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Open Call 2021

POSTED: 16 February 2021

It's our annual Open Call! If you're a creative practitioner or collective, submit your online event proposal by 29 March for an opportunity to make it happen with Autograph's support.

Are you a creative practitioner or collective, looking to share and inspire conversation, creativity and connection? We’re inviting proposals for online events to take place using Autograph’s digital platforms as part of our 2021 open call.

Selected proposals will take place between 2021 and early 2022. Successful applicants will receive a £500 budget, £250 curatorial fee, support in developing their event, and access to Autograph’s resources.

This is our fourth annual open call for emerging cultural producers who are working on a new or early-stage project. We invite artists, producers, writers, performers, musicians, curators and collectives to propose and host an event that relates to Autograph’s mission to explore issues around identity, representation, human rights and social justice.

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. 

Deadline to apply: 10am on Monday 29 March 2021.


This year we are inviting proposals for online events only. Successful applications will be selected by Autograph’s Learning and Curatorial teams.

Autograph will commit a budget of up to £500 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.

You/the collective will also receive a single £250 curatorial fee.
Successful applicants will receive support with the following, via Zoom meetings with Autograph’s team:
• Planning, developing and structuring your event
• Marketing your event through Autograph’s website and social platforms
• Sharing outputs and archiving the event on Autograph’s blog, where relevant


Applications can be made either in writing or via video. Written documents should be no more than two sides of A4. Images should be sent as separate files. Videos should last no more than 5 minutes. Unsuccessful applicants from former years are welcome to reapply.

To apply, please send us the following:
• Your name and contact details
• About you and your work – feel free to include links and reference images (sent as separate files to the written application) where relevant
• Your proposed idea, including an outline of potential contributors / speakers / performers etc.
• A proposed breakdown of the £500 budget
• Who is this event or activity aimed at?
• Any other information you feel is relevant to your application and that you would like us to be aware of

Please send your application by email or WeTransfer to with ‘Open Call’ and your full name in the subject line.

We are committed to making the application process as accessible as possible. If you would prefer to apply in another way more accessible to you, contact Livvy at

Deadline for proposals: 10am on Monday 29 March 2021. A final decision will be made by the end of April. Only successful applicants will be contacted.


Autograph launched its Open Call programme in 2018 with a view to providing emerging creatives and producers with paid opportunities to stage events that connect with our mission to highlight issues of identity, representation, human rights and social justice. 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.

Here's what past participants had to say about their experience of the programme:

"Autograph's Open Call gave us the chance to work together as two friends and an aspiring transnational collective; to bring our experience and ideas together and work directly with an artist we really admire. It was an opportunity to bring a timely, vital conversation to an international audience and offer a space for reflection and art-production. Autograph were encouraging of our idea from day one and offered invaluable insights about their audiences and event planning. Having Autograph manage the marketing, promotion and administration of the event freed us up to focus on the content, artist engagement and experimenting with the event format. It was an honour to be a part of the programme and to contribute to Autograph's continued presence despite Covid-related shutdowns.”  

– Haley Moyse Fenning and Delphine Sims, Open Call participants 2020 and curators of the Ripping Into Colonial Monuments event.

"Autograph's Open Call gave us the momentum and support we needed to realise a dream that we've had for a while. We felt heard and seen as we expressed our ideas and received feedback and advice on how to structure our event.

We definitely learned a lot from working with Autograph and now feel more confident to continue creating platforms of transnational solidarity among artivists. We're so thankful!"

– Clo Villalobos and Nikita Sena, Open Call participants 2020 and curators of the Artivism and Transnational Solidarity event.



Can I apply to put on an exhibition of works at Autograph?
No, this is a not an exhibition opportunity and any exhibition proposals received will not be considered.

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 and our online events have a transnational audience.

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 £500 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 £125 for short events (up to 3.5 hours). In addition to the budget, Autograph are also offering successful applicants a £250 curatorial fee.

Have any more questions? We’d love to hear from you, email Livvy Murdoch, our Learning and Participation Manager at


Can you spare a few moments? Autograph is carrying out a survey to better understand who our digital audiences are. The survey should take no longer than five minutes to complete. Anything you tell us will be kept confidential, is anonymous and will only be used for research purposes.

The information you provide will be held by Autograph and The Audience Agency, who are running the survey on our behalf. In compliance with GDPR, your data will be stored securely and will only be used for the purposes it was given. You can take the survey here. Thank you!

Images, from top: 1) Collage [detail] by Lauren Vassell, created during the Ripping Into Colonial Monuments online event. 2) Ma:Mum, 2019, THEY Series, Courtesy of KACH Studio. 3) Jônatas Moreira (instagram: 4) From DIS_connect: Disability and Digital (Im)mobilisation online event, 13 May 2020. 5) Art Futures Dream Tank image designed by Shani Asiko. 6) Sawti photograph by Nim BJ.