Fierce Festival 2019 / Birmingham, UK / 15 – 20 October

Fierce FWD 2016: Call for Applications

Permutations in the City, Neil Callaghan and Simone Kenyon, Fierce 2015
Permutations in the City, Neil Callaghan and Simone Kenyon, Fierce Festival 2015

Fierce FWD is a development programme for artists working in Live Art and performance conceived and produced by Fierce and supported by Arts Council England and Jerwood Charitable Foundation. Fierce FWD offers the opportunity for artists to develop an idea for a live performance/experience in the public realm alongside a period of research and field trips.

The programme is for emerging artists living or working in the West Midlands (outside of full-time education) or those with strong ties to the region, perhaps through studying or growing up locally. In keeping with Fierce being a Live Art festival this scheme is aimed at those developing projects for live performance and experiences. We define Live Art broadly and expect to receive a broad range of proposals encompassing performance art, body art, experimental theatre and dance, contemporary performance, socially engaged projects, art activism, progressive cabaret and club performance, one-on-one performance, durational work, site-specific projects, immersive parties, performative events and other experimental live practices.

We take a similarly broad approach to the term ‘emerging’, this scheme isn’t intended just for young people and recent graduates, but anyone that defines as emerging. Perhaps you’ve recently started experimenting with performance in your practice, perhaps you’re re-emerging after a hiatus, or shifting focus to make your practice more of a professional commitment.

For this round of Fierce FWD we’re particularly interested in supporting artists to develop new work for the public realm and non-arts spaces. Have you got an idea for a carpark, city square, railway station, park, garden, bingo hall, swimming pool, rooftop, shop front, arcade, supermarket, public toilet, river, church, football ground or restaurant? Or perhaps you’ve got an idea for a project that would exist digitally, online or as an audio piece, or abstractly as a competition, stunt, tour or game?

The programme has two stages:

Part 1

In September Fierce will select between eight and ten Fierce FWD artists. Each artist will receive a micro-bursary of £500 to try an artistic experiment, develop a piece of work or conduct some research towards a project. Alongside this, the Fierce FWD artists will participate in an intensive workshop delivered by one of the UKs foremost practitioners in making work in the public realm. Furthermore a number of research trips will be undertaken by the group and facilitated by Fierce to see high quality work around the country – with a bursary for each participant to do so. Research trips may include SPILL Festival of Performance (Ipswich), Arika (Glasgow), IBT: Bristol International Festival, Juncture Festival (Leeds), Sacred Festival (London) and more. Each Fierce FWD artist will also have their practice profiled to an international audience via a page on the Fierce website. Over this period that will start in October and run until March 2017, the cohort of Fierce FWD artists will support each other through facilitated discussion sessions.

Part 2

From the eight Fierce FWD artists two or three will receive additional funding, mentorship and producing /curatorial support to develop a finished site-specific work for Fierce Festival, running the 16 – 22nd October 2017.

How To Apply

Please send proposals to by noon on Monday 26 September with the subject line ‘Fierce FWD 2016’. Proposals should be up to two pages (max 1000 words) that include:

  • An introduction to who you are.
  • Your reason for applying for Fierce FWD and your connection to the West Midlands.
  • A description of your proposed project, research or enquiry.
  • A broad outline timeline and how you propose to spend the initial £500.

We will assess the proposals on the quality of the ideas and would like you to be realistic about what can be achieved within the given budget.

In addition you may also include:

  • An up-to-date CV.
  • No more than 2 video clips of your previous work.
  • No more than 8 images of your previous work.
  • No more than 3 links to your website, blog or other online work.

If you would like to apply via a video message, please do so, and ensure it contains the same information as requested above, within a 5 minute maximum duration.

We particularly encourage applications from black, queer and disabled artists.

We may not be able to provide detailed feedback on all proposals. We also advise that due to other schemes in the region Fierce FWD is not best suited for playwrights and traditional theatre makers who are better supported via other scheme’s in the region such as Rep Foundry.

If you have enquiries about the scheme email your question to and we will reply as quickly as possible.


Monday 26th September at noon.