DIY: 2011 – Call for Proposals

Professional development projects BY artists FOR artists

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

More info about DIY.

More info about DIY 8: 2011.

Call for participants now announced.


Associations of Place

NEW Deadline for proposals: Noon Monday July 4, 2011



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


DIY proposals are invited which investigate the possibilities of digital media in Live Art and/or consider notions of place and local identity. We are particularly interested in innovative professional development ideas which transcend static notions of the “local”, and are not limited by geography or community. The ubiquity of the digital gaze has implications for the cultural practice of community in an inter/national and (social) media context. The selected project will receive £1,000 support.

This DIY project is supported by the Text Festival, Bury. While we welcome some or all of the project taking place in Manchester-Bury, this is not essential — taking advantage of remote and/or on-line possibilities and dialogue is encouraged. Proposals from outside the UK are welcome; project leaders and/or participants do not necessarily have to be based in the UK.

If there are digital or other outcomes from the DIY activity available in time, there is the potential for including performances or projections as part of the relaunch of the Irwell Sculpture Trail, which will be rebranded and relaunched in September 2011; and also in a Bury street light festival in October 2011. Any such presentations would be supported separately from the DIY award. The selected DIY project may also be treated as a pilot which will open discussions for a subsequent temporary £10,000 project commission.

If you have questions or ideas, please visit or contact Tony Trehy, [email protected]

For general information about the DIY programme, and how to apply, please look below.


Call for participants is now announced. Full details here.

Deadline for proposals: 5pm Thursday 19th May 2011
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.


An exquisite teasing of place, observation and memory, unleashing compositional ideas. Fabulous. Shifted my perspective and located new tools that are in abundance. Public places will never be the same again.
Mark Waddell, participant DIY 7 – Thinking Space: Writing In Public


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


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.

DIY 8 builds on the strengths of previous DIY schemes which have proved to be invaluable experiences for project leaders, participants and organisers alike.

Reports on previous DIY schemes can be found here.

DIY 8 is a Live Art Development Agency initiative developed in collaboration with Artsadmin (national), Fierce (West Midlands), Live at LICA/Nuffield Theatre Lancaster (North West), PLATFORM (national), Text Festival (North West), Whitstable Biennale (South East) and Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Yorkshire).
Projects will be specifically based in and/or stimulating and benefiting artists from the regions noted above. Projects may also be developed in collaboration with the DIY partner organisations in those regions.

We are planning to support nine DIY projects that will take place sometime between August and October 2011. Each project will receive £1,000 support.

DIY 8 – specific project opportunities

DIY projects may take any form, 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. We also encourage proposals that specifically respond to one of the following project opportunities; three of the nine DIY projects will be selected according to these opportunities:

1. Live Art and Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park is set in the 500-acre Bretton estate, with five indoor galleries. It curates a changing programme of modern and contemporary art through indoor and open air exhibitions, projects, performances and off-site interventions, with an emphasis on visitor experience and learning. Over 80 sculptures in the landscape include work by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, and Dennis Oppenheim alongside permanent site-specific commissions by James Turrell, Sol LeWitt and Andy Goldsworthy. Major gallery exhibitions, such as David Nash, Peter Randall-Page, Isamu Noguchi and James Lee Byars, are paralleled with landscape interventions and exploration, with artists including Simon Whitehead, Rebecca Chesney, Brandon Ballengée and Alec Finlay. 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. In 2010, YSP embarked on a major new development to restore and enhance 85 acres of woodland nature reserve around two 65 acre designed lakes, which will open to visitors later this year. In 2010, YSP hosted a very successful DIY project, led by Joshua Sofaer. YSP is now keen to enable another DIY project that responds in some way to the place, whether that be its art, history, heritage, landscape, nature, values or people, and is happy to facilitate this through continued dialogue and knowledge sharing. If you have questions or ideas: please visit or contact Helen Pheby, YSP [email protected]

