Create Bursary 2021 – Call For Artists

Greater Manchester LGBTQ+ Arts and Culture Network is delighted to launch a new opportunity for two LGBTQ+ artists or companies based in Greater Manchester to develop new performances to be showcased as part of our Conference at HOME (Jan 2022) and Queer Contact Festival 2022 at Contact (Feb 2022).

Supported by four Network member venues (Contact, HOME, The Met, Waterside Arts), the Create Bursary 2021 opportunity will include a cash grant of £2000, access to rehearsal space, and tailored development support from partner venues.

For more information about the Greater Manchester LGBTQ+ Arts and Culture Network and the Create Bursary, please go to:

Create Bursary: What Do You Get?

  • £2000 cash grant supporting performance development (paid in advance)
  • £250 fee (for Conference performance)
  • 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 an industry audience at the Greater Manchester LGBTQ+ Arts and Culture Network Conference (HOME, Jan 2022).
  • Opportunity to present your work to a public audience as part of Queer Contact Festival 2022 (Contact, 11-19 Feb 2022).
  • Further rehearsal and development support from Contact.
  • Additional fee for Queer Contact presentation (to be negotiated with Contact)
  • Post-performance feedback from partners including exploring potential for the work to be developed further / taken to full production in the future.

Create Bursary: What’s It For?

  • This Bursary supports the creation of a new 15-20 minute work-in-progress extract to be developed between November 2021 and January 2022.
  • The work will then be shared with an industry audience at: Wed 19 January 2022: Network Conference at HOME*
  • Further development work will take place between January 2022 and February 2022, for work to be shared to a public audience at: 11-19 Feb 2022: Queer Contact Festival 2022 (presentation date TBC)*

*all dates are subject to change in light of local COVID restrictions.

  • 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.


  • 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 and be 15-20 minutes in duration and suitable for initial presentation within the Conference set-up.
  • The conference will take place in HOME’s T2 theatre space. It is a black box studio with a capacity of 130 in raked seating. Work will be performed within the conference timetable and set-up/ technical elements will need to be designed with this in mind.
  • Further discussions will take place with Contact around presentation at their venue.
  • Successful candidates will be selected by a panel of Network representatives.

COVID-Safe Presentation

  • At this time, we anticipate that Create Bursary events will go ahead with a live audience.
  • If this situation changes, we’ll work with the artist to adhere to evolving government regulations regarding the presentation of live performance.
  • In the event of a Create Bursary event being cancelled or postponed, it may be possible for the work to be filmed, live streamed or take place via an online platform supported by partners.

About You

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

1. be over 18 years of age

2. identify as LGBTQ+

3. make work in a theatre, dance, circus, live art, live literature, music or interdisciplinary practice context

4. be based in Greater Manchester (e.g. Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, Manchester or Salford)

5. have an idea for a new piece of work that has not previously 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 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.
  • Where possible we will provide brief feedback to all other applicants (subject to capacity).

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 two artists to receive this Bursary and will give feedback to all other applicants.

Important Dates

  • Applications open: Thu 12 August 2021
  • Deadline for Expressions of Interest: Fri 17 September 2021, 5pm
  • Shortlisted artists informed: Fri 24 September 2021
  • Informal online conversations: Thu 7 October 2021
  • Final decision made by: Fri 15 October 2021

How To Apply

Option 1

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
  • Please upload your video/audio to YouTube or another video/audio sharing platform and email the link by the deadline to 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)
  • Please also complete our anonymous online Monitoring form at

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 Expression of Interest form at
  • Please click here to download Monitoring form
  • Both forms need to be emailed to by the deadline Fri 17 September, 12pm with the subject line ‘Create Bursary Application: [Please Insert Your Name]

Further Questions and Access

  • If you have any additional questions about your eligibility, or any part of the application process, then please email 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

Thanks to Arts Council England for their support with this programme.