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DIY: 2014 – Call for proposals

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

More info about DIY.

More info about DIY 11: 2014.

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.

Deadline for proposals to run DIY 11 2014 projects: Noon Tuesday April 29th, 2014.

These guidelines are available in large print on request
Exhausting, Exhilarating & Affirming.
Participant in Kira O’Reilly’s Combative Manifestos, DIY 10: 2013
We continue to see and support and receive support from, the participants from Morecambe, three of whom joined us again in Wales, and the participants themselves have formed a network of support for each other. This closeness, won in an environment of personal risk and honesty in extremely exposing situations, seems to last beyond the DIY situation and continues to do so with Probing Elvis.
Nigel Barrett & Louise Mari, lead artists, Probing Elvis (Wales, DIY 10: 2013) and ‘When I was a little girl…’ (Morecambe, DIY 9: 2012)
I firmly believe that each participant got something valuable from the experience and made a ‘shift’ of some sort, whether this be personal, emotional, performative, artistic…
Ursula Martinez, lead artist, Don’t Wait Tables, DIY 10: 2013
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 11 is a Live Art Development Agency (LADA) initiative developed in collaboration with the following national partners:

Abandon Normal Devices (North West)
The Arches and BUZZCUT (Glasgow)​
Artsadmin (national)
Arts Pavillion Bournemouth
Bury Art Museum/Bury Sculpture Centre
Cambridge Junction 
Chelsea Theatre (London)
Colchester Arts Centre 
Compass Live Art (Yorkshire)
Contact Manchester
Create Ireland
Duckie (London)
Folkestone Fringe
Forest Fringe (Scotland)
hÅb (Manchester)
KARST (Plymouth)
Live at LICA (North West)
National Theatre Studio (London)
National Theatre Wales 
Norwich Arts Centre 
Platform (national)
Sound and Music (national)
STUN (Manchester)
Yorkshire Sculpture Park 


Following unprecedented enthusiasm from partners and participants, 2014 will, yet again, be the largest DIY to date. We plan to support a minimum of 23 DIY projects all across the country that will take place between July and November 2014. 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 again 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), Live at LICA, Norwich Arts Centre, Chelsea Theatre, Colchester Arts Centre. This year, ten 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

LADA 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.

This project is supported by the Live Art Development Agency. For further information please contact Aaron Wright.

2. Live Art and Sound and Music

Sound and Music want to support a DIY 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.  This DIY projects could take place anywhere in the UK. This project is supported by Sound and Music.

This project is supported by Sound and Music. For further information please contact Richard 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. Previous YSP DIY projects have been led by Eloise Fornieles and Daniel Belasco Rogers. In 2013 we hosted Carl An(t)dre by Jordan McKenzie and in 2012, we hosted the performance MAKE by artist Florence Peake, both were 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 please contact Damon Waldock. Please note that YSP in unable to offer overnight stays or camping within the grounds.

4. Live Art and National Theatre Studio

The National Theatre Studio provides an environment in which performance makers of all kinds can explore, experiment and devise new work, free from the pressure of public performance. When appropriate, a part of the Studio’s support of this developmental process involves artists accessing a range of costumes, props and period furniture from past NT productions, and the provision of workshop spaces equipped with lighting rigs, sound equipment, video projectors and sundry other technical resources. The Studio encourages DIY proposals which take advantage of any or all of these resources and, if useful, of the expertise of the building’s technical department. This DIY project will take place in one of the three workshop spaces at the National Theatre Studio in Waterloo, London, the space chosen in discussion with NT Studio staff. The project is supported by the National Theatre Studio.

Applicants should contact Matthew Poxon at National Theatre Studio for more comprehensive details of the resources which can be made available to the project.

5. 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 the venue 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.

This project is supported by National Theatre Wales . For more information please contact Simon Coates, or visit

6. Live Art and the cultural mix

hÅb and STUN invite proposals for projects that explore the potential to enrich Live Art through a multiplicity of cultural influences. As a magpie form, how can Live Art reflect the cultural make-up of our society and shape its own development?   What might Live Art learn from Carnival Mas, from African storytelling, or from Kathakali? The project should take place in Manchester and can have access to the STUN Studio at Z-arts in Hulme as a base if needed.  As part of our aim of increasing understanding of Live Art amongst a diversity of local artists, we would welcome projects open to informal sharing.

hÅb is a production and development organisation specialising in Live Art and Contemporary Performance, presenter of the Word of Warning programme. STUN (Sustained Theatre Up North) is a membership organisation, part of a national movement dedicated to the growth and prosperity of BAME creatives. For more information please contact Tamsin Drury.

7. Live Art and KARST

Located within an area of regeneration on Plymouth’s waterfront, KARST is the city’s major artist-led contemporary arts venue that focuses on the exposure of international contemporary art. Housed in a previously derelict industrial building which has since undergone extensive renovations, KARST operates through an approach that intentionally remains sensitive and responsive to the history, structure, design, and texture of its premises. KARST is looking to support a DIY project that responds to the specific physical and/or conceptual contexts of KARST’s work  – the  project may make enquiries into the creation of a new manifesto for Live Art Performance, or it may wish to engage with the site-specificity of KARST; both of which could address issues of community engagement and outreach within the KARST vicinity. We particularly encourage proposals that invite critical engagement into these processes.

