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Open Call: Identity and Self-Representation

POSTED: 29 August 2023

Calling all creative practitioners! Submit your event proposal on the theme of identity and self-representation for an opportunity to make it happen with Autograph's support

ABOUT THE Opportunity

Are you a creative practitioner or collective looking to take up space, share and inspire conversation, or build creativity and connection? We’re inviting artists, producers, performers, musicians, curators to suggest, shape and host a public programme event to take place either in our gallery in Hackney or via our online platforms. 

This year is Autograph's 35th anniversary. As part of our celebrations we will be sharing three Open Call opportunities over the course of the next 12 months, each focusing on a different theme. The theme of this first open call is identity and self-representation, in honour of Autoportraits, the first major exhibition that Autograph organised and curated. We will consider submissions for events on all manner of creative issues so long as it speaks to the theme. This might include – but certainly isn’t limited to - launch events, spoken word or performance, in-conversation and Q&A events, creative workshops, or film screenings.

The successful applicant will receive a £600 budget as well as a £400 curatorial fee. The selected event proposal will take place in either December 2023 or January 2024.

The deadline to apply has now passed.

Why apply

Autograph launched our annual Open Call programme in 2018 with a view to providing emerging creatives and producers with paid opportunities to stage events they might not otherwise have the opportunity to develop. Sharing our platforms and supporting emerging practitioners in this way is central to Autograph’s history of commissioning the production and sharing of knowledge, and to furthering our own institutional learning and reach.

As part of this programme, we welcome proposals that enter into this spirit of exchange and learning together. We’re interested to hear your ideas, to bring in new perspectives and voices to our programme.

In return, Autograph’s experienced staff will work with you to:
⭐️ develop the event concept
⭐️ produce and deliver the event
⭐️ access Autograph’s building and resources
⭐️ write engaging event copy to be shared on our website and social media channels
⭐️ market your event successfully to Autograph’s audiences and the wider public

How to Apply

The deadline to apply has now passed, however you can find out more about Autograph's other Open Call opportunities here.

Past open call events

Heavy Circle: Uplifting Black Masculinity

A conversation between Black men on education, mental health and ambition

See more

Sawti Zine Launch

A night of poetry, music and performance to launch Sawti's debut zine

See more

Disconnect: Disability and Digital (im)mobilisation

Artists discuss the meanings of stillness and mobility in a digitally hyperconnected society

See more

Art Futures Dream Tank

A participatory workshop for imagining regenerative futures for museums

See more

Good Stories Take Time

A conversation on creativity, legacy and non-reactive storytelling

See more

States of Wordlessness

Exploring neurodivergent space through creative practice

See more

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply to put on an exhibition of works at Autograph?
No, this is a not an exhibition opportunity.

Who can apply to the open call?
The open call is intended to support emerging cultural producers who are working on a new or early stage project. Applicants can be of any age. We understand ‘emerging’ to cover people across a spectrum of experience, which includes those who have not developed an event of any kind before. The selection process will prioritise emerging practitioners above more established practitioners.

Do I need to be based in the UK to apply?
No, we welcome applications from across the globe. Proposals can be for either online events or in-person events taking place at Autograph’s building in Hackney, London.

Can I propose an event to take place on a specific date?
You are welcome to propose an event to take place on a specific date, however please bear in mind that Autograph run a year-round programme of activity and our events need to work flexibly around the programme.

What would the budget cover?
Autograph will commit a budget of up to £600 to cover AV, access related costs, and contributor fees. Your proposed event or activity therefore needs to be of a suitable scale to fit this budget. Applicants are welcome to bring their own resources and funding to the events. Autograph’s programming team will provide successful applicants with support around developing their event in line with the budget. As a guideline, Autograph offers contributors a fee of £150 for short events (up to 3.5 hours). In addition to the budget, Autograph are also offering successful applicants a £400 curatorial fee.

Have any other questions? You can get in touch with us at

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Images on page from Joy Gregory, Autoportrait 1989/1990, commissioned by Autograph.