Opportunities Board

Open Call For New Festival Commission: Festival of Culture and National Festival of Making
National Festival of Making

Opportunity closes: 4 Mar 2024
Type: Commission
Based: North West
Salary: Undisclosed

Website: festivalofmaking.co.uk
Instagram: @thefestivalofmaking

National Festival of Making and This Is Nelson have formed a partnership to create a new commission for architectural/design studios or artist/arts collectives. The outcome of the commission will be a temporary structure that can be used and transported between two festivals:

  • Festival of Culture, Nelson (29th June)
  • National Festival of Making, Blackburn (6-7th July)

We are looking for a bespoke structure that will be informed by our local communities across our towns, that will reflect our sense of place and geography and draw together what unites our towns when presented in the two different locations. Suitable applicants will be able to demonstrate experience of delivering socially engaged design processes that could work effectively in collaboration with the communities of Pendle and Blackburn.

We’re interested in a structure or temporary space that will invite audiences to have an experience that feels unique or out of the ordinary within the context of a ‘festival’. We are open to the space being celebratory, forming a site for the festival audience to gather together. Alternatively, the space could be reflective, a site for thoughtful exchange amongst festival audiences who may not regularly interact. We are also interested in proposals for the creation of an entry point to our festival sites, for example an archway, a garden, a pavilion, or a gathering space for young people. Regardless of the feel and function of the structure, it is crucial that the outcome reflects a shared ethos of both festivals: to create opportunities for celebratory demonstrations of local cultures through the combination of art and community.

Both festivals take place in town centres. We have established key locations based on past Festivals, however, we are open to the artist defining where the structure might be depending on the nature of the work and the audiences you want to attract.

PROJECT BUDGET: This co-commission has a budget in the region of £14,000 which should cover artist fees, materials, build and production costs, transportation, artist travel and any other associated costs – budget to be developed in discussion with the co-commissioners.

HOW TO APPLY: Download the PDF below to see the full guidance for this Open Call:

How To Apply

DEADLINE: Monday 4th March 2024, 5:00 pm.

Interviews will take place on Monday 11th or Tuesday 12th March. You will be notified if you have been selected for an interview no later than Thursday 7th March.


If you would like the application information in a different format or to discuss alternative ways to submit an application, please email [email protected]. We are open to many alternative ways to submit including video/audio recordings of commission proposals.

Festival of Making CIC’s aim is that our workforce, contributors and partners are representative of the diverse society we live in and that each individual feels respected, supported and able to give their best. We encourage applications from all backgrounds and communities and welcome discussions about specific individual requirements. Please contact us by emailing Helen on the details above, or email [email protected]