This project is supported by KARST. For further information please contact Helen Williams.

8. Live Art and Bury Art Museum/Bury Sculpture Centre

The Bury Sculpture Centre is a new international venue alongside the Bury Art Museum. These partners encourage DIY proposals which explore performance that investigate the relations between cultural locations and international networks. The DIY project might also address ideas of risk and experiment in public spaces.

This project is supported by Bury Art Museum/Bury Sculpture Centre. For further information please contact Tony Trehy

9. Live Art and Platform: Let Go Of The Shore*

Platform’s youth project ‘Shake! Young Voices in Arts, Media, Race & Power’ seeks proposals on live art, intergenerationality and race. You are invited to devise a project that brings together artists committed to thinking and making work against racism, and who want to learn, experience and create across and between the generations. The proposals should take into consideration the age range from 16 years to venerable old age.

This project is supported by Platform. For further information please contact Farzana Khan.

[*from a poem by The Elders Oraibi]

10. Live Art and Collaboration

For the first time DIY will support a project to happen in Ireland, in partnership with Create. Whilst artists of any nationality are welcome to apply to run a DIY anywhere, we specifically welcome proposals conceived to happen in Ireland and that would benefit from Create’s expertise. The DIY fee is inclusive of all travel and expenses and can be paid in Sterling (£1000) or Euros (€1190 tbc). DIY proposals in this instance are designed to contribute to contemporary collaborative art practice  by expanding ideas of collaboration and community.

This project is supported by Create Ireland. For more information please contact Patrick Fox

11. Live Art and The Arches/BUZZCUT: Hotel Obscura

The Arches and BUZZCUT are collaborating as part of an EU commissioned project called Hotel Obscura. This will take place over 2014 and 2015, with workshops and laboratories in the first year, and a site specific performance event with local and international artists taking place in a hotel in the second year. They would like to invite an artist to lead an innovative DIY project in Glasgow responding to the themes of Hotel Obscura. The chosen artist may then be invited to work with the Arches and BUZZCUT in the development of the final Hotel Obscura event taking place in Glasgow in Autumn 2015. Hotel Obscura seeks to tell stories about the seeming collapse of distance and the intimate/personal effects of globalization. We live in an era where everything is just a taxi ride, airport and hotel away from our current location. Hotel Obscura asks, what might intimate, immersive and site-specific performance have to say about this collapse? What can they tell us about the changes brought on by technologies that seemingly allow us to defy distance and time. We welcome some of the following core themes being addressed in your DIY proposal: distance & proximity, time & timelessness, absence & presence, tourism & migration, colonial & diasporic patterns, contemporary notions of nomadism and identity building via cultural immersion and exchange.

This project is supported by //BUZZCUT// and The Arches. For further information and questions contact Rosana Cade.

12. Live Art and Performativity Online

“Abandon Normal Devices” is a creative “call to arms” – a catalyst for artists, audience and partners to feel inspired and empowered to take risks. AND abandons traditional settings, collaborations and sites to actively re-define new models of art-making, creating a space where artists and audiences can reflect on the impact of new technologies, to propose a significant shift in the way that digital art projects, events and festivals are experienced. This year is no exception as the AND programme takes a departure from physical spaces to explore the online and digital domain, with a programme of new interactive commissions and events broadcast online over 2 days in autumn 2014. For this year’s DIY, AND welcomes proposals responding to the thematic “Internet Killed the Performance Star” that reflect the impact of digital technologies and online communities on how Live Art is created, experienced and shared. AND would like the selected DIY activity (workshop or outcomes) to take place during the online programme in the autumn (dates tbc) and is open to proposals from artists working online, remotely and outside the UK.

This project is supported by Abandon Normal Devices. For further information please contact Ruth McCullough.


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; Body combat intensives, lap dancing lessons, live and wireless video; a 1,000 mile bike ride; considerations of risk in performance; immersive Elvis Presley themed weekends, 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 2014. 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, participants and invited guests This is currently pencilled in for Saturday December 6th 2014 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 – 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 2014’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)
Carol Maund at Arts Pavillion Bournemouth
Tony Trehy at Bury Art Museum/Bury Sculpture Centre
Daniel Pitt at Cambridge Junction (East)
Francis Alexander at Chelsea Theatre (London)
Anthony Roberts at Colchester Arts Centre (East)
Annie Lloyd at Compass Live Art (Yorkshire)
Matt Fention at Contact Manchester
Patrick Fox at Create Ireland
Dicky Eton at Duckie (London)
Diane Dever at Folkestone Fringe
Andy Field at Forest Fringe (Scotland)
Tamsin Drury at hÅb (Manchester)
Helen Williams at KARST (Plymouth)
Alice Booth Live at LICA (North West)
Matthew Poxon at National Theatre Studio
Simon Coates at National Theatre Wales (Wales)
Pasco Kevlin at Norwich Arts Centre (East)
Farzana Khan at Platform (national)
Richard Whitelaw at Sound and Music (national)
Damon Waldock at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Yorkshire)
Rosana Cade at BUZZCUT (Glasgow)

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?

Please apply using our online application form. Apply Here.

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.

Submit your application using the online application form. 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. Successful applicants will be notified in May, and will have one week to write the call for participants for their projects.

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.

Part of DIY: 2014

Unusual professional development projects conceived and run BY artists FOR artists

DIY: 2014


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