2023 Programme Open Call: online Q&A

2023 Programme Open Call: online Q&A

Show Video

» Hi there, good morning, everyone.  I hope you can hear me okay.  My name's David Morgan and I'm  the programme manager with XTRAX.  I'm going to be chairing this  morning's Q and A session.  We're giving it a few minutes  for people to join us.  I'm pleased to say that  we're joined by a couple of  other panellists who will  help us out with some of their  insights on some of the questions, so we are joined by Charmaine Childs,   who is a fantastic performer who  has been supported by Without Walls  and also Clive Lyttle who is an  artistic director of Certain Blacks. 

We have BSL interpretation and live  captioning for this morning's session.  If you're intending to make use of the BSL,   then do drop us a note in the chat  and if you keep an eye on that.  Likewise, if you have any problems or any  issues, feel free to drop those in the chat.  One of my colleagues, Daniel,  will be monitoring that. 

We're joined by another colleague who will  help out with the questions and answers.  You should be able to go  on to the Q and A function.  There should be a button for that on the  bottom of your screens and you should be able  to go into that at any point  to start typing in questions  that you would like to be answered. There should be   a thumbs up button that you can press so if you're looking at questions that are there  and you think that's something that I also  wanted to ask, then you can press that button  and that will upvote it so that we can see  what the most popular questions are as we go.  Just to quickly introduce ourselves, I'm David  and I'm the programme manager here at XTRAX  where my role involves managing  the governance for Without Walls   but also managing the artistic directorate which is a group that reviews proposals   and is responsible for coming up with  the annual programme for Without Walls. 

I am a middle-aged white male and  I have dark shoulder-length hair.  Today I'm wearing a dark blue  shirt and my pronouns are he/him.  Charmaine, I hand over to  you to introduce yourself  and say a little bit about you and your practice. » Hello. I'm Charmaine. I am a middle-aged white   woman with long grey hair and I am she/her. I am a circus strong lady,   and for the last 20 years I've been  touring mostly outdoor arts festivals,  sometimes in duo shows and sometimes solo and  sometimes working with ensembles like Mimbre.  Over the years my work has straddled  the busking-style festivals as well as   European and UK arts festivals. I've done everything from being the  

first piece of street theatre that's  ever been programme on a high street  through to beautiful festivals  with big amphitheatres.  I really love the scope of what  is possible in outdoor arts  and in 2018 I got the developing  creative practice grant to really   stretch my work from being very much the-- --my next trick is kind of style show   into a bit more storytelling  and that led to being commissioned  by Without Walls with Strong Enough  which is the show I've been  touring last year and this year.  That's pretty much me in a nutshell. I'll pass back to David.  » Fantastic. Clive, would you  like to introduce yourself   and the work that you do at Certain Blacks. » Yes. I'm Clive, a black older middle-aged   man with dreadlocks. I am he/him. Certain Blacks a diverse-led  

art development organisation. We're based in the Royal Docks.   Our office is opposite the XL centre. What we do is produce two festivals a year.  We started off producing indoor festivals.  We worked with the rights of Fronko B,   and we have live art theatre. We worked with a company called  

Crying in the Wilderness to produce  theatre, music, arts programmes,  and for the past few years in the Royal Docks  we've been presenting Ensemble Festival,  which started in 2019 and has  grown over the three or four  years and takes place in the really  picturesque backdrop of Royal Docks,  but in an area that has got low arts engagement, so one of the big things that we are trying to do   is to bring high-quality arts  to our local communities.  That's us. » Fantastic -- fantastic. Thank you for that.  There is probably a whole  variety of questions we will get,  which I imagine will be about the actual  practicalities of the submission process itself,  so I will try and cover as many of  those as possible, and, obviously,  Charmaine and Clive will help us out  with any sort of questions that might   be useful to get an artist's perspective on, what kind of festivals have insight on as well,  and just to say, just noting some  of the comments in the chat there,  the format for today's meeting is  that we're staging it as a webinar,  so you should only be able to see the  panellists and the people that are talking. 

You don't need to worry about your cameras or your  mics being on or muted because we can't hear you  unless we assign you to a panellist.  I'm just looking through some of the  questions we received in advance.  George, do you have questions for Charmaine  and Clive that we looked at yesterday?  » Yes. We will start off with this one from  Louise Brown from the Velcro Collective:   our work has a specific focus on  engaging visually impaired audiences.  What do festivals/promoters do to ensure  suitable audiences are targeted to come?  Is this something that will happen? That has  been assigned to Clive in the first instance.  » We work with partners. If we're looking  for audiences for people visually impaired, 

we look for partnering  organisations, if we're booking that.  One of the partner organisations  we work with is Extan  and they're a visually-impaired-led  arts organisation  and we will take advice because one  of the things that we've always liked   to do is not assume that we know everything, and know where we can find all the audiences,   but what we would do is talk to our partners and especially also people like   disability arts and staff and talk to them about the   best way of attracting and servicing  and supporting that sort of audience.  » That would be a similar approach from a lot  of festivals, if they know there is work that   is designed with particular audiences in mind, they will certainly look to work with   artists to try and engage those  audiences in the local communities. 

