Performance Now - Tramway Live Art Commission:

Posted on 2 Nov 2020 in News, Performance

Performance Now - Live Art Commission
Application deadline - Friday 4 December

"At the cutting edge of ideas and expression, live art is a rejection of single artform practice and a challenge to received ways of seeing, thinking and doing. Live art poses questions of not only what art is and can be, but where it is and what it is doing there." Lois Keidan (Co-Founder - Live Art Development Agency)

Tramway is pleased to announce 2 commissioning opportunities for artists based in Scotland working in Live Art or Contemporary Performance. Artists in receipt of each commission will receive:

-Either one commission of £12k or one commission of £6k
-Up to 3 Weeks Rehearsal and Development Space in Tramway's Studio or T4 Theatre.  (If applicants wish to increase the amount of studio time available or work out with Glasgow we are happy for external studio hire to be budgeted in to compliment the in-kind space available. We are aware that some artists may wish to remain working at home as the pandemic continues.)
-In-House Technical Support.

This project is supported by the Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund.

Tramway is one of Scotland's leading international art-spaces; the venue acts as a hub for creative excellence in contemporary performance and the visual arts by commissioning artists, hosting residencies, and delivering festivals both local and internationally.  Tramway also recently launched its online channel 'Tramway TV' presenting a variety of online work, digital performance and artist moving image from the thoughtful, rigorous and poetic, to the irreverent and DIY. For thirty years Tramway has built a reputation for inspiring audiences and artists alike, through its unique post-industrial theatres and galleries, and ambitious programming.

We are seeking proposals from independent artists to create bold and thought-provoking work for the Covid-present world. Proposals can be based on existing ideas/work, adapted and/or developed for the current conditions, or new ideas and approaches. Artists can apply as an individual or with others as a collaborative team. A work-in-progress or sharing must take place by March 2021 with a final work presented between March and May 2021, and be possible to adapt/deliver under changing Covid-related conditions.

In light of such conditions, we invite artists to consider the potential of innovative forms under the broad banner of 'Performance Now'. This commission invites the creation of new work or the adaption of existing performance that can reach audiences in the current moment.  Such forms might explore, transgress or challenge notions of:

*Hybrid or Mixed Media (Work that can be adapted to both physical and digital spheres.)
*Space and Place (outdoor and site specific work that can be reached by foot/ considers accessibility)
*Participation (Work that is audience-activated or centres people and communities as collaborators)
*Time Based or Durational Works  

*Technology/Platforms/Networks and Realities  (Utilising old or new technology to reject the traditional one-way relationship between the audience and performer)
*Work that consider new ways of being 'present,' 'live' or 'together' that centres an innovative approach to social distancing.
*Work that considers new audiences (Virtual, local, global)

This list is not exhaustive and is intended to offer a jumping off point to demonstrate the breadth of work we are interested in hearing about. We encourage artists to apply their ideas however they see fit in the current circumstances. To be considered proposals must present understanding of the safety of artists and audiences within the contexts of the project.

Tramway recognises there has been systemic exclusion within the arts sector and is striving to put equity at the heart of our decision making. We are committed to increasing the diversity of people working in performance and especially welcome applications from those who identify as having characteristics currently under-represented. This includes black people and people of colour, disabled people, individuals identifying as LGBTQI, those with parental responsibilities and people from working-class backgrounds.  We particularly recognise that Black artists and artists of colour have been historically under-represented in Tramway's programme and are working to change this.  Decision making panels will include a wide demographic of lived experiences in their make-up and will comprise at least 50% people of colour.

To apply for this role we ask that applicants submit an 'Expression of Interest' by Friday 4th December that includes the following information:

-Indicate whether you are applying for the £12k or £6k commission
-Supply one of the following: a CV, biography or a link to your website. 
-Submit a short written statement about your artistic practice. (200 words)
-Link to a specific/relevant example of your work, plus optional description. (75 words)
-Detail of artistic proposal and an outline of key collaborators.  Please speak to the theme of 'Performance Now' (350 words)
-An indication of how you will navigate COVID 19 restrictions and ensure social distancing is maintained during the creation and presentation process. Considering scenario planning and adaptability in the design of the work. (200)
-Expected timescale and an outline/skeletal budget (10 lines).

Expressions of Interest can be submitted by video or voice note (no longer than 6 mins and accessed via a password protected platform e.g. Vimeo) format. Visual quality, camera and editing skills will not be taken into consideration for filmed submissions.

Deadline: Please send your Expression of Interest to entitled 'Live Art Commission – Expression of Interest' by Friday 4th December by 5pm. Artists will be notified if they have been selected by Monday 14th December.

If you have any further questions or need any support in preparing your proposal please email We encourage proposals from applicants with specific access needs and we are happy to work with you to the best of our ability to help with both the application process and to realise your idea.

We are committed to offering feedback to all applicants on the decision-making process.  The selection panel will be comprised of a Tramway representative and external panelists (including practicing artists) based outside of Scotland that represent a wide demographic of lived experiences.


Tramway have implemented safety controls to ensure your safety is prioritised. Aspects of accessing the space have controls and adaptations in place. For example there is a one way system, some limitations on equipment use, wear face masks when moving around the building and we ask that foodstuffs aren't left in spaces. In order to ensure we can tailor support to everyone's needs we will arrange a short meeting with a member of the operations team to go over your specific proposals, how we can support you and to make time to arrange an orientation on your first day. Tramway have risk assessments and recovery plans in place to ensure the safety of all artists and staff. These are available if you would like more detail.