With Artsadmin, we have compiled a series of resources, which we think are useful to artists working in Live Art and contemporary performance in the UK. These FAQs, links and lists of organisations and venues are intended as a starting point for your research and project development. They aren’t comprehensive, so please do get in touch if you know of something which should be included.
Below you can find a selection of links to organisations we hope are useful. It’s not a comprehensive list by any means, but we hope it’s a useful starting point. Please email us if you have a link that you think should be added.
Here you will find useful links to:
The following organisations offer professional development services relevant to artists and arts professionals working in contemporary performance practices, in varying ways :
The following are annual or in some cases biennial festivals which present contemporary performance work of a national and/or international profile :
The following are not funding bodies, but provide information about how to find potential funding bodies for your project. Be sure to read all the detailed guidelines and background information offered before making any application or approach to a potential funder.
The following offer sources of funding in various ways. Be sure to read all the detailed guidelines and background information offered before making any application or approach. This is not a comprehensive list! Please also see Funding Information Hubs to find further examples of funding routes.
The following provide listings on opportunities, news and events in varying ways, and are particularly relevant to artists working in contemporary performance practice :
As part of the advisory service we support individual and peer-led artist run groups. This is by no means the definitive list, so please do let us know if you think there are other organisations we should include here:
The following offer studio space for hire (London-only) :
The following are online blogs that provide useful information, articles, reviews and listings that might be of interest to artists and arts professionals working within contemporary performance practices.
ARTS, THEATRE AND CULTURE UK
GREEN & ACTIVISM
Below you can find links to venues, festivals, events and producers based in London with an interest in Live Art.
Venues, festivals, events, producers based in London with an interest in Live Art
The staff of Artsadmin and LADA have compiled this information and advice resource. It is intended to be a starting point for artists who work in Live Art and who are at the start of their career. Just as the practice of every artist is different, so are their professional development needs. We therefore encourage each artist to treat the information provided here as a springboard for their own self-directed research.
Here we answer the following questions:
Live Art is an umbrella term encompassing a range of performance, performative and time-based practices; some view it as a strategy for making work that is not defined by art form.
There are many useful summary texts about Live Art available online, including:
Perhaps the best way to find out more about the Live Art scene is to go and see as much work as possible. Get connected and find out what’s on by subscribing to the newsletters and social media feeds suggested below.
Many other organisations across the UK support artists working in Live Art from Live Art UK, a national network of key promoters and facilitators who support the Live Art infrastructure, to multiple artist-led initiatives such as CLAY in Leeds and BUZZCUT in Glasgow, plus many more. If your work crosses over into the dance field, also check out the artist development spaces such as Chisenhale Dance Space.
We also recommended you check out the following e-lists and websites:
Artsadmin and LADA have also compiled these extensive lists of networks / funding bodies / festivals / venues / studios / blogs / campaigns – available here.
LADA Study Room – A free, open access research facility in London, housing one of the largest publicly accessible libraries of Live Art related videos, DVDs and publications in the world. Search the entire Study Room Catalogue online.
DIY – Annual UK wide professional development opportunities run by LADA to support projects conceived and run BY artists FOR artists.
Unbound – The world’s only dedicated online shop for Live Art books, DVDs and limited editions.
Restock, Rethink, Reflect – Ongoing series of public programmes, professional development activities, and archival and publishing initiatives mapping and marking underrepresented and culturally marginalised artists, practices and histories whilst also investing in future generations.
Live Online – A series of channels where you can watch short videos and films selected from LADA’s Study Room or generated through programmes and initiatives.
Online Resources – A series of web pages focused on: Live Art venues in London; Writing about Live Art; E-mail lists and forums and useful downloads for artists.
Further Artist Opportunities – LADA regularly presents artist development opportunities including: platforms, awards, workshops, talks, screenings, and and much more. All opportunities will be promoted on the LADA newsletter – sign up here.