I think the only thing I would say that it's  good for people to be mindful of is that   some of the festival partners that we  have throughout the year may only have   one or two staff members, if they have a  smaller organisation or smaller festival,  so they might not have huge capacity to  do a lot of lead-in work far in advance,   but certainly when it comes to the  few months running up to the festival,  that's when their capacity tends to expand as  they ramp up in time for the of the festival.  Certainly when it comes to attracting particular  kind of demographics or particular audiences,  I think the festivals are very interested  to have a conversation with the artists   around what might be appropriate there and the best groups and   organisations that they might be approaching. » I think that's really true from my   experience. I made a bunch of materials not for  visually-impaired, but for relaxed performance,  and having an easy reed and an introduction video and the thing that I noticed was   that a lot of the festivals didn't  have the capacity to really push that.  The difference came when I did  everything I could to make it easier,  so where I would send them a specific  email with here is a link to a QR code,  here is text that would be great to have with  the blurb about my show and gave them a strategy,  rather than asking them to make the strategy. » Great. Fantastic. George, I think we had a  question for Charmaine as well. » We did, yes. The question was  

we never made a show  specifically for outdoors before.  Any suggestions as to what we  need to consider that we might not  have already thought of? Do you have any advice on contracts to take   into account cancellation due to bad weather? » Brilliant. I will try and be concise!  The key things that I would say you need to  consider in making the shift to outdoor work is  there's a few things. Think about  surfaces and slopes. Like so many people   make work indoor and then try and put it outdoor and suddenly you realise that grass behaves very   differently to tarmac or that flat piece of   ground that a festival can give you is very rarely going to be actually flat.  It will have a slope in one or two  directions, it might have undulating bits,   it might have a grate in the middle of it. As much as possible, like, figure out,   go outside while you're creating and test things   outside or create outside, but if you can be clear as   you can with a festival about what you need,  but then be as flexible as you can around that  --and so I will often show up to something that  someone said, “it is a really flat bit of grass”,  but then it might be quite long grass and  it might be undulating underneath, whatever,  try and make it so that you've experienced  in the creating as many surfaces as possible. 

I'd also say think about  weather, obviously, and that  generally I find if you're on site ready  to do a show and the weather cancels it,   I've never had a festival ask  if they cannot pay you for it,  but I think that festivals need to make  sure in their programme that they've got   a range of weatherproofness of work, and so again, I always try to make my work in the creation as   weatherproof as possible and then I put into my  info pack what my needs are, so, for example,  I can play in moderate rain if the  audience is settled and happy to be there.  I can play longer if I'm on tarmac than if I'm  on grass that is going to get muddy and slippery.  It is just finding those things.  If you're on a dance floor,   as soon as it is wet, it is an ice rink. So trying to find what your needs are and   just communicate them in advance and then  always be safe. A festival is never going to  question you for being safe, in my  experience. Other things that if you're 

making outdoor work for the first time, it is  really useful to think about the transient nature   of audiences in outdoor situations. So thinking  about how you're going to gather the crowd at   the beginning, accepting that there will be some  people that walk off and preparing yourself that   they might just have realised their parking has  run up, but also trying as much as possible to   think about how are we keeping the audience that we've gathered.  A really great tip I got given when I was starting out to try  and always have an answered question for them, so that  whether it is that they're wondering what you're going to  do with that bit of equipment or whether it is a hint of  what is coming next, comes before a scene finishes, that  has been helpful for me. I got a really good tip from  Jeremy Shine. I sent him a video of a rehearsal. He  reminded me to think about every point in the show and  what happens if someone walked in right now, if they only  just arrived, how do I make this make sense for them. So  I kept having to add in little bits so that if someone has  arrived, they know what is going on enough. Those kind 

of things. Another thing to think about  is the outdoor logistics, finding a balance between the  fullest creative vision you have but also the logistical  ease of touring. Like, can you get that same impact with  something that is easier to set up or easier to transport,  or requires a smaller team so that budget-wise it fits more  easily. Can I get that same impact with something that can 

stand up to a bit of rain, all of those things, like, trying  to find that balance is important, and one last thing  is thinking about the range of outdoor events because there  are some really established  festivals and some really dedicated audiences who you  can put something, something like an indoor show and go outdoors and work,  but also the broader range of audiences, the wider you can  open your door to work, the more work is possible for you,  and so the bigger audience will reach with your work, so  thinking about can this work on a high street where I'm  grabbing people who are on their way to H&M? Or as  opposed to can this work in a festival where someone has sat  for half an hour to make sure they've got a good view of the  show and they've waited for  it. Just thinking about all of  that range and how do you keep the door open as wide as  possible for your work. » Thanks for that. There's  a lot of good information in there, and going back to that  specific kind of point of the question around contracts,  essentially every kind of contract that you see from the  festival will outline sort of cancellation terms and you  will, of course, if the event gets rained off or where the  conditions are so bad, then, yeah, the consultation clauses  cover that, so you don't need to worry about that, but make  sure when you receive the performance contracts through  from festivals, that you familiarise yourself with what  those provisions are because, obviously, we're all working  outdoors, this is something that we have to deal with as  part of every event that we run and operate, so that's  perfectly standard. I'm going to have a look over at the Q  and A panel just now. I might just take some from the top.  How advanced does a project have to be? We're in  early stabling in R&D for autumn 2022 and finish the  project in 2023. Would we be able to apply? Yes,  certainly is the answer to that first part of the  question. As long as you're intending to present this  

work in 2023, then that's definitely eligible. The  second part of the question is as a follow-up, how detailed  does our budget have to be at this point and how much work  are we expected to present,  if any, while applying?  Ideally we would like budget information to be as firm as  possible because what we will be doing as part of the  selection process is taking whatever information you  provide us with just now and that's what we will be using  to base air budgets on in terms of how we allocate  the commissioning support and the creation support, but we  will also be using whatever information you provide us  with about the touring costs. That's what we will use to  base our programme plans on as well, so, yeah, if you're able  to get as accurate as information as possible as  you have at this point, that would be ideal. Usually we  will check in with at people late in the process once we  get to the short listing stage to check if anything has  changed with their budget plans, but ideally if you can  make those as detailed as possible at  this stage and that would be great.  

