We create our programmes carefully through a range of artist residencies, open calls for proposals and invited commissions. 
Compass Festival has grown in scale and ambition and is characterised by the exploration of communality, community building and place-making. We seek to programme original, arresting, playful and thoughtful projects that generously invite public interaction.

We programme works that: 

  • Animate the city centre 
  • Unlock ‘hidden spaces’ not normally accessed by the public that change the way people see or experience the city
  • Operate as maps/trails around a specific theme or geography 
  • Are interactive exhibitions or installations made with local people 
  • Break down barriers to participation and in which artists engage directly with specific communities and/or the general public.
  • Are of long duration or that can be repeated several times over a number of days.
  • Are original, arresting, and thoughtful projects that generously invite public interaction. 
  • Engage with the climate emergency and/or promote sustainability 
  • Acknowledge the context of a regional city and urban environment, its possibilities, complexities and histories. 

Please take a look at our previous programmes and note that we do not programme or develop street theatre or performance works that can only happen in theatres, galleries or museums.

“One of the best experiences I have had curatorially with an organisation…. Compass was supportive, measured, understanding, intelligent, patient and positive throughout.”

Compass Residency Programme

Every two years Compass invites residency proposals from artists working in any medium whose practice is based in public engagement – artists who are interested in collaborating with the public to make work. 

Projects developed through the residency programme include: 

The best way to keep in touch with us is to join our mailing list to keep abreast of the latest opportunities, coming to a Compass event or by dropping us an email to introduce yourself and your work. 

We look forward to meeting you.