Open call

How Can I Stay? - Hosted Gatherings

We’re look­ing for pro­pos­als from artists and pro­gram­mers to host an in-per­son gath­er­ing for oth­er cre­ative prac­ti­tion­ers in rur­al contexts

23:30 21/01/24
£4500 (total budget including fees)
Contact Name
Hannah Rose
Members of the Visual Art South West (VASW) Steering Group have developed an eight month programme of activity to support creative practitioners who live and work rurally.

'How Can I Stay? (I don’t want to not want to stay)' aims to support creative people in the South West who face barriers due to a lack of cultural and public infrastructure, access needs, isolation and injustice. The programme (running March-October 2024) includes two cross-region online seminars, three in-person gatherings and published resources.

Open call - Hosted Gatherings:
We are looking for proposals from artists and programmers who would like to host an in-person gathering for other creative practitioners in rural contexts. We would like the sessions to take place between April and September 2024.

The practitioner-led gatherings should take place in spaces with level access (ground floor), ideally somewhere which is regionally significant to you. Gatherings don't need to be in formal art spaces, it might be possible to find a community space such as a village hall. We would encourage saving money wherever possible (for example, any catering should be low key and affordable) and to prioritise fees and covering participant’s costs.

The gathering will be designed to enable people from across the South West to attend and participate: to build new relationships and networks, feel inspired and invigorated and share experiences.

The gatherings should respond to one or more of the following prompts:
- Rurality and radical access and inclusion (e.g disabled access, safe spaces, addressing barriers, poor public infrastructure, social mobility, social economics)
- Rurality and resistance (e.g political resistance, economic resistance, cultural resistance)
- Rurality and working together (e.g collaboration, co-creation, cross-sector approaches)

There is a budget of £4500 per event to cover fees, travel, accommodation and delivery. We are providing an example breakdown for the budget but this is flexible and can be adjusted by applicants:

Example budget breakdown:
£1000 - fee
£500 - delivery (venue hire, hospitality and materials)
£1500 - travel and accommodation (incl bursaries)
£1000 - other fees (speakers / facilitators)
£500 - access

Additionally there is a budget of £200 to pay a photographer to document each gathering and a budget to cover costs for a creative practitioner to attend the event and write an editorial feature about their experiences of attending.

Support for the event:
VASW will support the event through marketing and can manage paying invoices of any invited speakers/facilitators; offer feedback and help coordinate other logistics.

How to apply:
1. Application questions and the selection can be viewed via this link (copy and paste):

2. Copy questions into a new document and send your answers to: by Sunday 21st January at midnight with the subject heading ‘How Can I Stay? - Application’

Any questions or other access needs please let us know.

Video Applications:
If you would like to submit your application via video file, please see the application form for guidance around time limits for each answer. Any questions, please contact

Please upload your video to Vimeo, YouTube or another online platform or website. Please paste the link to your video in your application email to

If your video is password-protected, please include the password in your email

Selection process and FAQs:
For further information please see the application form:

Deadline to apply: Sunday 21st January at 11.30pm