There's a very simple kind of question here  which is: do you support short pop-up performances and  roaming artists? Clive?  » Yes. The short answer is yes. We support all types of  different work, if it's walkabout. This year we've  got the big gay bicycle which is a big walkabout, pop-up  show. We're encouraging small commissions this year to see 

new work. It is good to know what it is, but some of the  most exciting things can be the pop-up walkabout stuff as  well, so we do programme that. » Fantastic. Certainly  walkabout performance, and street theatre is the starting  point for where so many of these festivals came from, so  absolutely that's exactly the kind of work that we're  looking to programme along with contemporary dance or  with visual arts or sound- based kind of work. We cover  the whole range of work that you can kind of present in  outdoors. The next question, we are an arts charity working 

with adults and young people with learning disabilities.  We have a strand with our special assignments company  that is specific to outdoor work. Would we as a company  and arts charity, are we eligible for this grant?  So that's really looking at the nature of the  organisations that are applying and what I would say  is that, yes, certainly any kind of organisation or any  kind of individual sole artist is very welcome to apply for  Without Walls support as long as the project that you're  proposing kind of really fits the criteria for what it is  that we present through the network,  and the projects you're proposing should be suitable  for touring context. Charmaine, do you want to  say a little bit about in terms of festival  context rather than other context, or are there any  other things you think about when dropping ideas along that  front? » I think  Mainly it is about trying to always think  as big as a diversity of possibilities as  I can. I try not to make work that will work only in a 

specific situation, that it's something that is adaptable,  that the staging is adaptable, that the content is broad  enough and it can speak to lots of people. To me  basically it is just there are going to be, whatever work   you're making, there are going to be constraints you can't budge  on. If it's a dance show, you might need dance floor, which  is going to make your weather contingency very difficult,  but it also might be that if you're wanting to put the work  and reach the broadest audience, you need dance floor  to do it, then do it. But thinking about how to make  yourself flexible in other ways so that you can work for  lots of different environments. » Yeah. Absolutely. I think  that's a really good point with regards to the festivals  that Without Walls works with. You might be performing at one 

festival that takes place in a town square, you might be  performing at another festival that takes place in a public  parks, and you might be performing at a third festival  that takes place in a rural sort of green field setting  around a forest, out in the countryside, and so, yeah,   it's really a case of thinking about how you work sits in all  of those possible kind of environments and how contained  you can get your production so that you're able to just  arrive at whatever kind of festival you're performing at,  kind of showing up ready and then you will be performing as  soon as possible after you arrive. I think that's a good  way to kind of think about it.  I'm interesting in bringing  a tour, festival and have  seven plus shows, and it is more ... Without Walls cover some  of the costs, my producer fee, is this over ambitious for one  application or shall I do multiple applications for  multiple shows. Clive I will bring Clive in, in a  second, but what I would say in response to that is that  Without Walls is supporting a production, what we are  typically supporting is a single standard alone piece of  performance. So it is whatever kind of format that takes, it  would be for a single kind of production and you are,  effectively, pitching that production at Without Walls  and that art advertise particular director would  decide whether they want to support that particular kind  of idea or not. I would say it's best to go with something 

which is the format you would have for a single touring theatre  or touring dance production, if it's a performance-based  piece. Clive, do you have any thoughts on that?  » Yes. A few things that I haven't picked up on as well.  Yes, think about the audience this is for. As soon as I  think about that wrestling thing, I'm thinking that might  work for the audience or might not do. One of the big  concerns I've got as an artistic director is the  health and safety stuff and production side, so Charmaine  talked about us not putting shows on in bad weather, which  we would never do. It's only to make sure it's all safe. 

We would always support anybody that says "I can't  perform in this", et cetera, but I think about health and  safety and having wrestleers on my site as well, but also  look at not just the spaces but what sort of rationale  that the festivals have got because depending on what the  type of show is, it might appeal for that particular  type of audience. We have diverse audiences as well as  the everyday audiences around the area, and we're looking at  programming stuff that meets that as well, also the  practicalities of what you're bringing. If you're bringing  a big wrestling ring or you need me to hire in a big  wrestling ring, that might be presumptive. That might  prevent me producing stuff. So when you're thinking about  what you're doing, also think about what sort of  infrastructure you need to have that show and if it's  a big show, it will take over my fairly small space, it  might not be practical. So all those things in designing 

