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The Garrett Centre Commission, Call for Proposals 2019

Deadline for applications: 12 noon, Monday 21 January 2019

The Garrett Centre Commision 2019 was awarded to Hari Byles and Katherine McMahon for a participatory project, Earthlings, responding to green spaces across Bethnal Green.

The Live Art Development Agency (LADA) is inviting proposals from artists for a new project that will respond to the physical, cultural and social context of LADA’s new base in The Garrett Centre, Mansford Street, East London.

Deadline for applications: 12 noon, 21 January 2019

The commission should be realised between April and October 2019.

The commission award is £2,500 (inclusive of fees, taxes, travel/accommodation, and production expenses).

Background and context

LADA has been based in the East End since it was established in 1999. In September 2017 we moved into a former Unitarian mission The Garrett Centre in Mansford Street, Bethnal Green to begin a new chapter in our history. The Mansford Street mission began as a centre for social action in the late 19th century. Founded by Unitarians the building has been a hub for working with local communities and relaunched as The Garrett Centre, intending to host arts, ethical and community focused groups and social action projects. It has housed Simple Gifts, a community project working collaboratively with local people, for over five years and has welcomed LADA as part of a new phase of the building’s life. The Garrett Centre shares many of LADA’s values and concerns around issues of equality, feminism, displacement, study and research.

Our new space has strengthened LADA’s position as a Centre for Live Art — a knowledge and research centre, a production centre for programmes and publications, and an online centre for digital experimentation, representation and dissemination.

We have continued to host individual and groups in our Study Room, but with increased space, we have also hosted expanded public programmes, regular LADA Screens events, Thinkers in Residence schemes, our first physical Unbound shop, and a ‘desk space’ scheme for Live Art Producers, curators, researchers and artists. Our new location has also offered more opportunities for local engagement with individuals, communities and neighbourhood organisations.

The Commission

To contribute to our engagement with our local neighbourhood, with individuals and communities in Bethnal Green, and to further our role as a Centre for Live Art, we are inviting proposals from artists for a project that will explore and test ideas for new ways of working within/around our building, and new ways of engaging with local publics and partners.

The commissioned project can take any form. It might be a series of site specific performances/actions/interventions in, or within the vicinity of, our new space; it might be a street fair; it might be a participatory project with local individuals or groups; it might be a collaboration with a neighbourhood organisation; it might be a series of guest lectures or screenings; it might be a new, shareable resource or publication; it might be a lunch or supper or book club.

While we are interested in publications, we do encourage ideas that will contribute to the programme’s engagement objectives and not creating something that will simply sit on a shelf!.

Likewise, while we welcome new iterations of existing projects, we strongly encourage applicants to demonstrate a clear link to our new space, its local area, and/or local organisations and residents.

All aspects of the creation, production and presentation of the project, including collaborators’ fees and all taxes/expenses, must be included within the commission award of £2,500.

In 2019 the commission will also form part of LADA’s next Restock Rethink, Reflect programme on Managing the Radical (2019-21). Live Art has always broken the rules of cultural ‘production and consumption’ and is on the frontline of enquiries into what our culture is and what it can do. Live Art almost inevitably demands different approaches to ideas of ‘arts management’ and we particularly encourage proposals from artists that might reimagine how art that operates and thinks ‘differently’ is created and/or explore methodologies of production that might be more appropriate and effective for radical new forms of artistic practice?

The commissioned work should be realised between April and October 2019.


To be eligible for the commission, applicants should identify as working with/within Live Art – see.

Applicants can be resident anywhere in the UK, but must have been based in the UK for a minimum of five years, and have been practicing within the arts for a minimum of five years.

If you are unsure about your eligibility please call LADA to discuss it with us in advance.


We encourage, and will prioritise, proposals which are bold and creative, and that seek to engage with our new location and/or new neighbours in innovative, accessible and instrumental ways.

Deadline for applications: 12 noon, 21 January 2019

Proposals should include the following information:

  • Name and contact details.
  • Brief background information including recent/current artistic work and relationship to Live Art.
  • Details of proposed project including content, form, and, if appropriate, collaborators and/or partners.
  • How the proposed project will engage with the physical, cultural and social context of LADA’s new facility and contribute to the development of our local relationships.
  • Timescale for the proposed project (which much be completed by October 2019).
  • An indication of how you will allocate the £2,500 budget.


The commissioned artist will be selected by the LADA team with the input of our current Thinkers in Residence Hester Chillingworth and Claire MacDonald, and the recipients of the first Garrett Centre Commission noa+max (formerly Sheaf+Barley).


Live Art Development Agency (LADA) is the world’s leading organisation for Live Art, producing projects, opportunities, resources and publications. LADA works to create the conditions in which diversity, innovation and risk in contemporary culture can thrive, develop new artistic frameworks, legitimise unclassifiable artforms, and give agency to underrepresented artists, practices and histories.

Hester Chillingworth is a solo artist, director of the performance company GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN, and Creative Producer (Participation & Engagement) at Forced Entertainment. As Thinker in Residence at LADA, Hester is exploring issues around Young People, Gender and Live Art.

Claire Macdonald is a writer and performer who has recently also trained as a Unitarian minister. Her long-term artistic, activist, writing, research and Unitarian experience provides a strong foundation for her residency at LADA, which will research and test ideas for the development of our programmes and partnerships with the aim of bolstering our connections with the Unitarian community, as well as with other tenants in the building and in the neighbourhood.

max+noa think belief is a radical act, and that to interrupt hegemony we must be in a constant state of uprising. They see much of their work as telling stories and creating spaces where stories can be told and exchanged, temporary spaces of comfort and stability in a world that is otherwise in freefall. They cobble together ways of being in the world responding to now and directed towards the future, a direct response to the forced existence of precarity and self-isolation which is being violently exported across the globe. Through a mixture of research, action, and belief, max+noa create a set of tools that can be used by themselves and others. The work produced is a public sharing of this continually developing tool-making, made in dialogue with everyone who comes into contact with it. Everybody can be cunning folk.

Banner image credit:

max and noa, credit Sophie Le Roux


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