DIY: 2008 – Call for Proposals

Professional development projects BY artists FOR artists across England

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

More info about DIY.

More info about DIY 5: 2008.

Deadline for proposals: 30 May 2008


DIY 5:2008 is now complete. This page is retained as an archive. Read the report.

Download a PDF version of the guidelines here.

Download a version of the monitoring form here.

DIY 5 is an opportunity for artists working in Live Art to conceive and run professional development projects for other artists.

DIY 5 builds on the strengths of previous DIY schemes which have proved to be invaluable and rewarding experiences for project leaders, participants and organisers alike.  Reports on previous DIY schemes can be found here.

DIY 5 is a Live Art Development Agency initiative being developed in collaboration with Artsadmin, Colchester Arts Centre (East England), Fierce Earth (North East), Nuffield Theatre & LANWest (North West), Arnolfini & Theatre Bristol (South West), and New Work Network & China Plate (West Midlands).

We are planning to support ten DIY 5 projects across England that will take place in August and September 2008. Five of these projects will be based in, and/or stimulate and benefit artists, from the East England, North East, North West, South West, and West Midlands. The rest can take place anywhere in England.

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 5 professional development project then read the guidelines below or download them as a PDF here.

I believe ‘DIY for artists’ is a really productive form of training, as it is so specifically tailored to what I need.  I’ve been on many training courses before but none that felt so relevant to me.  To carry on the tailoring analogy – it’s the difference between a bespoke suit and an off the peg outfit!!  (Clare Thornton, DIY 1 participant)

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

The workshops have refreshed my outlook and contexts for making and performing artwork (Jenny Edbrooke, DIY 3 participant)

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


What sort of project can I propose for DIY 5?

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 not so much about skills and techniques (although these are of course inherent in the work) but about ideas and possibilities.  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.

The projects may take any form.  Previous projects, for example, covered practical and conceptual issues and took in city centre adventures; rural retreats about art and activism; new approaches to networking, collaboration and documentation; considerations of costume in performance; process based experimentation on the impact of time in art; debates; skills swap shops; live and wireless video; considerations of risk in performance; dialogues around self and performance; personalising understandings of success; unblocking and reinvigorating the creative spirit; camping trips; walking journeys; joke writing; and intimacy in performance.

As part of your proposal 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.


When would my DIY 5 project have to take place?

Your DIY 5 project must take place between 1 August and 30 September 2008.


Where could my DIY 5 project take place?

Your project can take place anywhere in England but of the ten projects we are planning to support, five will be based in the East England, North East, North West, South West, and West Midlands. You do not have to live in these regions to propose a DIY 5 project, but your project must take place in one of these regions and/or predominantly benefit artists from that region.


How much are DIY 5 awards and how many projects will be supported?

We expect to support ten projects with awards of £1,000 each (five of which will be based in the East England, North East, North West, South West, and West Midlands).


Who can propose DIY 5 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 grant awarded will be paid to the lead/contact artist).

We welcome applications from artists who have previously run and/or participated in DIY projects.


How do I apply?

DIY encourages artists to self determine and run their own projects, however we are happy to briefly discuss your proposal with you by emails or over the phone as you develop your ideas.  We are sorry that we cannot meet in person to discuss proposals.  For advice email[email protected] or call:

* Lois Keidan or Daniel Brine at the Live Art Development Agency on 020 7033 0275 (London and all regions)
* Mark Godber at Artsadmin on 020 7247 5102 (London and all regions)
* Anthony Roberts at Colchester Arts Centre on 01206 500900 (East England)
* Ilana Mitchell at Fierce Earth on 0191 261 6326 (North East)
* Alice Booth at Nuffield Theatre on (North West) on 01524 592994
* Tanuja Amarasuriya at Theatre Bristol on 0117 9166686 or Helen Cole at Arnolfini on 0117 917 2321 (South West)
* Philippa Barr at New Work Network on 0207 539 9373 or Paul Warwick at China Plate on 07932 696 879 (West Midlands)


To apply you should prepare a proposal that is no longer than three sides of A4.  Your proposal should include:
* the name and full contact details of the lead artist/applicant
* details of which region your proposed project will take place in and why
* a description of your proposed project
* 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 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 5 projects will be free to participants but the nature of some projects may necessitate small financial contributions from participants.  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.

We expect the artist(s) organising the project to be paid for the time they contribute to the project.  Other budget items may include transport, tickets for events, space hire, speakers’ fees, etc.

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 clipping, and documentation of previous performances/events. If you plan to submit a video or dvd as supporting material please ensure that you clearly identify an appropriate short extract.  If submitting slides, please supply no more than 10 standard 35mm slides.  CD Roms, dvds and details of web sites are also welcomed as supporting material. We will only return supporting material if you also send a stamped self addressed envelope.

You must also complete the monitoring questions.  Your application will not be eligible without the completed monitoring questions.  A monitoring form is available to download here.

Applications, clearly marked DIY 5 in the subject line, should be emailed to [email protected]as a word attachment, a RTF document or a PDF.  Please note 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 Live Art Development Agency and Artsadmin for London and national projects; and by the Live Art Development Agency and representatives from Colchester Arts Centre (East England), Fierce Earth (North East), Nuffield Theatre & LANWest (North West), Arnolfini & Theatre Bristol (South West), New Work Network & China Plate (West Midlands) for region specific projects.

* the relevance of the proposal to the aims of the DIY initiative
* 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
* the viability of the proposal
* the ability of the applicant to achieve the stated aims of the proposal.

It is our intention to support a range of forms of projects through DIY 5 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.

The selectors may award more or less than the amount requested.

All decisions will be notified in writing.

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 5 partner 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 5 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.


Who is running DIY 5?

DIY 5 is a Live Art Development Agency initiative being developed in collaboration with Artsadmin, Colchester Arts Centre (East England), Fierce Earth (North East), Nuffield Theatre & LANWest (North West), Arnolfini & Theatre Bristol (South West), New Work Network & China Plate (West Midlands),

For more information about the organisations involved visit the websites:,, uk,



The DIY 5 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 5 initiative. You should choose the answers which best describe you.


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?



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