it. I'm getting very carried away with the wrestling thing  because I like the idea, but all those things to see that  it's a practical thing to be able to do for us as art  advertise particular producers. » Yes, and the follow-up point  would be in terms of when it comes to reviewing the  proposals, I think the kind of ideas that stand out are the  ones that have a single kind of coherent kind of idea or  kind of focus to them and the festival partners or  presenters can work out and go , yes, that's the thing that I  want to present, and sometimes what gets tricky if companies  say we have two or three different kind of versions of  the show, and unless it's something  where it is slightly larger or smaller kind of scales, it can  get quite tricky for the festival to decide which of  these three ideas, as it were being asked, to kind of select  or present here, and so more that you can narrow it down to  one single kind of this is will be the show basically and  clear and more helpful it can be for people.   There were some practical questions about the  application form, and a few bullet points there. Where it  lists a number of characters, is it with or without spaces?   I believe that it should be with spaces. There is also  a bullet point around is there any guidance around how many  characters to use for the access and environment  questions, so I don't think we have limited the characters on  that, but what I would say is it's based for you, as with  any part of the application, to really be as concise and as  focused as possible. So don't feel that you need providing 

reasonables and reams of information there. It is just  get straight to the point and tell us exactly what it is  you'd like to do. A question, if I could link to  websites and bios in the application? We work on the  online form? Yes, they will come through and everyone on  the selection panel will have access to those. Again, my 

suggestion would be that you focus on providing  the best material possible that you want people to look  the arather than a larger volume of material. Normally  when we run an open call, we review up to 120 different  proposals. Obviously, the amount of time that everyone  is able to spend going through each one is kind of limited,  so definitely I would focus on including your best punchiest  material when it comes to publicising the show, and  following on from that, the next bullet point was  marketing. We will have new ones after September, can we  submit new images later. That is a possibility if you want  to keep updated during the selection process, then you  certainly can do. You can contact the XTRAX team through  our website if you have updates about the show, then  we will try appeared feed those to the partners to keep  that information updated. Then the last bullet point 

there was is it worth submitting a storyboard for  the show. Yes, actually, if you've got that material  available at this stage, then anything that helps to give  people sort of a really strong sense of what the performance  will look or kind of sound like, can be quite valuable  and useful. » Be very specific because a  lot of images are good, but are not useable for press. So  images that we're look f-ing for, for press, it you get  down that road, are DPI or DBI. You might have a  really good image but if it's not of that quality, it won't  make the newspapers and stuff. I'm on the verge of sernding  that out, so I might as well say it here. 

» Absolutely. We don't expect people to provide us  with their strategies at the proposal stage F it is  successful and gets picked up, quite soon after we send an  offer letter and we follow-up with you to gather your final  marketing materials and copy and things like that, so you  don't have to worry about  that. It's more about your  concept, energies or design drawings or anything like that,   and if you have that material, then that's all  accessible to include as part of the proposal and it will  come through and that will all be shared  within the proposals. If another question in advance around 

access costs. I think there might be a couple of different  questions around this in different ways. The one I  have in front of me is, is there a separate pot for  access for collaborators like Ace or does this all go into  the main budget? Do we separate them out? I think  the reference there might be to if the Arts Council has  procedures where you can apply separately for additional  costs additional to your grant, but certainly for Without Walls what I would say  is that if you know that you are going to be working with  performers or collaborators who have particular access  requirements, then certainly you will include those costs  and your main kind of budget and the way out you expect  those to be and you will just fly for that kind of as part  of the grant application that you're submitting to us.  Obviously, there may be instances where if you think  some of those costs may be supported by access for work,  any sort of funds like that, then do also include those as  part of your income for your budget to outline that and  certainly I would definitely recommend anything to do with  access costs that you need to kind of deliver the work.  Then, yeah, include that as part of your production budget  for the full programme and just apply for that as part of  the grant. So I hope that's clear.  

Another question in advance, regarding touring  installation, can you provide some advice on applying for  funding for touring only, what kind of costs are included and  what costs are covered, and do installations have to be  wheelchair accessible and which is a very good question.   I would say that basically the way that applying for  touring support works is that what you should do is you  should outline what your touring fees are as a  company and provide as much information as possible about  what your staging requirements for the show are, because if  you apply to Without Walls for touring support, then what  that means is that you as the company wouldn't receive  funding Without Walls direct from Without Walls directly,  but any festivals will be supported to present your work  . If you're only applying for touring support, then you  should outline as clearly as possible what your artists  fees and staging requirements will be so we can factor that  into our presentation budgets. I don't know Clive or  Charmaine if you have anything to say on that?  » It's really good to factor in the cost. The cost that it costs to  event, because there might be a cost inputting a piece up or  putting something in where we need to hire a picker or a  crane thing or whatever it is, around that adds to the cost. 

It is also worth thinking about that with your  commissioning process because if you've got a good big  commission but at the end of it you come up with something  which is quite expensive to put on at the show because  part of that process you've got new bits of things, it's  worth to think about that as early as you can. You can't  always do it. Sometimes you find out that through that  sort of research process that you need a bit of care or you  need to put certain things on to make it safe which it  wouldn't have occurred until somebody risk assessed it. 

