Are you a disabled artist or disabled-led organisation based in Bradford? Would you like a £1000 micro commission to test, research or play around with a creative idea?
We are partnering with disabled-led arts commissioners, Unlimited to offer micro commissions for disabled artists to explore and experiment in the lead up to Bradford 2025 UK City of Culture.
We want to hear from disabled artists or disabled-led organisations living or working in the Bradford District who wish to develop, research, create or share an artistic idea. The awards can be used to help you move forward with something you’re already working on or to explore something new.
You’ll also be invited to join the Unlimited Alumni. This gives you access to a range of advice, support, networking and professional development opportunities.
If you would like this information in another format, or you have any access needs to make an application, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Each award will be up to £1000 to help you test your idea.
A maximum of 10 artists or companies will receive an award.
We are aware this is a small amount of money and we understand that the outcome and the amount of work you will do will reflect this. We want it to be a chance for you to have some paid time to think, to imagine, to try something and to talk with other artists or people you might want to work with.
At the end of your project, we will ask you to share the outcomes of your process with us– this might be a snippet of performance, a video or audio recording, a piece of writing, some sketches… or just a conversation with us. We want this to be realistic and appropriate to your project, as well as within the scope of the commission budget.
Your work can be in any artform. This includes drama, dance, music, live art, visual arts, photography, literature, storytelling, or something that combines artforms and blurs definitions in the way that we know Bradford’s brilliant artists do so well.
However, due to how the micro commissions are funded, we can’t support fashion design or traditional narrative-led or documentary-style film.
Who can apply
These commissions are open to any artists who identify as disabled, have long-term health conditions, or have access needs. This means, for example, you could be D/deaf, neurodivergent, have experience of mental health, be chronically ill, or clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19. We use the social model of disability and do not ask everyone to use the same terminology. You use what is comfortable for you.
It does not matter what stage you are at in your artistic career or professional life, we welcome applications from anyone wishing to develop their ideas. If you haven’t received funding or a commission before, this is not a problem – your application will not be evaluated based on whether or not you have received funding before.
Any access costs related to this commission should be included within the £1000 budget.
If you have access needs to make your application, please get in touch and we can discuss how we can support you.
Eligibility and how we’ll make decisions
Our aim is to support a range of ideas through these commissions – in relation to genre, diversity and location within Bradford District.
To be eligible for a Micro Commission your application must meet all of the following criteria:
- You are 18+ and a UK citizen
- You live or work in the Bradford District or have a strong connection here
- Your work is within one or more of the artforms described above
- That everyone is being paid fairly for their contribution – including yourself if you are lead artist
- The commission will be completed, and all of the money spent, by 17 May 2024
We’ll then consider the following questions and things we want to see to decide who to award the commissions to. These take into account what we’d like to achieve through the commissions and what we hope it will mean for you and your idea:
- Is the idea interesting and something we think people would be excited to experience in the future?
- Does it show ambition for the artist or company? Ambition definitely doesn’t have to mean ‘big’, but we do want to see that this idea would be a step forwards for you and your work.
- That you’re thinking about quality – and what this means for the idea you’re exploring and for your process.
- That you’re thinking about ways to be innovative or try something new… this could be in your artform, the way you make work or looking at the idea in a way that hasn’t really been tried before.
Find out more
On Monday 20 November at 4pm we will be hosting an online question and answer session (Q&A) through Zoom – where you can find out a bit more, and ask any questions you might have.
You need to share your application with us by 1pm on Wednesday 6 December.
How to apply
If you have any access needs to make your application, please contact us and we will consider how best we can support you: email@example.com
You can apply in writing, by audio recording or by video.
In your application please include
- Your full name
- Your preferred pronouns e.g. she/her, they/them
- Your contact phone number and email address
- You access needs (you are welcome to attach your Access Rider if you have one)
Then tell us a bit about
- You and your artistic background or the work you create (up to 200 words or 2 minutes for audio or video – but less is fine)
- Your artistic idea and how you will explore it or the things you would like to do through this commission (up to 300 words or 3 minutes for audio or video – but less is fine)
We also need
- A breakdown of how you would spend the £1000 (please remember that this budget should include your access costs)
- If you are applying in writing: you can send this information in an email, or attach a Word document or PDF.
- If you are applying by video or audio: please email us a link to where we can watch or listen to your application e.g. your website, Google Drive, YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud – if we’ll need a password to access it, don’t forget to send us this too.
If you would like, you can share with us other examples of your work (but this is not required and it’s fine if you don’t). You can send us links to view or listen to online or attach images. Please note the total size of the attachments must be less than 10MB and video links must be less than 5 minutes long.
If you have additional match funding towards the commission, that’s fine. But it is not an expectation and won’t make any difference as to whether you’re successful.
Send your application to firstname.lastname@example.org
- The deadline for us to receive your application is 6 December 2023
- We’ll let you know if you’ve been successful by 12 January 2024 (you can start work anytime after this)
- The commission must be finished by 17 May 2024.
Your application will be considered by a panel of both independent artists and representatives from Unlimited and Bradford 2025. The panel will be disability-led, meaning the majority (more than 50%) of the panellists will be disabled.
About Bradford 2025
Bradford 2025 is the organisation delivering the programme of activity for the UK City of Culture 2025. Awarded every four years by Government, the UK City of Culture title has had a transformational impact on previous host cities, securing millions of pounds of investment and acting as a catalyst for creative place-making and culture-led regeneration.
This year, Bradford 2025 is building the foundations of its organisation to be able to deliver a transformational programme of events and activity for (and with) the Bradford district in 2025.
Bradford 2025 is aligned with the Cultural Place Partnership which includes Bradford Council, University of Bradford and other representatives of the cultural sector, alongside national funders; Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Arts Council England, and National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Unlimited is an arts commissioning body that supports, funds and promotes new work by disabled artists for UK and international audiences. Our mission is to commission extraordinary work from disabled artists that will change and challenge the world.
- We are Unlimited.
- We value artists.
- We are radical.
- We value equity.
We want to create a world where disabled artists have equity throughout the cultural sector, nationally and internationally. Our mission and values are for the board, staff, freelancers, artists, allies and others with whom we connect. We will ensure they are at the heart of what we do and how we do it.
Images: Freestylers, Everybody with Me, Always. Photo by Rachel Cherry; Andrei Catch, Here Not Here.