Without Walls supports artist and professional development opportunities across the network. We regularly offer open call opportunities to look for proposals from UK artists, for outdoor arts work of any scale, from all disciplines and genres, that is innovative and ambitious.

For festivals and organisations, we currently have two open calls to join our consortium as a partner. Our Touring Network Partnership is aimed at outdoor festivals based in regions with low arts engagement; our Creative Development Network is ideal for organisations at the beginning of their outdoor festival journey. Find out how to apply.

You can also explore recent professional development opportunities supported by Without Walls, resources and insights below.

Sign up for our newsletter and connect on social media to discover when our next opportunity opens.

Open Calls and Programmes

Without Walls regularly offer Open Call opportunities to look for proposals from UK artists, for outdoor arts work of any scale, from all disciplines and genres, that is innovative and ambitious. Discover our supported shows in the Without Walls catalogue here.

2023 Programme - now closed

Following an early submission open call for our 2023 Programme in December 2021, we are currently assessing our second round of 2023 Creation and Touring applications.

A performer holds onto a rope that is attached to a wooden grand piano that is suspended in the air by a metal truss rig.

2022 Blueprint R&D fund

We have now announced the 10 successful Blueprint applicants for this year. These artists and companies will be receiving support for the research and development of brand new projects.

Artist Development Opportunities

We have an ongoing programme of artist development opportunities; explore recent and ongoing projects below. View our full archive of resources, insights, and case studies.

Associate Programme

A collaboration between Without Walls and our network partners that provides opportunities for hands-on experience. It ensures professional pathways in the industry for practitioners from under-represented backgrounds.

Explore our Associate Programme

A picture of a group of people sat under a wooden structure in a circle at theSustainability Creative Lab in September 2020 at Wild Rumpus

Creative Labs

Hosted in partnership with other outdoor arts organisations, our Creative Labs are practical workshops for outdoor arts professionals and artists with a focus on a key topic. Themes have included dramaturgy and sustainability.

See insights from the last Lab

Discover - programme for new professionals

A series of sessions with industry practitioners for those who are curious about creating work in the outdoor arts sector. First launched in 2019 and reformatted in 2021 to take place online.

Explore our Discover Programme

This is a list of words and phrases that we use in our application process, the definitions are to offer clarity on what we mean by these terms within the context of the open call, they may be used differently in other organisations or groups.

  • Access – When we talk about making work more accessible, we mean removing the barriers which disabled people may face accessing the arts and providing solutions to ensure everyone can experience the arts.
  • Artistic Directorate – The Without Walls Artistic Directorate is made up of some of the UK’s most highly regarded outdoor arts organisations and festivals. The Artistic Directorate partners all invest their own commissioning funds into the Without Wlals programme of new outdoor shows and present a selection of the works at their festivals and events. Find out more about the partners that make up the Artistic Directorate.
  • Arts Council England – Arts Council England (ACE) is the national development agency for creativity and culture. They invest public money from the government and The National Lottery to help support arts and culture across England. ACE is the major funder of Without Walls.
  • Blueprint – A Without Walls investment programme dedicated to supporting Research and Development projects. See definition of Research and Development below.
  • BSL – British Sign Language
  • Consortium – A consortium is an alliance of companies, individuals, or other entities that work together to achieve a specific objective.
  • Creation Support – Without Walls uses the term ‘creation support’ to describe funds that we provide to artists to help them create new work.
  • Creative Case for Diversity The Creative Case for Diversity is the framework that Arts Council England uses for approaching questions of diversity. The Creative Case for Diversity is a way of exploring how arts and cultural organisations and artists can enrich the work they do by embracing a wide range of influences and practices. More about the Creative Case for Diversity.
  • Diversity – Diversity is the range of human differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability or attributes, religious or ethical values system, national origin, and political beliefs.
  • Environmental Sustainability – Without Walls recognises the role that it needs to play in tackling the climate emergency. This includes facilitating opportunities for artists and festivals to explore how they can make the creation and touring of their work more environmentally sustainable. Environmental sustainability is defined as responsible interaction with the environment to avoid depletion or degradation of natural resources.
  • In-kind support – Support in kind means a non-cash contribution to your project, such as materials or services that are provided free of charge or at a reduced rate.
  • Match Funding – Match Funding is funding from other sources. Without Walls is supported through Arts Council England Lottery funding. This means that Without Walls funds cannot count towards the minimum 10% match funding threshold required by ACE National Lottery Project Grants.
  • National Lottery Project Grants – This is one of the main ways in which artists can receive funding from Arts Council England. Visit the Arts Council England page on Project Grants for more information.
  • NPO, short for ‘National Portfolio Organisation’ – National Portfolio Organisations are leaders in their areas, with a collective responsibility to protect and develop our national arts and cultural ecology. They receive long-term funding from Arts Council England. Without Walls has been a NPO since 2018.
  • On costs – All performance-related costs that are not included in your presentation fee (= artist fee), This could include accommodation, transport, per diems and technical costs to be covered by the presenter.
  • Outdoor Arts – Outdoor arts, also called street arts, includes many different art forms including theatre, dance, music, puppetry, comedy, pyrotechnics, visual art, digital art and circus. Outdoor arts take place in public space in a variety of contexts including city and town centres, shopping centres, high streets, parks and a variety of rural locations. Outdoor arts can take place in daylight or darkness throughout the year, and are often (but not always) presented in the context of a festival, and often (but not always) free of charge to attend.
  • Partnership – An association between two or more people, groups or organisations
  • Presentation fee – Your artist fee for presenting the work. This usually does not include accommodation, transport, per diems and technical costs associated with your performance to be covered by the presenter.
  • R&D – Short for Research and Development [see full definition below]
  • Research and Development – Going through a Research and Development phase means that a person or group takes time to develop a new idea or explore a new way of working.
  • Touring show – A touring show would visit a number of locations over a period of time, and would be designed to be presented in a variety of locations
  • Touring Support – Without Walls uses the term ‘Touring support’ to refer to financial support that we provide to festivals to help them present a Without Walls show/work.
  • Without Walls – Without Walls is a consortium of festivals and organisations dedicated to supporting the development, creation and touring of new work by UK artists. Without Walls is a commissioning and touring network, not a funding programme.
  • Work led by – Without Walls will consider a project to be ‘led by’ a particular group of people if the majority of key creative team members identify as belonging to that group. For our open calls, please refer to the relevant guidance notes for more detailed information.

Get to know Without Walls

28th July 2022

Open call 2023: Touring Network Partnership and Creative Development Network


Without Walls is inviting proposals from festivals / arts organisations wishing to join the Without...

29th April 2022

Celebrating innovation with Blueprint 2022


10 artists and companies join our annual Blueprint programme, which brings together a diverse mix...

In the centre of the images are 2 performers. Laura, a curvy brown skinned Filipino female wheelchair user with an above right knee amputation wearing a plum coloured dress. She is sat in a manual wheelchair. Danielle, a white woman with ginger hair in ponytails is wearing an ochre jumpsuit. Together they create the shape of a starfish. Laura's left arm is stretched outwards and her right arm is clasped around the waist of Danielle. Danielle has her legs spread out midair, her feet are flexed, and her right arm is stretched outwards. They look at each other smiling. Behind them is a sunny urban street with a blue sky. They’re framed by bare-branched trees.

25th April 2022

Where and when to see our 2022 Programme


From the intimate to the epic large scale, we are excited to announce the 11...