You need to think about all of those on costs and stuff as  well. » I  When you asked about making things wheelchair accessible,  I feel like whenever something like that occurs to you, we're  constructing this thing, I wonder if we need to make it  wheelchair accessible, then go yes. As much as possible,  this tl is this choice that makes more people able to  access it or less, always go for more.  » Yes, thanks for that. I think that's a really good  point and I think that's very much our approach now Without  Walls, is that we provide support to make artists have  more accessible work. If it's something like installation-  based worng, then we encourage all artists to be thinking  about right at the point when you're first conceiving your  budget and definitely when  you're coming up with technical  plans. The more people have thought about that in advance 

r the better, really. That's not to say that we don't have  a proscriptive bar on these things, but certainly it is  something that people will be thinking  about and as Charmaine says, one of the great things about  outdoor arts is the ability to reach really large and wide  and diverse kind of audiences as well, and as soon as you  start putting work in the outdoors, all manner of people  will be encountering it and you hope that everyone who  encounters it will want to be able to take part and  participate in it as well, so I think it is really good for  people to be asking themselves those questions right from the  outset. » I just want to appeared  one bit is that the thing that I've found is the more I do  things to deliberate open the access to a specific group, it  helps other people who I hadn't  expected as well, so if you  were going to make something wheelchair accessible,  suddenly it is more accessible to the person who has recently  had a knee operation and it just a  bit - find steps tricky or more accessible for someone  with a pram with a baby in it. It will have unexpected  opening of doors that you didn't  plan on every time, I think.  » Yeah, absolutely. I think we find that quite a lot.  

The at the question is: can you talk more about what you  mean by narrative drama requirements and performance  and they're from a theatre background but wants to do a  participation programme to encourage... which sounds great. Clive,   have you got any thoughts of dramaturgy narrative?  » Yes. It is always good to look at what the story arc is.  If you're doing participatory, and you're starting audiences  and where you're taking the audience, even if they're  participating in it, it good to look at that journey. A  lot of the time people sort of do a thing when they expect it  all there, it is straight, but it might be, especially  with not narrative, it is not text-led, is so you're not  taking people there, you're taking through a visual story  of participatory story, where we have been  with Without Walls generally to run some sort of sessions  for outdoor arts. I'm a big one on it because even if it 

is a visual thing you're putting on, I think thinking  about that story arc what you see and what the audience sees,   what you want the audience to take away, is a very  important thing because you might be in the middle of it  as a participant and either as a participant or as an  audience member what about is that journey and what do you  walk away with at the end of it.  » Yeah, absolutely. It would be great to get your  thoughts on it as well, Charmaine, because obviously  your work is both kind of very physically based but very  storytelling based as well. » Yeah. But even the work  that I made before I kind of really pushed into more of a  physical storytelling, the work that I was making before  that was very much had a lot of audience pampgs and was  very much more much - some people would perceive it to  not have a narrative, because it it was the narrative was my  next trick will be, but I was always really clear what I  wanted the audience to experience and people had  their own layers, they experienced their own things,  but I knew what I wanted. Where I wanted to meet them  and where I wanted to leave them, and kind of a shape of  how I was doing that and I had by knowing what - I think that  is, it is a narrative even if it's a very simple one, of I  want to create this feeling in the space or I'd like people  to - the current work I'm doing, the main thing I anchor  to was I wanted people to walk away considering their own  moments where they have been strong in their life, and the  great thing about having that clarity is then as I was doing  test shows, I was able to ask people what was going on in  their head when I'd finished and check if that was  happening, and kind of make adjustments to make sure that  the impact I was trying to create was happening, and so  you don't have to have a story arc that is like a written  story. It can just be a feeling journey that you want 

to take people through. » Yeah. I think those are  really great insights there from both of you, and I think  one of the reasons why we sort of chosen to  emphasise that a bit, in the proposal and guidance material  , is that a lot of the work that takes place in outdoors  might use non-verbal kind of storytelling or physical kind  of storytelling, so if it's physical theatre or dance work  , you don't have that kind of written script in the same  kind of way that you would with  an indoor or outdoor theatre show, but it is great for  people to be focusing on where are the audience at any given  point in this kind of performance and there is a  clear how you've gotten here from where you were and as an  idea or as a sense of where  we're going to be going with it  next. I think those are the things that we're thinking  about when we're talking about dramaturgy. There's a quick question, a  must work be outside, would you consider a experience--  must work be outside? Would you consider a performance/  experience in a covered outdoor space? I would say  it is better to think about the work arse definitely being  very much kind of outside in the street or in the open air. 

That's not to say that there aren't occasionsly chose that  you might see outdoor arts fist values which are things  like an installation inside a caravan or a trailer or  something like that. That kind of work does exist, but I  think from the Without Walls programming point of view we're very much kind of  interested in that work that's kind of bearing directly in  the street rather than being placed in a tent or something  like that. Clive, do you have any other thoughts on that on  ? » There's some great shows  that have been a side show type shows. There's one that  was based around tarro and poltergeists and stuff, which  I really enjoyed, but they become one-on-one smoes or  small shows because it can't be such a big tent on the site.   If you've got a big tent on the site, that will take up  most of your sites. So I think it is not prohibitive,  but it needs to be actually, really strong idea and it  needs to be doable on most of our sites. Some of the ones, 

smaller shows, have been great and I really enjoyed them, but  it needs to have the aspect of being able to turn over and  have a lot of people come through it otherwise it limits  how many people can participate. So, really,  really think about it if that's  what you're aiming to do.  » That's a really good point that Clive touches on there,  for any proposal that you're putting forward, it is good to  be clear about how many audience members do you think  are going to be able to engage with it, especially if it's a  more intimate experience. Generally your programmeers  are going to look at when they look at the cost for staging  your show, the question that  they're going to be asking themselves is how many  audience members are going to be able to engage with this at  any one time, so certainly your festivals do  present work which can be quite large and expensive, bu  they will expect that work to reach large audiences, and  when you talk about large audiences outdoors, you're  talking about thousands, or tens of thousands of people  for large-scale work. If your work is only going to be  performed on a one or one or intimate basis with low  audience numbers throughout the course of the day, then it  is worth thinking about where you're pricing that work as  well and making sure that those two things match up. 

