Applications are now open for the Compass Artist Residency Programme 2023.

Deadline 5pm 26th May 2022

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.

Our Programme and Climate Change

Compass recognises that whilst we must do everything we can to ensure our team, facilities, programme and activities are as carbon neutral as possible, our programme is our best tool to have an impact on climate awareness and action. 

As such, we hope to build on our past projects that have focused on food and food systems and are seeking residency proposals from artists who are interested in exploring themes, ideas and activities rooted in contemporary science, discourse and innovation around local and global food systems and cultures. 

Selected artists will be invited to Leeds in 2023 to develop ideas 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 global concern, local issue, particular theme, unique idea or artistic inquiry, or a particular place or community in Leeds. Proposals 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 public presentation in Compass Festival 2024.

Compass 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 useful contextual 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 do not programme or develop performance work for theatres, galleries or museums.

The Support We Can Offer 

Compass Festival is able to provide budgets of £4-8k per residency to include all costs, artist fees, per diems, travel, accommodation, research and artistic materials.

Beyond the cash budget, Compass can provide a range of additional in kind support including Producer time, production management support, PR support, communications, engagement and marketing support, digital content creation, graphic design and documentation. This would be tailored as a bespoke package to be agreed with each invited artist. 

Compass is committed to further improving representation in its residency and festival programmes for artists with protected characteristics as defined by Arts Council England’s Equality Objectives.

We’re proud that in 2022, 70% of our artistic programme will be led by artists from diverse backgrounds. We warmly encourage proposals from artists with lived experience of racism, ableism, gender-based and other forms of discrimination. 

How to Apply 

There are three main ways that you can apply to be a part of the Compass Artist Residency Programme 2023.

  • Written Application submitted using our Google Form.
  • Record your answers as a video or audio file (max. 7 minutes) using our Google Form.
  • Request a Zoom application session, where your application will be transcribed to our Google Form by a member of the Compass Team. A limited number of these sessions will be available on the 5th, 12th and 19th of May 2022.

All proposals will be treated equally and no favour will be given to production quality or how you apply.

For both written and recorded applications please complete the online application form by following the link below. You can download a document with the application questions at the bottom of this page to help you prepare. To request a Zoom application session please send an email to

If your particular circumstances or access needs mean that the processes above are inaccessible to you, please let us know and we will do our best to help and facilitate your proposal in another format. 

Deadline for applications is 5pm on the 26th May 2022

Further Information

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We are currently a small, part time team who are also working towards delivering Compass Festival 2022. If you have questions before making a proposal, please contact and we will try to respond to you within 7 days. 

Following the 26th May 2022 deadline, we will get back to you with a decision no later than 14th June 2022. At that stage we will either be letting you know that we’re unable to progress your proposal or inviting you for a video meeting to discuss your proposal in more detail. 

Compass Live Art commissions and presents interactive live art projects in Leeds, UK. We run an artist residency programme, present standalone projects and exhibitions and artist development initiatives. Compass is also the driving force behind the biennial Compass Festival.

Every two years, Compass Festival animates the city of Leeds with interactive live art projects in public spaces like shopping centres, markets, landmarks and the city streets. 

We believe that everyone can enjoy the very best of contemporary live art and we work closely with partners around the city and beyond to present thought provoking, entertaining and moving projects. 

We take time to work with artists and communities making sure the projects we commission are considered and fully engaged with their surroundings.