OPEN CALL: Commission opportunities, R&D and touring support from Without Walls in 2018 and beyond


The open call deadline has now passed

Without Walls invites artists and companies to request support for the creation and touring of new outdoor work for presentation in 2018 and 2019. In addition, Without Walls invites proposals for R&D support for outdoor work that may take place over a longer time scale.

In June 2017 Arts Council England recognised Without Walls’ 10-year track record of success by awarding the organisation NPO funding from 2018 to 2022. This will enable Without to plan projects on a longer-term basis, and to develop partnerships with a range of organisations to support the development of ambitious outdoor arts projects.

As a result of this huge vote of confidence in the outdoor arts sector. Without Walls is delighted to announce some new initiatives for our 2018 commissioning round:

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1. Open Call for commissions and touring support
Artists are invited to submit proposals for the next round of Without Walls commissions, for new outdoor arts projects in any form which will premiere and tour in 2018. (You can also submit proposals for projects planned for 2019, though you may wish to consider requesting support for Research & Development for these projects.)

As part of this call, we are delighted to announce a new partnership with International Dance Festival Birmingham (IDFB) for The Big Idea – a Co-commission between Without Walls and IDFB to develop a new dance work that will be presented at IDFB in June 2018 as well as touring to Without Walls festivals. More information about International Dance Festival Birmingham can be found here.

Programming and commissioning priorities for 2018 onwards

In 2018 we will support the creation and touring of a range of exciting and ambitious outdoor projects of different genres, styles and forms by UK artists. Our main agenda is to support new work of the highest quality.

Without Walls Artistic Policy is to;

  • Present & develop work from a new & emerging generation of outdoor artists
  • Support & encourage artists who may not have had previous experience of outdoor arts into the sector
  • Help stimulate new, surprising & engaging street arts collaborations between artists from different disciplines
  • Prioritise the development & presentation of work with culturally diverse and Deaf and disabled artists
  • Work with established companies & artists who are keen to experiment & develop new approaches to their work
  • Draw on the consortium’s considerable experience & awareness of international outdoor arts to help provide new stimulus & opportunities for collaboration between UK & International artists

The work must be suitable for touring and the artists must be able to demonstrate that the work would be available for presentation in 2018 and 2019 at a minimum.

Eligibility and guidance:

  • We are looking for work from all disciplines and genres, that is innovative and ambitious and challenges the idea of what outdoor arts can be.
  • The work must be suitable for outdoor touring and artists should be committed to exploring touring opportunities for the works in addition to the Without Walls festivals.
  • Proposals for work could be adaptable in scale, suitable for daytime and/or evening presentation and may also include promenade or processional based elements.
  • Without Walls exists to support the development of new and ambitious work by UK artists; we can support projects that are developed in association with International Artists, but the lead partner on the project must be based in the UK.
  • Most projects supported by Without Walls are shows that we have commissioned. However, in some cases, we will support the touring of a project that has already raised its creation costs, provided that the show has not already toured in the UK, and provided it clearly meets our priorities.
  • For commissions and touring projects 2018: Please note the work should be available from May – September 2018, and be available to tour to Without Walls festivals where interest lies. It is expected that shows commissioned for 2018 will also be available to tour from April – October 2019, allowing them to tour to ATN festivals if required.

IDFB Programming Priorities

IDFB theme for 2018 will look to the Future – diverse, imaginative, technologically advanced and colourfully optimistic. IDFB is particularly interested in work which challenges traditions of dance as well as work which crosses movement based and dance disciplines. As well as high impact, entertaining and accessible work to 100+ people per performance.



2. Research & Development support
Without Walls recognises the importance of research and development in the creation of new and ambitious projects. As part of our longer-term planning Without Walls will invest in early or mid stage research on projects that may come to fruition in 2019 or beyond.

Please see the separate proposal form for our R&D strand.

More information about R&D Support

Research & Development (R&D) support is available to enable artists to undertake development for new shows for presentation in 2019, 2020 or later. We recognise that ambitious new work takes time to bring to fruition and that artists can benefit from the opportunity to explore new ideas as part of the development process, before committing to a production. We also know that this type of planning process can assist with fundraising for a new project and that it can be a useful way of engaging commissioners, supporters and partners in new work.


How to submit your proposal
Please ensure you read the relevant eligibility and guidance criteria for the above opportunities. Please note that there are two different proposal forms:
1. one for the Open Call for commissions 

2. one for
 the R&D opportunity

Please email your completed form and detailed budget to by 17.00 on 5 September 2017








Anticipated Timeline:

Deadline for submission of proposals: 17.00 5th September 2017

Projects for presentation in 2018:
Notification of shortlisted projects: Week of 25th September
Final decision End of October 2017

R&D projects and projects for 2019 and beyond:
Artists will be notified by the end of November



For further information please contact the Without Walls management team at XTRAX office:

+44 (0)161 227 8383 |