Another question: practicalities  of tooving (?). I was wondering the likelihood  extent of the shows required in a year and on average how  many festivals each show appearss at-- touring. The  way that the Without Walls process works is that you will  submit your proposal and if that's successful, we will  come back to you with an offer of a certain number of tour  dates from artistic director. Normally, we would say that we 

would be looking for shows to perform  at, at least three festivals, but up to potentially ten,  which is the maximum number of festivals on the network.  Usually it would be much more in the middle of that, so  there might be four, five or six tour dates  that you get an offer of, but we aim to have at least three  performances for every show to make a tour viable. It could  be kind of potential of ten, but we have one show this year  that is touring to almost every festival in this season  but I think that might be the first time that's happened.  Then returning to t he next part of the question,   what is the likely notice period be if selected?  We would be looking to notify everyone certainly by November  or even October, I think. We have to line things up this  year with results of our own application  to the funds, so they will be declared towards the end of  October. We hope that we can confirm the Without Walls 

programme in November  provided, of course, that the  applications are successful and that would be for touring   and performances potentially starting as early as the  beginning of May 2023 onwards.  I would like to understand  if we could take bookings outside the touring programme  or are we contracted under the tour just to those festivals  in the consortium. The answer to that is no, you're not  restricted. Part of what we hope to achieve for Without 

Walls is that the work that we support and commission will  tour as widely as possible, not just across the UK but  potentially internationally as well if the work is successful.   The only thing that we ask is for people to bear in mind  the tour dates that we have kind of listed for without  walls kind of festival and if you receive an offer of tour  dates, then we would hope you would be able to get  preference to the Without Walls partners that are looking to  book the shows. I guess that means  if you're talking to other festivals  at the moment about performance dates for 2023, it  would be great if you could keep those at the pencil stage  until we've been able to provide a formal offer of what  your potential Without Walls dates are likely to be. 

Charmaine, any thoughts on managing that booking process  or scheduling that process? You do a lot of dates, don't  you. » Yeah.   That thing is always tricky about balancing  all of the - you know, where you have more priority for or  where the offers are coming in and not confirmed yet and all  that stuff. For me it was really clear. If anything  came in that was talking about those same dates  that had Without Walls on it, I could pop a pencil on here  but I have this other thing that is a priority if it comes  through. Especially if you are going to get the answer is 

October/November, then it's the perfect amount of time  then to fill all the gaps around it and I found that  even outside of the Without Walls touring  festivals, by having the support of Without Walls  helped me to open up some new networks about other areas to  get more work that didn't come because of Without Walls, but  because people would see me on that website or the kind of  confirmation that this new show has someone behind it  helped to open up more things, so you should be able to tour  really widely.  » The next question is asking regarding  environmental sustainability of a production, if your  production is about environmental sustainability,  would it be useful for you to know this is all incorporated  or are you strictly speaking of the delivery process?  Your question around environmental sustainability,  it is a subject that a lot of artists are keen to explore at  the moment. When we're talking in the proposal form  about the environmental sustainability of a production,   what we're asking about is  anything that a touring company is doing to  bring down your own carbon foot principality. That might  be you're not going to tour in a van but train or public  transport and carrying all costumes or props ourselves,  ideas like that. There if  you're looking for ideas and 

thought around what you might do around that, there's quite  a lot of material on the Without Walls website. We've  done a lot of workshops or seminars or case studies  around this, so there's a lot of ideas there on the website.  Of course, if your show is going to be about  environmental themes or things,  it would be interesting to  know how you're applying that through your production and  touring plans as well. The second part of that question,  please can be expand on the creation budget and how we  present this. As a percentage of total funding or as a fait accompli.  I guess the simple way that I would say it is basically  provide us with as much budget detail as you possibly can and  the way I would normally present that is just a  straight kind of budget listing which has your  anticipated income at the top, a breakdown of all the costs  that you expect to incur below that and then a line at the  bottom saying net balance which is your income minus  your expenditure and we would always expect that to balance  out to zero pretty much. As much detail as you can  point of view. That just lets us understand a lot more about 

the logistics of your show and it does help to paint a  picture of what you have in mind in terms of how you're  going to create the work and how it might  evolve. I'd say particularly important information is the  number of people you expect to have on tour as well because  that's something that also factors into our budget  planning when trying to come up with the touring budget.  Clive, any thought from you? » It's exactly that, making sure  that you have featured the things you need in the  creation budget, including the proper support for your  rehearsal time and stuff as well, so you're paying your  artists for the rehearsal  time, for the making time,  directors, et cetera. Have a good idea about who is coming 

on the tour and stuff. Sometimes that does fluctuate  and goes up and down and will be an oncost that is covered  by the festival. So we're keen to try and find out at  the beginning of the process what we're roughly going to  get at the end. Process. Sometimes those numbers can  change quite a bit from when we commission. It is a  commissioning process, though. It is being fair that things 

do change. You're not going to know six months before  exactly that, but it's trying to foresee that, looking at  what you might need, so it is better to budget for something that you might need  that doesn't happen than the other way around. So that  cost gets passed on to somebody else. Don't be 

scared to include the budget items. You know, if you need  to have transport items in there, if you need to hire a  big truck to get stuff in there, include it and don't  have that hitting you at the other end when you go, it's  going to can cost me a grand and a half.  » The next question is how to create interactive  installations that people can touch... 

do you fund this kind of thing or only performance-  based work. That is a good question. I would say that,  yes, we do. When it comes to things which are kind of  installation based, we have a lot of this in the programme  which shows that are either installation  art based or sound art installation based. I think  the thing that is attractive for Without Walls festivals in  particular is if that work is interactive and if the  audience are able to relate to it or interact with it? Way. 

