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Commissions: Festival Site Decorations, Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival

About the opportunity 

We are looking for proposals from artists/makers/collectives to produce festival site decorations for Warrington Arts Festival 2024.  

Our family-friendly opening weekend of the festival will take place on 20 and 21 July 2024, mainly at Queens Gardens, Palmyra Square. We are looking for creations that will bring the site to life as well as elements that can be used at our pop-up sites across the town centre for the wider festival taking place until 27 July.  

This commission is open to creative individuals and organisations who are based in, from, or connected to, Warrington.

Budget 

The budget for this commission is £7,000 which should cover artist fees, materials, install, build and derig costs.

Brief 

·                The creation should transform Queens Gardens (see below) though we are interested in designs that have elements that could easily be transported to create pop-up festival sites at locations across the town centre.  

·                We are looking for bespoke decorations that will be informed by our local communities through creative workshops during the design and/or making process. We will facilitate this through our partnerships with community groups and schools. 

·                We want the artist to lead on the creative design, however consultation with our marketing lead to ensure the designs fit within our wider aesthetic and branding will be required.

·                Designs should be created in an environmentally responsible way and use recycled, reused or natural materials where possible. 

·                Designs should be durable to weather conditions and stand the test of time for us to use at future events and festivals. 

·                Designs should use little or no power and be easy to install/de-install.

·                We’re looking for ideas that provide height and colour and are suitable for a wide range of audiences, including children and families. 

Site 

Primary site is Queens Gardens in Palmyra Square, located in Warrington’s Cultural Quarter, WA1 1BL.

This will be the site for our opening weekend featuring family friendly events and activities during the day, with music and performance in the evening. There are several existing structures at the gardens and there will be gazebos, seating and food & drink tents installed for the weekend.

Other sites for pop-up locations include: Old Market Place, New Arts Space, Times Square. For these locations, elements from the Queens Gardens designs will be used to create a pop-up festival site. So we are looking for designs that include easy to install elements such as flags or bunting.  

Key Dates 

·                Deadline for applications is Monday, 25 March 2024, 10am. 

·                Participatory activity delivered between April-June 

·                Queens Park install 20 July (morning), de-install 21 July (evening) 

How to Apply 

Please email lbanks@culturewarrington.org with a proposal that covers the following:  

·                A brief description of your proposed idea, including your approach to participatory activity and an outline of what form the decoration/installation will take.

·                Any images of your past work or sketches/images that help bring your idea to life.

·                A brief budget breakdown for how you will spend the £7,000 commission.

You can submit either a written application, audio application or video application.   

Please keep applications to under 1,500 words, 3 sides of A4 or 10 minutes. 

If you have any questions, or would like to arrange an informal conversation about your application, get in touch with Lauren on lbanks@culturewarrington.org 

Next Steps 

·                All applicants (both successful and unsuccessful) will be informed of their application outcome on Friday, 29 March. 

·                The decision-making panel for applications will consist of two members of the Warrington Arts Festival team, and two young producers.

·                We won’t be able to offer feedback for unsuccessful applicants.  

·                Contracts will be issued in w/c 1 April. 

·                Delivery dates during festival 19 – 27 July.

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