Taking your practice to the next level

The Factory International Fellowship is a unique opportunity for six artists based in the North of England to scale up their ambition by gaining insight into how we make work at Aviva Studios. It’s the first time we’ll open the doors to our world-class building for artists to have exclusive access to our commissions and internal teams. Be part of the first Factory International Fellowship at our new home and be part of a historic and cultural milestone.

Our bespoke programme allows Fellows to explore their practice in our new building with new commissions and international artists making work at scale. As part of the Fellowship programme, successful artists will receive mentoring opportunities, coaching, observational placements, peer-to-peer learning and access to Factory International staff and access to our creative teams as well as monthly meetings with our Creative Director, Kee Hong.

The story so far

Previous Fellows, now part of our network of alumni, have worked on commissions and productions such as: Sea Change by Boris Charmatz; Portrait of Black Britain by Cephas Williams; Arcadia by Deborah Warner; The Global Playground by Theatre Rites; Tree by Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah; Invisible Cities by 59 Productions and Rambert; One or Two Stories, or Both by Samson Young; What if Women Ruled the World? by Yael Bartana; The Welcoming Party by Theatre Rites; Party Skills for End of the World by Nigel Barrett and Louise Mari; 10,000 Gestures by Boris Charmatz; and Fatherland by Scott Graham, Karl Hayde and Simon Stephens.

What to Expect

Factory International 2024 Fellows have the opportunity to:

  • Shadow the making of a Factory International commission and have access to early ideation of MIF25 commissions. We expect individuals to commit around 5-8 weeks from February 2024 – Oct 2024 to the Fellowship programme
  • Develop their professional experience and knowledge – for example of a different art form or different scale of work
  • Receive financial support for time taken to undertake the attachment via a bursary of up to £4,000
  • See shows at Factory International and participate/attend internal meetings around programming, producing, engagement and networking opportunities
  • Be offered a mentor tailored to your specialism and needs, developing artistic ambition and critical thinking
  • Join a cohort of other Fellows and participate in an action learning set
  • Curate one of our active artists spaces (Facebook, Public Programme, Artist Socials, Debate Series)
  • Interact with the Factory International Team with bespoke departmental meetings
  • Access to our Creative Director – Kee Hong Low
  • Join our Fellows’ alumni network

The fellowships will be open to North of England based independent artists and creative practitioners who are at a stage in their career where they would benefit from access to new and international artistic process, environment and experience.

The intention is to support individuals who are at a pivotal point to develop new knowledge, experience, skills and networks. Building on Factory International’s distinct identity and strength as a multi-disciplinary commissioning, Factory International will focus on cross-art form development and experience, inviting candidates to reach outside their comfort zone into new artistic environments that stretch their knowledge and the application of their skills. To be part of a large scale, ambitious and international experience.

Beyond their individual attachments to commissions, Fellows will function as a cohort, supporting and encouraging each other and welcomed into Factory International’s team to share their practice, knowledge and learning as they progress. This included:

  • attending Factory International team meetings, social events, commissions, and briefings with artists with exclusive access to our Factory International team fostering a two-way dialogue and connection;
  • dedicated time with the Factory International producing team offering more in-depth conversation and experience in cross-art form, international, complex commissioning, producing and touring;
  • attendance at key Factory International professional events e.g. Factory International Press Launches, Opening Nights, Public Programme Events and Creative Engagement socials providing opportunities for national and international networking and contact creation;
  • attendance in action set learning meetings and monthly meetings with Factory International’s Artist Development Manager;

As part of the programme, Fellows will be offered an opportunity to share their knowledge and artistic expertise with fellow artists in the region. These events will be curated by the Fellows and can be part of Factory International Socials organised by Creative Engagement or part of the public programme. We will offer Fellows the opportunity to develop their creative practise and thinking by offering an artistic mentor during their time and also observe newer formed commissions stepping into MIF25 Festival.

How to Apply

To apply for Fellowship please either send us a short video, or use the application form provided, to answer the following questions:

  • Please summarise your artistic practice and portfolio to date.
  • Please tell us why you are applying for a Factory International Fellowship and how it would support a step-change in your artistic practice and career.
  • What are the key ideas, experiences, skills, knowledge or networks that you would like to develop through the process?
  • What is the work you are most proud of and why?
  • Please tell us how you think you might benefit from working with five of your creative peers, as a cohort of Factory International Fellows? (i.e. working with creatives from across the arts to share practice and knowledge throughout the process).
  • If you could learn or collaborate with any artist or company in the world, who would you choose and why?
  • Who would you programme at Aviva Studios that would be a Manchester first?

Note a clear link to a video portal such as youtube or vimeo should be used, you’ll still need to fill in an application form with your contact details, any links to your portfolio and references.

Applications close 6pm, Friday 15 December 2023

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