That's the work that we're really interested in when it  comes to installation kind of sound based work. That  definitely sounds like it would be something that is  appropriate for our programme. Another question  in advance: we're interested in applying  for grants ... bicycle, two more pieces  informed by experience of the show, and tour that as a tree  owe of new pieces. I'm just trying to summarise the rest  of the question here. The final part is you » I'm sorry, could you just  repeat that? I didn't quite get it. 

» Sorry. I was trying to summarise it there. It was an  artist asking they have an existing piece of work that  they're looking to expand with new elements. Would Without Walls support  that. I think the answer is yes, you can certainly submit 

a proposal to create the new aspects  of it. Something that we often get asked  is when Without Walls says we support new work, people might  have a show that they've already developed which has  already had a few performances and they're asking what is the  cut-off point there. I would say  that if you have created a piece of work and you've  already done a few tests performances of it or maybe  one or two festival performances, then it is fine  to still apply to Without Walls  for touring support if you've created the show. What we 

would say is that if your production is already kind of  appeared more than three or four festivals, and definitely  if it's already toured for a full season of work, then we  would consider that already existing kind of work, so it  wouldn't likely to be something that we support.   Is that okay? » You wouldn't support?  » We wouldn't support work that is toured too extensively.   So if it's had four or five performances at your  professional outdoor arts festivals, then that might not  be something that we would support.  » If sounds to me if I was going  to be-- it sounds to me if I was going to apply for that, I  would frame it as a seed of this work and we know because  of the seed of the work that there is an audience for it  and so we want to expand that,  we want to create a new piece that incorporates this  existing stuff. That seems to me how you would frame it. 

» A lot of work goes through different stages of  development. One of the pieces on tour this year,  Lives of Clay, I presented it as a film in door thing and  then it became a bit of the a bigger outdoor show. I wouldn't   be afraid if you've gone through a bit of development  in showing the work, et cetera,  this might be the natural  next stage to get if out to that wider audience. So we  look that the sort of stuff. » A second follow-up question as 

well, which is we know that Without Walls has recently  supported another company to have shows on electric bikes.  Ours will be different ... I would say no. I think we  often have as I've said already, each year I think we  often get a lot of proposals now that are exploring ideas  around the environment and I think we basically kind  of judge just ever idea and proposal on its own merits, so  don't worry too much if you or another artist that Harris  Scarfe been on the Without Walls programme, you have a  show that has used similar elements or ideas, it is very  much your idea that we want to find out about, so, yeah, if  you focus on presenting that as well as possible, I think  that's the important thick thing. The next  question, an idea around a show that looks at modified  car culture and street culture:  it's been developed as a  large car performance last summer, I would like to  develop this into a smaller tourable show that features a  stage car and van. We see dramaturgy is important. We  can keen to develop the story and connect the BBC film to  the live event. Can you expand what you're looking for 

in application. How do you want us to approach dramaturgy.  I think that an open question for us, I think what Without  Walls is looking for is for you as the artist and  creator to understand what the interaction is going to be and  to present that as clearly as possible. I would say that  when you're talking about the idea of starting point for the  show and around modified car culture and having a car and  its performance live and we do have a show that is similar to  that as part of this year's programme, so that's already  following on from the last question. If you maybe 

checkout kiss of phobia, it has been on  at Norwich festival. If you want to submit that as a  proposal, then it would be good to checkout that show and  figure out what is distinctive and what  the difference is with your project, what else you're  trying to achieve with your idea. I would also say as  well that one of the questions with that project is around  environmental sustainability as well. So what you might  find is that there have been questions coming up with your  local authority partners around if you're touring  something which is cars and so on, what message is that  sending about environmental sustainability. Those are 

things that might be worth thinking about and addressing  as part of your proposal. » We were interested in it  as an initial idea, but our mayor is against any  pieces of work that use cars and petrol because of  emissions because we would be seen to promote it. Even  though I really like the piece and what it is saying, it is  something that we might not be able to get a licence to do  because they're against it. » Yeah. I think the  background information is what we're learning to  think about. A  question from Lightlyhouse and I think these are specifically  around budget questions: are core and/or project  staff cost eligible. There are a list  that festivals cover and are NPOs eligible. Cover those 

first and third points together. Certainly core  project staff costs could be eligible, but I think it would  maybe be dependent around where the organisation already  receives NPO funding or not. It may be  that you want to list a contribution of core staff  time as part of of the match funding, that your  organisation is providing towards the development of the  project and that's one way to look at it. Is there a list of eligible  costs that festivals cover. I would say 

that the festivals would - you will cover  whatever is required to stage the work. The distinction  there is maybe around what stage is elements the festival  preside. This might be useful for people that haven't  developed outdoor art shows before, so examples of things  that you wouldn't necessarily be expected to tour with as a  company would be things like seating or kind of stage  index or in some cases, MPAs. A lot of those things are  things that the festival might be kind of organising as part  of their arrangements for the festival and all they need you  to provide is a very clear kind of list of what you're  staging requirements for the company  are. Some companies might tour with their own PA if  sound of music is an important part of their production and I  think that is best for people to be clear about what they  intend to tour why. Have you got any thoughts on that? 

