Create Bursary 2023 – Call For Artists

Greater Manchester LGBTQ+ Arts and Culture Network is delighted to launch a new opportunity for four LGBTQ+ artists or companies based in Greater Manchester to develop new performances to be showcased as part of TURN ON Fest at Hope Mill Theatre (Jan 2024), and the Greater Manchester LGBTQ+ Arts and Culture Conference (Feb 2024).

The CREATE Bursary opportunity is supported by our partners LGBT Foundation, Contact, Hope Mill Theatre, HOME, The Lowry, The Met, and Waterside Arts, and will include a cash grant of £1000, access to rehearsal space, and tailored development support from our partner venues.

The accessible version of this open call can be found here.

Greater Manchester LGBTQ+ Arts and Culture Network is an LGBT Foundation Project, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Create Bursary: What Do You Get?

  • £1000 cash supporting performance development (paid in advance)
  • £250 fee per performance (paid after TURN ON Fest, Conference performances)
  • Rehearsal space (10 days, with at least 1 day tech support)
  • Additional in-kind development, marketing, and production support
  • Opportunity to present your work to a public audience as part of TURN ON Fest at Hope Mill Theatre (Fri 26 January 2024)
  • Opportunity to present your work to an industry audience at the Greater Manchester LGBTQ+ Arts and Culture Network Conference (date/venue TBA, February 2024).
  • Post-performance feedback from partners including exploring potential for the work to be presented elsewhere / developed further / taken to full production in the future.

Create Bursary: What’s It For?

  • This award supports the creation of a new 15-minute work-in-progress extract to be developed between November 2023 and January 2024.
  • The work will then be shared with a public audience at TURN ON Fest at: Friday 26 January 2024
  • The work will then be shared with a public audience at our Conference in February 2024 (date/venue TBA)
  • We want to hear from contemporary theatre makers, performance artists, musicians, spoken word artists, dancers, circus and other live artists.
  • Performances should be rooted in theatre, dance, music, circus, live literature, live art or interdisciplinary performance practice. The work can include elements of other artforms such as visual art, but needs to be presented as a live performance.
  • Criteria

    We ask that work submitted for consideration fulfils one or more of the following criteria:

    1. Explores lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) and/or gender themes.
    2. Is of interest to an LGBTQ+ audience.
    3. Is created or presented by LGBTQ+ artists.
    4. Is a clear development opportunity for the artist or company.

    The work presented can vary in art form but must consist of a live performance, be 15 minutes in duration, and must be suitable for presentation both as part of the festival set-up for TURN ON Fest at Hope Mill Theatre, and the Conference set-up at our host venue (details TBA)

    About the presentation at Turn on Fest:

    Hope Mill Theatre will host the CREATE sharing on Fri 26 January 2023, as part of their 5th annual LGBTQIA+ Arts Festival: TURN ON Fest, a week celebrating local LGBTQIA+ theatre makers, featuring performances, workshops and networking events:

  • Our four artists will come together to share their 15-minute pieces in front of an audience in the 130 seat black box theatre based in the Grade 2 listed Hope Mill, Ancoats.
  • Artists will be able to make use of the theatre’s sound and lighting set-up, and the costume and props store.
  • Each piece will be shared, with a post-show Q+A led by Hope Mill Theatre Artistic Director Joe Houston and LGBT Foundation CEO Paul Martin MBE, to give greater context to the process and future development.
  • Audiences will be given feedback forms that will be shared with the artists to be used in the further development of their work.
  • Work will also be performed within the Conference timetable and set-up/ technical elements will need to be designed with this in mind. Full Conference technical set-up will be announced soon.
  • Successful candidates will be selected by a panel of Network representatives.
  • About You

    In order to be eligible for this commission, you must:

    • be over 18 years of age
    • identify as LGBTQ+
    • make work in a theatre, dance, circus, live art, live literature, music or interdisciplinary practice context
    • be based in Greater Manchester (e.g. Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, Manchester or Salford)
    • have an idea for a new piece of work that has not previously been shared with a public audience, received funding or development support

    We want to hear from a wide range of people who identify as LGBTQ+ from across Greater Manchester.

    We particularly welcome applications from those currently under-represented in the industry as a result of barriers arising from social, gender, sexuality, financial, ethnic, cultural, religious, geographic or educational disadvantage or disability.

    If you’d like to explore how we can support you in overcoming these barriers, please get in touch via [email protected] and we’ll happily discuss this with you in advance of your application.

    Application Process

    Stage 1: Submit an expression of interest

    • Please submit via our online form or via alternate video/audio methods (see How To Apply below)
    • This is where you will tell us about yourself, your previous experience and your idea.
    • Please also let us know if you have any access needs so we can provide you with any additional support you might need, both in applying and in realising your idea if your application is successful.
    • We’ll invite shortlisted applicants through to the next stage.
    • All shortlisted candidates will receive feedback on their proposals.

    Stage 2: Informal online conversations

    • Shortlisted applicants will be invited to tell us more about their idea through an informal online chat with representatives from the Greater Manchester LGBTQ+ Arts and Culture Network.

    Stage 3: Selection

    • We’ll select four artists to receive this Bursary.

    Important Dates

    • Applications open: Mon 4 September 2023
    • Deadline for Expressions of Interest: Fri 15 September 2023, midday
    • Shortlisted artists informed: Fri 22 September 2023
    • Informal online conversations: Thu 5 October 2023
    • Final decision made by: Fri 13 October 2023

    How To Apply

    Option 1

    • Please complete your Expression of Interest online form at
    • Please also complete our anonymous online Monitoring form at

    • Forms should be completed by the deadline of Fri 15 September, 12pm.

    Option 2

    • Or submit a 3-minute recording (audio or video) instead - covering the following:
      • Lead contact name (first name and last name)
      • Lead contact email address
      • Postcode in Greater Manchester
      • Company/Artist name and any links to social media handles or websites
      • Please tell us about you, your practice and the work you make (around 300 words)
      • Please tell us about the idea you’d like to develop through this Bursary.
      • Please tell us how you think it fits the Criteria
      • Please tell us what the audience will ‘see’; the concept behind the idea, who you’ll be working with, and what you might need to make it happen (around 500 words)
    • Please also complete our anonymous online Monitoring form at
    • Please upload your video/audio to YouTube or another video/audio sharing platform and email the link by the deadline to [email protected] with the subject line ‘CREATE Bursary Application: [Please Insert Your Name], including details of any passwords if links are password protected.
    • Please attach up to three online links to your work (your website, video content, etc)

    Option 3

    • Or you can download and complete the Word.doc / Large Print Format / Dyslexia Friendly Format for the Expression of Interest and Monitoring forms.
    • Please download Accessible Expression of Interest form at
    • Both forms need to be emailed to [email protected] by the deadline Fri 15 September, 12pm with the subject line ‘Create Bursary Application: [Please Insert Your Name]

    • Please click here to download Accessible Monitoring form

    Further Questions and Access

    • If you have any additional questions about your eligibility, or any part of the application process, then please email [email protected] and a member of the Greater Manchester LGBTQ+ Arts and Culture Network will get back to you.
    • We’re keen to make this process as inclusive as possible. Please let us know if you need additional access support and we will arrange this for you.

    Thank You

    Greater Manchester LGBTQ+ Arts and Culture Network is a LGBT Foundation Project, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.


    Thanks to our Greater Manchester LGBTQ+ Arts and Culture Network partners for their support with this programme.