encourages DIY proposals which enable artists to explore and experiment with performance for young people.  Cambridge Junction – like many arts centres around the country – runs a regular family programme across theatre, music and dance and balances artistic objectives, presentation practicalities and legalities, and economic imperatives.  The Live Art and Young People DIY should be rooted in the principles of questioning, experimentation and risk inherent in Live Art whilst offering artists the opportunity to extend their practice in relation to audiences/participants of young people and/or families.  Cambridge Junction can offer rehearsal/workshop space.

This project is supported by Cambridge Junction. For further information and questions contactDaniel Pitt.

//BUZZCUT// and Imaginate would like to invite proposals from artists who have inquiries into making live art for young(er) people. How can live art be more accessible to people who have not experienced it before? If there is no such thing as a ‘live art audience’ then how can your work develop and challenge itself to welcome new audiences? We’re particularly interested in radical new processes which seek to experiment with the way young people experience live performance. This is also an opportunity for experimenting with what work for young people can deal with, speak of and express. By working with participants who are also practicing artists, the workshop can be a space to dissect the politics and intricacies of making live art for young people.

This project is supported by //BUZZCUT// and Imaginate. For further information and questions contact Nick and Rosana.

9. Live Art and Cornwall

Proposals are invited for a DIY project which is place, site and/or context responsive, and which will be delivered in Cornwall. The county has a rich history and cultural heritage, very particular geographical features, and socio-economic and demographic challenges. It is predominantly rural, and inhabited by isolated communities. Many performance practitioners living and practicing in the peninsula (as well as nationally and internationally) work with narrative and text, and within a variety of live art forms. We are looking for a project which can both support and challenge these practices. We would particularly welcome projects which take place in unconventional sites and spaces (eg. outside spaces, heritage and National Trust sites, industrial sites both working and derelict, domestic sites) and open up dialogue around the culture, heritage, landscape, nature, values, history or people of Cornwall. If required, The Works Dance and Theatre Cornwall can offer logistical support, guidance, advice and information to enable the project to be delivered.

This project is supported by The Works Performing Arts Cornwall. For further information and questions contact Saffy Setohy.


DIY – more information

I’ve learnt more in these three days than in the past six months. 
Casper Below, DIY 2 participant

As a way of creatively engaging with others this was very different from anything I have experienced before. 
Sarah Bell, DIY 4 participant

The value of DIY is in the opportunity it presents for both leaders and participants to explore and experiment together. 
Tim Jeeves, Lead Artist DIY6

As well as a truly inspiring experience I was really impressed in terms of professional development. It really is rare to feel such support, motivation and momentum at such a personal, internal level. Generally I find professional development to be a buzz word or a tangent to where one should really be focusing but this was real, fulfilling and life changing for the good. 
James Steventon, DIY 7 participant

I sincerely enjoyed the experience of the workshop, the energy and spirit of it. We all mentioned the unusual sense of closeness that came on a such short period of time. This was probably fed by our disposition to exchange and our desire to share thoughts.
Cyril Lepetit, DIY 8 participant

A life-changing weekend in Morecambe.
Amelia Gildea, DIY 9 participant

Aside from being satiated by the whole experience from start to finish I think the few days we spent together will have a real impact on my practice – I’m not sure how yet – but feel certain I learnt something profound and deep. About myself, about others, about making.
Shelia Ghelani, DIY 9 participant

I think it was a very healthy, rewarding week, making a little expenditure go a very long way in terms of both new artistic experiences for the group and some quite challenging, one-on-one, back-to-basics conversations about what they are doing, and, most importantly, who they are doing it for.
Neil Bartlett, Lead Artist, DIY 9


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 are grounded in an awareness of the issues impacting on artists’ practices and are aimed at enhancing the range of approaches available to practitioners. 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 in any conventional sense but more illustrations and illuminations of how to approach and address ideas. Ideally the artists running the DIY will 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 city centre adventures; unexpected train journeys; a 24 hour immersive experience; rural retreats about art and activism; workshops about gut feelings and autobiologies; new approaches to artistic research, networking, collaboration and documentation; makeup masterclasses; treasure hunts; skills swap shops; live and wireless video; a 1,000 mile bike ride; considerations of risk in performance; football leagues; dialogues around self and performance; urban audio recording/listening; hypothetical proposal development; personalising understandings of success; making the most of day jobs; unblocking and reinvigorating the creative spirit; camping trips; walking journeys; joke writing; coastal explorations in Cornwall and pub lockins in Morecambe; professional wrestling intensives; GPS lessons, tweeting, psychological experiments, medical consultations, bouldering and sleep denial! Please review the reports on the 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 will want to know how your project will contribute to the professional development of the participants.

How much are the DIY awards and how many projects will be supported?
We expect to support twenty projects with awards of £1,000 each. The award is expected to cover all artists’ fees and expenses for the project.

Who can propose DIY projects?
We will 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.

When would my DIY project have to take place?
Your DIY project must take place sometime between 1 July and 30 November 2013. The length of your project should be proposed by you. There is no set minimum or maximum duration and projects can last anytime from one day to two 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 and participants. This is currently pencilled in for Saturday December 7th 2013 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, Abandon Normal Devices, Forest Fringe, Live at LICA, Norwich Arts Centre, The Showroom Chichester University, Chelsea Theatre, Colchester Arts Centre, The Works: Dance and Theatre Cornwall & Falmouth University and Fierce Festival would all like projects to happen 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 – please think about this in your application.