» Yes. I would say this current show is the first time I'm  touring with a really good quality PA of my own for  example because the sound was so important. That's been a  really nice thing for me to know what I'm working with and  it's the same everywhere, but things like if your show is  going to be - if your show is really dependent on certain  seating, then maybe you will want to tour with it because  not every festival will be able to provide   the same thing. The more you can be like any kind of thing for people  po sit on, most festivals could provide at least some  cushions on the floor or something but I've seen shows  tour with seating things because it was part of their  vision and lots of festivals wouldn't be able to provide  everything. It is that thing of remembering the scope of 

where you're going to go and that as much as possible if  you can be self-contained, I think it is a great way to  travel. »  I'd second that as well because anything that  the festival needs to provide, it is a cost. It will provide  PAs, infrastructure, PDs, accommodation support, but  then if you are talking about my outdoor piece needs a big  stage, that is going to be a cost  and it will differ between what people and festivals can  do. There's some festivals that have seating in stock and  others, in particular additional has to get hired in.   It is thinking about that as well.  » A couple of last points there,  if you're planning for touring costs only as a premier  requirement for presentation in the UK,  and the answer to that is no and that's also --  » Sorry, I missed that question again. 

» The question is if you're applying for touring costs  only, is there a premier requirement for presentation  UK and so it's asking would the company have to premier at  Without Walls festival and the answer to that is no. You can  have had sort of initial performances elsewhere before  you start touring with the Without Walls network.   The last point is would applying for  fund for a project with creation touring this year  affect outcomes for an application for Blueprint R&D  in the following round for a different project, and the  answer to that is also no. So we always treat each open call  as an individual thing and it doesn't necessarily matter if  a company has - certainly when it comes to Blueprint and  creation in touring funds, we have companies that you have  Blueprint projects and development with us and also  potentially kind of working on creation and touring supported  kind of shows as well, so it doesn't bar you from applying.  One thing I would say is that we do obviously try  and keep the programme as open as possible, and so if a  company has received sort of creation and touring funds  from without walls in one  year, then it might be almost  likely that they might receive a touring grant from us in the  following year, but yeah there's  certainly still nothing to  prevent you from submitting proposals for  that as well. Something that is good to get across 

as well, we're answering technical questions around the  budgets and finance kind of questions, but I think it is  quite important to get costs as well that without walls it  isn't necessarily a funding scheme in the same way as  maybe the Arts Councils national lottery grants are.  It is really a commissioning scheme as well, and so the  other thing that the artistic director are looking at when  putting together the programme is the whole nature of the  programme and the round and how the different projects  that we're selecting can fit together as a programme  as well. There's a lot of work and a lot of thinking  that goes into it on that basis. That's  why we're looking for a variety of ideas, a diversity  of artists as well and those things are also factored  into the decision-making process and quite a lot. Then we're into the last  minutes now so we will try and go through this quickly as  possible and answer the last few questions left in the Q  and A panel. An outdoor installation that invites people to perform,   can we share some approaches to dramaturgy that we can  explore. I think maybe the best thing to do there is to 

take a look on the Without Walls website and go through  some of the projects from previous years, so I think  maybe project like Raylee's congregation is  an example of a sound piece that has an interactive  element. Also Arrivals and Departures from a couple of  years ago. It was an installation that feeds off  data that audience members provided. Clive, can you  think of particular examples as well?  » Arrivals and Departures was a really good one. The 

automated instant selfie we had in the same year where you  sent in a picture of yourself and then it was drawn at ten  feet by ten feet, which was really good as well. It's  that sort of thing where audiences can feel that they're participating   in stuff. It's not dramaturgy but you get your story expressed and those  pieces came at the end of the pandemic and so Arrivals and  Departures was poignant. You could send in somebody that  that arrived or departed that year. It told a story in  itself through having  that overview of what the visual arts piece was. 

» Grant. When it comes to that  kind of work, it's pretty much describing that interaction  that you intend to have with the audience. Effectively  that is the dramaturgy of the work in that case. It's not  something that necessarily has a narrative kind of tour. It'  s all about what is interactivity is the important  thing to outline and get across in the proposal. Then 

there's another question there as well: please share more  information about budget, which are covered by Without  Walls and such as manufacturing creation and what is covered by the  festivals touring costs. I would say this is a question  as to how you split your budget between creation costs  and touring costs and fees, and I would say for creation  costs you should include anything that is going to be  required to get that show up until the point at which it is  ready to kind of go on the road, so it's the rehearsal  costs, fabrication costs, your creative team kind of fees and  your rehearsal fees for actors or performers or musicians. It   will take you up to the point of premiere, and then  from then on, any additional costs that you acquire to have  the show on the road, you want to factor it into your artists  fees that you're quoting for either one or two days of  performances and very clearly outlining if there's anything  that you think the festivals need to provide such as kind  of hiring or anything like that. You're not going to be  touring with as a company. Then providing us with a clear 

outline of what that is going to be. Charmaine, have you  got any thoughts? » Yeah. Just that trying to  when you're - the bit with the touring costs, that you might  want to, when you're first giving the pricing for it, to  break it down into there's this much for - when you'

2022-06-24 15:13

Show Video

Other news