2. Ethics will be the aesthetics of the Future *

This DIY invites a response to the immediate UK political context of the severe cuts in public spending, including the arts. How do these cuts impact on live and interdisciplinary arts practices, and how do those practices challenge and transform both ethical and economic understandings? In hard times, how do we keep our integrity and maintain an ethical position? On what value system is our integrity based? Do we use sneaky tactics and take whatever money and run? Or, if we are inherently critical, do we bite the hand that feeds us? If we don’t like the State, are we happy to be pushed towards private sector philanthropy? Is all money dirty money? If not, what non-marketised, non-exploitative forms of financial or resources exchange can we develop? We are seeking proposals to investigate some or all of these questions, and which will have at their heart a social process which fosters discussion, sharing, provocations and/or reflection. This Call is co-conceived by PLATFORM and the Live Art Development Agency as part of ongoing pilot research into ethics, economics, live art and activism. The DIY project can take place anywhere in the UK. Findings from this DIY may inform future work and we hope to build on the relationships formed through this DIY’s activity. If you have questions or ideas: please or contact Jane Trowell at PLATFORM [email protected] * VI Lenin


In partnership with the Text Festival, Bury, proposals are invited which engage with the relationships between notions of place and local identity. We are particularly interested in going beyond outdated static notions of the “local” limited by geography or community, and engaging with the implications for the cultural practice of community in an inter/national and/or digital context. Some of the project ideally needs to take place in Manchester-Bury but taking advantage of remote and/or on-line possibilities and dialogue is encouraged.  The selected DIY project will in itself be treated as a pilot and possibly a recruitment process for a subsequent temporary £10,000 project commission. Although not a requirement for proposals, Text Festival are also interested in how this Call might engage with Irwell Sculpture Trail, which will be rebranded and relaunched in September 2011; projects for IST which integrate language in public art, and develop new concepts of local and community, are invited. If you have questions or ideas: please visit or contact Tony Trehy, Text Festival – [email protected]


DIY – more information


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)

We were invigorated, perplexed, well fed, exhausted, annoyed, talkative, fit and sporty. We made some new friends and strengthened our relationships with the others we knew from before. We worked hard and had some fun. We wondered and wandered together. We considered resistance and hope and are left with more than enough food for thought.
(DIY 5 participants on First Retreat then Advance!!)

The value of DIY is in the opportunity it presents for both leaders and participants to explore and experiment together.
(Tim Jeeves, DIY 6 project leader)

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)


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, and 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; 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; experiments around the impact of time in art; 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; and intimacy in performance.

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.

** However, we also welcome proposals that specifically respond to one of the project opportunities noted above. Three of the nine DIY projects will be selected according to these opportunities.

How much are the DIY awards and how many projects will be supported?
We expect to support nine 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 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.

When would my DIY project have to take place?

Your DIY project must take place sometime between 1 August and 31 October 2011. The length of your project should be proposed by you; there is no set minimum or maximum duration.
Where could my DIY project take place?

The preferred locations for the projects that responded to one of the project opportunities noted above are noted in those texts.

The other projects can take place anywhere nationally. However, we will explore whether projects can be specifically based in, and/or stimulate and benefit artists from the regions noted above within the list of DIY partner organizations.

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.
Can you help develop my proposal?

DIY encourages artists to self determine and run their own projects. However, we are happy to briefly 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. For example, we welcome proposals that can happen in or close to the Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster, and Matt Fenton at Live at LICA/Nuffield Theatre (contact details below) is available to discuss your ideas and needs; and Fierce are looking to host a project that is based in and/or even responds to Birmingham/West Midlands.

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) [email protected]
Manick Govinda at Artsadmin (national) [email protected]
Laura McDermott at Fierce (West Midlands) [email protected]
Matt Fenton at Live at LICA/Nuffield Theatre (North West) [email protected]
Jane Trowell at PLATFORM (national) [email protected]
Tony Trehy at Bury Council, Text Festival (North West) [email protected]
Sue Jones at Whitstable Biennale (South East) [email protected]
Helen Pheby at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Yorkshire) [email protected]

How do I apply?

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.
• 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 Yorkshire Sculpture Park”.
• 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 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 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.

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. If you plan to submit a dvd as supporting material please ensure that you clearly identify an appropriate short extract. Details of web sites are also welcomed as supporting material. Supporting material should ideally be sent electronically (see below) but can also be posted to Live Art Development Agency, Rochelle School, Arnold Circus, London E2 7ES. 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 downloadhere.


Applications, clearly marked DIY 8 in the subject line, should be emailed [email protected] as a Word attachment, a RTF document 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 the proposal.

It is our intention to support a range of forms of projects through DIY 8 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 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 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 here 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: 2011

Unusual professional development projects conceived and run BY artists FOR artists

DIY: 2011


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