Often the best opportunity for artists to present their work early on in their career is at ‘platform’ or scratch events. These can be good opportunities to try out work in front of an audience, to hear views on it and to network with other artists at a similar stage. Feedback can be constructive; it can be useful to think in advance about what you would like feedback on and how to generate a discussion which will support you and your work.
The best place to find about platform opportunities is through individual websites, newsletters and discussions groups. Artists should also independently research venues, festivals and institutes that may be interested in their work, and join those organisation’s social media channels and/or newsletters to find any opportunities to perform.
There are many open-call platforms specifically for artists who are starting out, from artist-run projects like Tempting Failure (Bristol) and Homes for Waifs and Strays (Birmingham) to larger festivals such as Experimentica (Chapter, Cardiff) and In Between Time Festival (Bristol). Established venues and producers also present open-call platform events such as the annual Now series at The Yard Theatre (London), Open Labs at the Barbican (London), plus hÅb (Manchester) and Compass Live Art (Leeds) to name a few.
Also see the SPLL Festival (London/Ipswich): a high profile National Platform for up to 50 emergent artists at their Ipswich Festival, with 10 subsequently being selected to go forward to the SPILL London Showcase.
Many artists also create their own contexts for showing work; by joining forces with others to hire a space to make and/or show work or by presenting work in homes and public spaces.
How to find the relevant info:
The majority of current UK open-calls are advertised on the weekly Artsadmin E-digest. LADA provides a list of Live Art key venues in London to be found if you scroll further down the page. Artsadmin provides a list of Festivals, Venues, Platforms and Artist Led Initiatives under the Artist Support section of their website.
We recommend that when it comes to fundraising you should make sure you fully research your options, be realistic in your planning, read the available application guidance information and talk to any available funding advisors. Newsletters and social media carry huge amounts of information about opportunities for funding, residencies and commissions.
When starting out the most relevant sources of funding tend to be the more publicly known ones, such as Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts Scheme.
Projects can also be supported through crowd-funding initiatives and certain Trusts and Foundations. A list of funding bodies and discussions around approaches to crowd-funding is available through Artsadmin’s online resources.
Many artists also support their practice through a range of jobs. Thinking about how you can find support ‘in kind’ is also key – can you offer skills and time in exchange for space for example. Again, getting involved and developing your community can really help.
There will be many times in their career when artists need to represent their practice to others – for example, a studio visit, a submission for a commission, a funding application, an informal meeting. When the time comes, think about how you can best present / represent your work, and at the same time think about what the person / people you are presenting to will want to know about you and what you do. There is unlikely to be ‘one’ package that you should have but rather a selection of ‘components’ that can be packaged together.
We suggest that there are three key areas that artists should address:
Content – what it’s about (and why)
Form – what it looks like / how it works
Context – how it relates to the sector and its history; how it relates to what the venue / funder / commissioner is doing / interested in; and how it relates to what other artists are doing
If you are preparing a package of information to give to someone or to submit with an application you could ask yourself some of the following questions.
If you are writing a proposal, ask yourself:
Our four tips, in relation to preparing written statements about your work are:
A good way to contextualize, promote and develop your work is to create/encourage written responses, if this is an avenue that interests you. With the proliferation of independent blogs there are a number of mechanisms for how to engage with writers about your work. The LADA website has a list of critical writing platforms under the Resources section
Again, if the right context for writing about your work doesn’t exist you could consider setting up a blog, asking for email responses from friends and colleagues, or writing about your work yourself.
Don’t forget Artsadmin has an artists’ advisory service!
But other artists are likely to be your best long term support network Knowing what it takes to make work, to keep going and to find ways forward – perhaps it is stating the obvious, but supporting others will help develop a sense of community. So many opportunities are created by artists themselves, rather than by institutions – evidence that it is possible to create your own context.
Some links to artists offering advice:
Banner image credit:
Oozing Gloop, LADA’s 20th Anniversary Live Art Gala, October 2019. Image: Manuel Vason