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DIY: 2012 – 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 9: 2012.

Deadline for proposals to run DIY 9 projects: Noon Monday May 14th, 2012. THIS DEADLINE HAS NOW PASSED.

The Call for participants can be found here. Deadline Monday 9 July 2012.

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 9 projects: Noon Monday 14th May 2012

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 other years.

I found this project extremely stimulating and pleasurably surprising and more challenging than I’d expected. I felt stretched by it, emboldened and sometimes a little scared (in a good way). I liked the way it was run de-centrally, so that I felt part of a bigger (unknowably far-reaching) network of participants but also somewhat freed by the anonymity and not knowing.
Ben Webb, Participant in DIY 8, Queer Eye Enquiry

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

The development of a Live Art practice is as much about the exploration of ideas and experiences as training in skills and techniques. 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 9 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 9 is a Live Art Development Agency initiative developed in collaboration with Abandon Normal Devices (North West) Artsadmin (national), Fierce (West Midlands), Live at LICA (North West), PLATFORM (national), Whitstable Biennale (South East) Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Yorkshire), Colchester Arts Centre (East) and The Works, Dance and Theatre Cornwall (South West)

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 eleven DIY projects that will take place sometime between August and October 2012. Each project will receive £1,000 support.


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.

For DIY 9 we also encourage proposals that specifically respond to one of the following project opportunities – five of the eleven DIY projects will be selected according to these opportunities:

1. Live Art, oil sponsorship and the Arab Spring
PLATFORM has followed the activities of oil companies during the 2010-11 revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa, and during the same time period has examined the role of galleries and museums in propping up oil companies by accepting their sponsorship. Arts institutions have stood up for artists such as Ai Weiwei, while simultaneously accepting funds from oil companies who have close ties with political regimes persecuting artists elsewhere. The politics of sponsorship, the relationship between galleries and arts communities, and the particular focus of art coming out of MENA during this time of political change all warrant considered creative attention. As democracy is fought for on the streets of Cairo, Homs and Tunis, we ask what democracy there is in our public arts institutions. Artists are invited to propose DIY projects which consider creative responses to, and the roles artists can play within, the ethics of sponsorship, the seal of approval given to oil companies by cultural institutions, arts communities as potential labour unions, solidarity across borders and/or other responses to these and related issues. The project must at least in some aspect take place in the UK, but the artist may be based anywhere in the world. This project is supported by PLATFORM. For further information and questions, please contact Mel Evans [email protected]

For more on oil in Middle East and North Africa see posts by Mika Minio-Paluello on
For more on galleries and oil sponsorship see Not If But When: Culture Beyond Oil especially features on Ai Weiwei, Ali Ferzat & Ahmed Basiouny, and comment by Omar Robert Hamilton.

2. 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 socio-economic and geographical features, and is predominantly rural and inhabited by isolated communities. Many performance practitioners living and practicing in the peninsula (as well as nationally and internationally) work in context, place and site-responsive ways, and we are looking for a project which can both support and challenge these practices. We 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) 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 Dance and Theatre Cornwall. For further information and questions, please contact Saffy Setohy, Dance Development Officer at The Works [email protected]

3. Live Art and Whitstable Biennale
The Whitstable Biennale is an internationally recognised festival of film, performance and visual art, taking place on the east Kent coast, September 1st–16th 2012. As a small fishing town lacking in traditional arts infrastructure, festival artists frequently have to think outside the box in terms of where and how they present their work, and are often forced to utilize unusual and impractical locations. For DIY 2012, we invite DIY workshop proposals that explore the potential for performance and Live Art outside of traditional venues in Whitstable, and welcome the possibility of a concluding public discussion or event as part of the Whitstable Satellite, the Biennale’s fringe programme. This project is supported by Whitstable Biennale. For further information and questions, please contact Kate Phillimore [email protected]

4. Live Art and Freedom
Freedom of expression, movement and association are the fundamental tenets in art, yet still we read stories of venues censoring body-based Live Art, councils regulating small independent art spaces and galleries, and curators removing artworks in museums and biennials for fear of perceived public anger. The UK Government’s points based immigration system is further restricting freedom of movement across borders. Artists are living in censorious times! DIY proposals are welcomed which address restriction; acts of transgression, transformation or audacious acts in imaginative and convivial ways are encouraged. The project can take place anywhere in the UK. This project is supported by Artsadmin. For further information and questions, please contact Manick Govinda [email protected]

5. Live Art and Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) 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 Joan Miró, Jaume Plensa, 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. Last year YSP hosted the DIY project, A Line Made by Walking Without Marking the Earth, led by artist Daniel Belasco Rogers, which responded to the landscape and explored new ways to think about the open air. In April 2012, YSP hosted the performance MAKE by artist Florence Peake, a result of the successful 2010 DIY project, conceived and led by artist 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 welcomes the possibility of public engagement as part of the project or concluding in a public event. YSP is happy to facilitate this through continued dialogue and knowledge sharing. Please note that YSP in unable to offer overnight stays or camping within the grounds. This project is supported by YSP. For further information and questions, please contact Damon Waldock [email protected]

6. Creating a space to fail
Abandon Normal Devices is a call to arms! A festival that questions the norm, champions a different approach and is 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. Every year we welcome audiences to experience the best in new cinema and digital culture, through an array of artists, filmmakers and performers who are throwing caution to the wind, taking risks, setting adventurous and artistic parameters, and presenting work that spills from the screens and galleries into the streets and imaginations of the Northwest. This year AND sets out to broaden the spectrum of “success” by looking at artists who have claimed “failure” to offer more imaginative, co-operative and insightful ways of being in the world. Whether failure is used as a point of resistance or a destructive action, the AND festival focuses on pushing success to the limit in order to make us rethink the formula and ask where the lasting value will reside. In 2012, Abandon Normal Devices (AND) Festival takes place in Manchester from 29 August – 2 September. AND would like to see activity related to the selected DIY project take place during the festival dates, whether that is the actual project or showcasing outcomes from the project. AND is open to proposals from artists working remotely or online and rethinking how these spaces can be connected to the festival activity. If required AND can offer support in curation and production. For further information and questions, please contact Ruth McCullough [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)

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)

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; professional wrestling intensives; GPS lessons: live twitter 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. Five of the eleven 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 eleven 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 2012. 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.

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 forSaturday November 17th in London.

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. Tell us about this in your proposal.

Do we report back on our DIY experiences?
Whilst happy to help and advise, organisations remain pretty hands off from the DIY process after selections have been made to give artists as much freedom as possible. However, we do ask artists 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 selections have been made.

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 Live at LICA, Lancaster, and Alice Booth at Live at LICA (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]
Alice Booth at Live at LICA (North West) [email protected]
Mel Evans at PLATFORM (national) [email protected]
Kate Phillimore at Whitstable Biennale (South East) [email protected]
Damon Waldock at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Yorkshire) [email protected]
Saffy Setohy at the Works, Dance and Theatre Cornwall [email protected]
Anthony Roberts at Colchester Arts Centre (East) [email protected]
Ruth McCullough at Abandon Normal Devices (North West) [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 Freedom”
• 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. The monitoring form is available to download here.

Applications, clearly marked DIY 9 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 9 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 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: 2012

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