Do we report back on our DIY experiences?
DIY project leaders are required to compile a report about their experience. This can take any form you wish and may include text, images, video, participant feedback and more. We will distribute more information regarding the report after 2013’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 organizations if you would like to discuss a project idea in advance of submitting a proposal – please only contact an organization if they could be a potential collaborator on your project. We are sorry that we cannot meet in person to discuss proposals.

For advice, please email:
Aaron Wright at the Live Art Development Agency (national).

If your query relates to a specific project or partner please use the respective email from the list below.
Manick Govinda at Artsadmin (national)
Alice Booth at Live at LICA (North West)
Damon Waldock at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Yorkshire)
Ruth McCullough at Abandon Normal Devices (North West)
Daniel Pitt at Cambridge Junction (East)
Francis Alexander at Chelsea Theatre (London)
Anthony Roberts at Colchester Arts Centre (East)
Annie Lloyd at Compass (Yorkshire)
Dicky Eton at Duckie (London)
Laura McDermott at Fierce Festival (West Midlands)
Andy Field at Forest Fringe (Scotland)
Lynn Goh at In Between Time (South West)
Pasco Kevlin at Norwich Arts Centre (East)
Mel Evans at Platform (national)
Brian Lobel at The Showroom, Chichester University (South East)
Richard Whitelaw at Sound and Music (national)
Matt Ball at National Theatre Wales (Wales)
Saffy Setohy for The Works Performing Arts Cornwall and University College Falmouth (South West)
Hannah Firth at Chapter Arts Centre (Wales)
Nick and Rosana at //BUZZCUT// (Scotland)

Whilst happy to help and advise, organisations often remain hands off from the DIY process after selections have been made, to give artists as much freedom as possible.

How do I apply?
To apply, please prepare a proposal that is 1-2 sides of A4.

Your proposal should include:
• The name and full contact details of the lead artist/applicant.
• Details of the location or region your proposed project can take place in and why. If there is flexibility around your preferred location, please say so.
• A description of your proposed project.
• If you are responding to one of the specific project opportunities noted above, please note that in your proposal – for example, “This proposal responds to the Call for Live Art and feminism”
• The project’s artistic rationale and proposed methodology.
• An indication of who the proposed participants might be, including areas of practices, levels of experience, etc.
• An indication of the imagined outcomes and benefits for participants and yourself.
• An indication of the number of participants.
• Details of how you will select participants.
• A simple schedule of activity which outlines what you will do and when you will do it.
• A simple budget which shows how you will spend the grant.
• A short biography (250 words) of the organiser(s) including your experience or interest in leading similar initiatives.

To make sure that we are offering the best possible projects around the country, we sometimes ask artists to run a DIY project in a region other than the one they have conceived their project for. Please indicate if you are happy for your project to take place in a region other than the one you have nominated.

Ideally, DIY projects will be free to participants but the nature of some projects may necessitate small financial contributions from participants towards their expenses. If participants are being asked to contribute for taking part in the project, you should indicate how much this will be and show this earned income in your project budget. You should also explain why these extra funds are needed.

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, tickets for events, space hire, speakers’ fees, etc. The fee and expenses should be covered by the £1,000 DIY award.

In exceptional circumstances, we may be able to award more than £1,000. If your proposed project requires this, please make a compelling case for a larger level of support in your application. However, we know that £1,000 is often enough for many exceptional projects to happen, and expect that most, if not all, projects will receive awards at that level.

It is not essential to supply supporting material. However, if you feel that supporting material will help us understand more about you and your proposal then we welcome it. Supporting material might include full CV’s, and copies of reports, press clippings, and documentation of previous performances/events. Details of web sites are also welcomed as supporting material. Supporting material should be sent electronically. You must also complete the monitoring questions. Your application will not be eligible without the completed monitoring questions. The monitoring form is available to download here.

Applications, clearly marked DIY 10 in the subject line, should be emailed to [email protected]as a Word attachment or a PDF. We will only accept digital applications. We will not accept applications by post or fax. We will only consider applications received by the deadline.

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 organizations listed above.

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 noted above.
• 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 through DIY 10 which together form 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. From these initial discussions a payment schedule and conditions of the award will be agreed.

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

The DIY partners and Arts Council England place a strong emphasis on equality of opportunity and access. In order to help us monitor this commitment, please complete the following questions. You must return these questions on a separate page with your application, which will not be eligible without it. The questionnaire asks for statistical information only. We will not use the information you provide here in assessment and will detach it from your application.

We have designed the questions on this form to help us analyse applications to the DIY initiative. You should choose the answers which best describe you.

A version of this form can be downloaded (see the link above) and returned with your submission as an attachment.

Cultural diversity
Please state what you consider to be or how you chose to define your ethnic origin (for example, Asian, British Asian, White European, Black Caribbean, British Chinese, etc)


The Disability Discrimination Act defines disability as a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
Do you consider yourself to be a disabled person?


To which age group do you belong?
Below 20
20 – 29
30 – 39
40 – 49
50 – 59
Above 60

How do you describe your gender?


Part of DIY: 2013

Unusual professional development projects conceived and run BY artists FOR artists

DIY: 2013


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