Open Calls and Opportunities

Announcing two open calls: Blueprint Research and Development (R&D) Fund, and 2023 Creation and Touring Support

Without Walls is looking for proposals from UK artists, for outdoor arts work of any scale, from all disciplines and genres, that is innovative and ambitious.

Our Blueprint R&D Fund supports the development of new outdoor arts projects. Artists are also invited to submit early proposals for the next round of Without Walls 2023 Creation and Touring Support to create and tour new work in 2023.

You can apply for Blueprint R&D fund, or put in an early proposal for 2023 Creation and Touring support, or apply for both. A further call-out for 2023 proposals will take place between May and July 2022.

With most of our festivals and events cancelled in 2020, we have been working hard during 2021 to try to catch up with the backlog of artists projects that have not yet been completed. This process of catching up will continue throughout 2022, which is why we have decided not to invite proposals for a 2022 programme. You can read more about this decision here.


Find full guidance documents, deadlines, and online application forms through the links below, and see our Frequently Asked Questions Resources for additional information.

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. Click here to 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. Click here to find more information.
  • 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. You can find out more about the Creative Case for Diversity here.
  • 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. This means that some projects may be able to answer ‘Yes’ in more than one category. Please refer to the guidance notes for more detailed information.


Without Walls is committed to ensuring that all our processes and events are as accessible as possible.

The application materials are available in a range of formats on demand. Please let us know what your specific requirements are, and we will do our best to support you – whether through providing the documents in an alternative format or by arranging a support worker. We also accept applications submitted in audio or video format if that suits you better.

We can contribute towards the cost of an access support worker who can use our online system on your behalf. If you need to use a support worker to complete your application, please contact We will ask you to provide more details on what type of support you need.

For Creation and Touring Support applications, please share any access support request by Friday 10th December, 10 am.

Find out more about the application process in our guidance documents for both Blueprint R&D Fund and Creation and Touring Support, and see our Frequently Asked Questions Resources.