We are looking for projects for our 2020 festival!


Compass commissions and presents live, interactive art projects by UK and international artists all over Leeds.  These unfold in cultural venues, civic buildings, local businesses and out on the city streets. 


We’re preparing the fifth edition of the biennial Compass Festival in November 2020 taking place in Leeds, UK.  

We invite project proposals from artists working in any medium whose practice is based in interactive public participation, co-creating or engagement. The festival has grown in scale and ambition over the first four editions and is characterised by the exploration of communality, community building, place-making and individual experience.

Programmes from past festivals are available to view here

Please note we are not looking for street theatre or works that can only happen in theatres and galleries. 

We are looking for projects that:

  • Animate the city centre 
  • Unlock ‘hidden spaces’ not normally accessed by the public that change the ay people see or experience the city
  • Celebrate the opening of the festival
  • Operate as maps/trails around a specific theme or geography 
  • Are interactive exhibitions or installations made with local people 

We will favour: 

  • Projects that break down barriers to participation and in which artists engage directly with specific communities and/or the general public.
  • Works of long duration or that can be repeated several times over a number of days.
  • Original, arresting, and thoughtful projects that generously invite public interaction. 
  • Works that engage with the climate emergency and/or promote sustainability 
  • Works that acknowledge the context of a regional city and urban environment  its possibilities, complexities and histories.


Deadline for submissions for this open call is Friday 8th November 2019 at 5pm.

We aim to respond to all submissions by 29th November 2019.

We envisage supporting several projects from this open call with a mixture of cash (from £2k up to £5k) and full production support (production, marketing, press, documentation and audience engagement). Most projects will need to work to the lower end of this scale. 

Compass projects are either entirely financed through this support or in some cases, using this support as leverage for further funding. 

You will be asked to outline a draft budget as part of your proposal. 

We actively encourage applications from black and minority ethnic artists as we feel their voices are currently under-represented in the arts.