Professionals & Artist Development

Artist Development

At The Place, our approach to artist development focuses on dance makers – we offer financial and practical support to dance makers to develop their work, and we support dance makers to think strategically about other parts of their practice too, such as building a team or imagining where else they might find other partners to support their work. We work alongside artists to foster long-term creative and collaborative relationships, and we aim to create conditions for artists to develop to their fullest potential, take creative risks and innovate their form. Lots of people and places offer artist development support – this offer varies and you can see what we do at The Place below.  

The Artist Development team at The Place consists of Eddie Nixon, Artistic Director; Christina Elliot, Senior Producer; Amy Bell, Artist Development Producer and Polly Cuthbert, Artist Development Coordinator, who work closely with the rest of the Public Programmes team. Click HERE here to see how these teams work together.  

The Artist Development team at The Place is responsible for the planning and delivering of a range of live and online projects:  

  • Open Borders: a reflective and discursive programme for early career dance makers, supporting the transition from working in a student context to working in a professional one, facilitated by other independent artists. This free programme is available via a sign up process for all early career dance artists.  

  • Resolution Workshops: a series of workshops for artists presenting work at our Resolution festival, offering advice on all elements of bringing a piece of work to Resolution: choreography, marketing, lighting, technical and more.  

  • OUTBOUND: supports an invited group of dance artists that have work in development to reach wider audiences and expand their UK touring and dissemination possibilities. This project is run in partnership with DancExchange and Northern School of Contemporary Dance, with Yorkshire Dance, Dance City and Leeds Dance Partnership joining in 2020 for an online edition.  

  • Choreodrome: summer residency programme for dance makers with 3 years or more professional experience. Artists selected through an Open Call receive up to 2 weeks free studio space and a small commission, currently £1200, to help leverage other funding from sources such as Arts Council England.  

  • Professional development webinars: a series of free resources for professional dance artists. Each session focuses on skills that may be particularly resonant, practical and nourishing now and that may help us reimagine future realities. 

  • Work Place: The Place’s associate artist programme: a 5-year programme for professional choreographers. These artists receive tailored support depending on what they are working on, but some of the things these artists can utilise are: commissions for new work, performance and curation opportunities, residencies at The Place, project and idea development, career mentoring, management and fundraising support or advice and more. Artists are selected through an open call every 5 years.  

We also recognise that the professional development needs of all artists are different, so alongside the programmes we run we also offer ad-hoc/one-off advice sessions with artists that we have existing relationships with, and sometimes we are able to offer free space to these artists too.  

The Artist Development team at The Place are also responsible for commissioning artists. 

 

How can an artist build a relationship with the Artist Development team at The Place?  

The Place hosts various open calls annually, for programmes such as Choreodome or Stomping Ground. We also occasionally do one-off open calls, for example in 2020 we had an open call for submissions for our Spring Festivals programme, and we also held a call out for our new cohort of Work Place artists.  

For our open calls we are interested in receiving ideas across all sorts of themes, including questions around social & racial injustice, care and wellbeing, and ecological sustainability. We’d like to hear how these themes might resonate with you and your work but are also keen to hear new ideas that we may not yet have explored. We particularly like to see work that has considered integration with accessibility and diversity, and we are also interested in outdoor work and work for families. Criteria that are more specific to each Open Call will be outlined in the callout. For example, for Choreodome we are interested in supporting ideas in development, but for other open calls we might want you to present a finished piece of work.  

Both of these programmes are good opportunities to meet and begin to build relationships with the Artist Development team.  

Once we have established a relationship, we look to build long term, collaborative relationships that might span several projects with the artists we work with.  

 

How can an artist get their work commissioned by The Place? 

If you haven’t worked with The Place before, the best way to get a commission from The Place is to begin a relationship with us by applying to one of our open calls.  

Artists also occasionally reach out to us with their ideas. You can do this through emailing one of the artist development team. However, if we do not already know your work it is unlikely we will commission something if you do not have footage of R&D and a clear producing plan in place. For artists that we already have a relationship with, for example we might have worked with them through Choreodrome on more than one occasion, we might be able to discuss commissioning the work before any R&D has happened.  

Proposals for commissions are reviewed regularly by a sub-committee made of people from across the organisation. This sub-committee changes meeting to meeting, as different team members are invited to take part in the commissioning process.   

We do not usually commission artists who are based outside the UK.

 

What does being commissioned by The Place mean?  

For some projects we will give you a fixed amount of money and support. For example for Choreodrome in 2021 we are providing 2 weeks of studio space and £1200 to each artist. For other projects we commission, we tend to offer between £1500 and £5000. We recognise that this will not cover the cost of creating a work, and so we expect you to bring other partners and funding to the project in order to make it happen. We will also typically offer 2 weeks of studio space for free with each commission, along with strategic producing support from the Artist Development team and other colleagues from the Public Programmes team.  

 

If you are commissioned by The Place, we would like to discuss hosting the London premiere of the work at The Place theatre. However, a performance slot is not guaranteed as part of a commission and the programming process is looked after by the Theatre Programming team.  

Projects that are produced by The Place are looked after by our in-house producers – the Producing and Touring team. These projects are still not funded entirely by The Place, but for these projects the additional funding and partnership building is done by The Place.


We’re always happy to hear from artists who are interested in presenting their work in our programmes. If you would like to get in touch please contact us on theatre@theplace.org.uk. We look forward to hearing from you!

Find out more about support & opportunities for professional artists

There are lots of ways for professional artists to engage with The Place and our audiences, whether through presenting your work on our stage, taking part in a residency or receiving produ