Citizens Advise by Empathy Museum: Image by Sable Radio

Applications are now open for Artist Projects as part of Compass Festival 2024. 

Deadline: 5pm, 14th August 2023. 

We are looking for projects for our 2024 festival!

We’re currently preparing for the 7th edition of our biennial Compass Festival in Autumn 2024.  

We would like to invite artists working in any medium, whose practice is based in interactive public participation, co-creating or community engagement to send us a project proposal. We are so grateful that the festival has grown in scale and ambition over past editions and is therefore characterised by the exploration of communality, community building, place-making and individual experience.

We are interested in, but not limited to, artist projects that explore food and food systems in the content of climate change. 

Programmes from past festivals are available to view here

Examples of projects that came through similar call outs for proposals include:

Lucy Hayhoe’s One In, One Out: Leeds’ Smallest Gay Bar

French + Mottershead’s Waterborne

Rhiannon Armstrong’s Public Selfcafe System  

Please note we are not looking for works that can only happen in theatres and galleries. If your work is typically presented in this setting, but you can make a strong argument for how it would work beyond these spaces, you can still apply with your project. 

We are looking for projects that:

  • Animate the city centre or neighbourhoods of Leeds
  • Unlock ‘hidden spaces’ not normally accessed by the public that change the way people see or experience the city
  • Celebrate or mark 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 and thoughtful projects that generously invite public interaction. 
  • Works that engage with the climate emergency and/or promote sustainability. 
  • Works that understand the context of a regional city and urban environment and acknowledge its possibilities, complexities and histories.

We actively encourage applications from artists with protected characteristics as we feel their voices are currently under-represented in the arts.

We’re proud that in 2022, 70% of our artistic programme was 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. 


Deadline for submissions for this open call is 14th August 2023 at 5pm.

We aim to respond to all submissions by 4th September 2023.

The Support We Can Offer 

We envisage supporting several projects from this open call with a mixture of financial support (approx. £5k up to £15k)  to include all costs, artist fees, per diems, travel, accommodation, research and artistic materials. Additionally, Compass will provide 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. 

How to Apply 

There are three main ways that you can apply to have your project as part of our 2024 Festival:

  • 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 27th July, 4th August, 8th August and 10th August 2023. 

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 Charlotte at

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 14th August 2023. 

Further Information

Play Video

We are currently a small, part time team who are also working towards delivering our 2023 Artist Residencies. If you have questions before making a proposal, please contact and we will try to respond to you within 7 days. 

Following the 14th August 2023 deadline, we will get back to you with a decision no later than 4th September 2023. 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.