The Without Walls Discover Bursary Programme


Inspiring artists new to the Outdoor Arts sector

We piloted the Without Walls Discover Bursary Programme for the first time in September 2019 and benefited 16 artists with a package of support to attend one or more festivals in the Without Walls network. 8 travelled from across the UK to attend the Out There International Festival of Circus and Street Arts, Great Yarmouth (13-15 September) and 10 attended Arts by the Sea, Bournemouth (27-29 September).

The programme contributes to the aim of Without Walls in supporting the artistic development of companies or artists new to the field of outdoor arts through attending key festivals and events; exposing artists to a wide range of work, broadening their range of artistic reference points and influences, developing their understanding of the outdoor arts context and providing networking opportunities with key industry contacts. Members of XTRAX team facilitated the festival visits with contributions from representatives from Without Walls festivals.

We invited participants nominated by Without Walls partner festivals to submit a short proposal outlining what they would gain from the bursary opportunity and provide information on their background, artistic interests and previous experience in the outdoor arts sector. A key aim of this programme was to increase the representation in the sector of practitioners who identify as Black, Asian and ethnically diverse or Deaf or disabled, encouraging long-term development of their artistic practice. Of the 16 artists supported 9 identify as Black, Asian and ethnically diverse and 2 as Deaf or disabled. The participants represented a broad range of artistic practices; from comedy, theatre and installation to contemporary dance, circus and carnival arts.

Download the Discovery Programme report at the bottom of the page for a detailed run-down of the activity.

  • A briefing session including an introduction to Without Walls
  • A presentation on some key considerations for making and presenting outdoor work
  • Group meals and introductions to the rest of the group
  • A guided programme of shows to see, taking in a diverse range of art forms, and flexible to accommodate the interests of the individuals in the group
  • Critical feedback and reflection time through group discussion
  • Coordinated opportunities to meet artists, festival directors and other practitioners

"I think the key thing has been watching performances as a group and hearing various perspectives, which allowed me to understand how an audience might interpret the same piece of work, therefore allowing a degree of creating future work with an outside eye."

Discovery Programme Artist

"In terms of my own work, it has made me reflect on how to use the space as opposed to changing it in an invasive way. The experience has installed a greater commitment to making environmentally friendly work and exploring eco-friendly ways of touring work."

Discover Programme Artist