Call for artists: Artsfest 2021

Call for: An artist/s or arts organisation specialising in any artform to co-design and deliver Artsfest, a one-day event for 7 schools based in the West Midlands

Submission deadline: 5pm, Thursday 22 April
The fee, inclusive of materials, is up to £5000 + VAT.


Artsfest is a one-day creative event planned for Tuesday 6 July 2021. The purpose is to celebrate and inspire a love for the arts in children and young people.

Artsfest has been an annual event, and when delivered in person has seen the participation of 120 pupils from 9 schools. We are looking for ways to maximise the numbers of pupils who can participate this year as we cannot bring schools together but may be able to involve more children per school.

The aim of the day is for pupils to participate in and learn new arts skills (of any artform/artforms), be inspired with what is possible and in their own artistic agency.

The theme of Artsfest 2021 is ‘finding connection’. This theme is open to interpretation by the successful artist/s working in collaboration with a lead teacher to ensure relevance.

We wish to create a connection between the children and schools through the process of the day, or across class bubbles of one school, or after the day itself. In whatever form, we are looking to connect the schools meaningfully whilst complying with the guidance around social distancing in schools at that time or as per schools’ policy.

Commission details

We are looking for an artist/s or an arts organisation specialising in any artform to co-design and deliver a one-day creative, arts focussed day for 7 schools. It may be possible to do some introductory pre-work with pupils before 6 July.
Schools will select a class/group to work with the artist/s. The pupils will be a mix from Year 4 to Year 9. The schools are based in Redditch, Kidderminster and Worcester.

We currently anticipate that due to Covid-19 this event will be run remotely, though it might be possible to plan for pupils to work with practitioners outdoors in the school grounds. A flexible approach to physical, on-line and blended delivery will be needed to ensure successful delivery of this event.

Pupils and teachers will have the opportunity to be challenged, to learn new art/s skills and to have fun. Pupils and teachers will have the opportunity to share back or exhibit the creative outcomes/products of Artsfest 2021 in school.

Full co-ordination/management to support the successful delivery of Artsfest 2021 will be provided by RSA Academies.


  • Closing date 5pm, Thursday 22 April
  • Shortlist decision made by Monday 26 April
  • Interviews held via zoom on Thursday 29 April
  • Creative planning May and June for Artsfest 2021 on Tuesday 6 July
  • Decision making panel will include representatives from RSA Academies, schools and young people

Submissions will be assessed against the following criteria:
– Quality of the ideas and inventiveness
– Effective delivery plans
– Maximising impact of fee to schools

To apply

Both individuals and arts organisations are welcomed to submit a proposal. We anticipate that as the commission will be to work with multiple schools that you may wish to involve other artists who will be managed by the lead artist/organisation. All successful applicants will need to evidence their DBS or undertake a DBS check, along with any other artists from their organisation. You must carry Public Liability Insurance for all artists.

Please submit a proposal including:

  • How you would deliver the commission and your ideas for the creative content and the sharing opportunities, explaining how you will use your artistic skills to engage the pupils and their teachers
  • Your experience of working with multiple schools at one time
  • Your experience of online and blended delivery strategies
  • Two referees, ideally schools
  • A budget of how you propose to allocate the fee. Please also detail your daily rate. We are keen to see how the budget can be used to maximum impact for the schools to engage with the arts, on the day, and after
  • If an individual artist, please provide an up to date CV; if an organisation please provide an outline of your company’s mission and information on the people involved in this bid
  • If you are intending to use freelance artists, we would like to know who you are proposing to work with and have a copy of their CVs.

Please note that if invited to a selection meeting we would want to meet all the people involved in delivering to schools.

To submit proposals, for any queries or if you would like an informal conversation, please contact Georgina Chatfield, Programme Manager, RSA Academies.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Click here for a printable PDF of this advert.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash.

Related project: Artsfest Related project: Support the Arts, Culture and Creativity Commitment