2023 Programme Open Call: online Q&A
» 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'