Compass Live Art 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. Selected artists will be invited to Leeds in 2019 to develop ideas over 2-3 weeks in a mixture of studio time and public-facing activity.

This may include meetings, events or pop-ups with individuals, groups and networks of particular relevance to the subject matter of your proposal. It might include public consultation, research or scratch exhibitions. The residency can be crafted to the needs of the project.

Projects may be inspired by a particular theme, idea or inquiry or a particular place or community. They must hold the public at their heart and require interaction and engagement to complete or animate them.

These residencies will be run with a view to possible commissioning of new artistic projects for presentation in Compass Festival 2020.

The festival has grown in scale and ambition and is characterised by the exploration of communality, community building and place-making. We are looking for original, arresting, playful and thoughtful projects that generously invite public interaction.

For examples of past Compass Festival projects developed through residencies please see:

Please take a look at the examples of work listed above and note that we are not interested in developing performance work for theatres, galleries or museums.

We anticipate facilitating 2 residencies through this open call. One residency will be for a UK-based artist and another will be for an international artist, made possible through support from Leeds 2023.

Applying for a residency

Your proposal should include:

  • A description of the idea you want to explore through residency (300 words)
  • Why you want to pursue this idea (200 words)
  • What you want to achieve through the residency (200 words)
  • Examples of past work that prove a track record of strong public engagement (short description and links)
  • An indication of the people or groups you would want to connect with in Leeds
  • An indication of when you would like to undertake the residency during 2019
  • A brief budget outline.

For international artists, applications for projects that focus on children and young people will be given priority.

Compass Festival is able to provide budgets of £5-8k per residency to include artist fees, per diems, travel, accommodation, research and artistic materials.

To apply please send your proposal to

The deadline for submissions is 30 November 2018.

We are currently a small team delivering Compass Festival 2018. It may take us a while to get back to you; we will aim to do so no later than 14 December 2018. At that stage we will invite a number of artists for meetings in Leeds or via Skype in order to make a final selection.