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Artist Archive | Open Call 2023/24

An annual programme dedicated to the revival and rehoming of existing works.

Applications have now closed.

This open call is for activity taking place between Summer 2023 and Spring 2024. 

Artist Archive questions what an archive can be and who gets to have one.

We are interested in how dance is remembered and valued. We want to hear about the work or research you think needs to be archived and what you want to give visibility to in doing so.

By revisiting previous works, the aim of Artist Archive is to reduce and renew in place of the pressure to constantly innovate and increase output. We’re more interested in the rough and ready than slick or flashy restagings. 

We will prioritise artists and their past works that:

  • were unfunded or underfunded 
  • had few opportunities to be presented 
  • might otherwise be lost or forgotten 
  • resist the mainstream

We will not select proposals that: 

  • develop or complete an unfinished work 
  • present a recently completed work
  • explore themes of archiving but not in relation to pre-existing work 
  • require production (rehearsal, fabrication, filming) beyond the limits of the budget
  • are funded at the point of application

This opportunity is open to UK-based dance artists, choreographers and collectives. We welcome applications from those working in or across different dance styles and approaches to movement.

We are particularly interested in applications from artists whose backgrounds are underrepresented in the dance sector, including people with heritage from the global majority/global south, who identify as disabled and/or neurodiverse, and/or who are from low-income backgrounds.

There are 3 strands of Artist Archive to apply for: Live, Material and Digital.

— Live Archive

Up to 3 opportunities, £800 – £2000

This strand opens up artists’ unseen processes and presents them in a one-off live event.  

This might involve sharing excerpts of old notebooks or footage from any stage of a process, live demonstration and/or conversations with past collaborators. We are open to different formats, kinds of content and durations beyond the examples given above as long as it happens LIVE. 

Activity in this strand can take place at the studios or remotely at another location.


Live Archive 1: before 31 July 2023
Live Archive 2: before 30 November 2023 
Live Archive 3: before 1 March 2024

— Material Archive

Up to 2 opportunities, £1000 – £3000

This strand focuses on elements of past work to be presented in installation or exhibition format.  

Work may be installed in our courtyard, corridors, windows or on our walls. Note that the studios is a public building and used by a range of people and communities, and that any work displayed is done so in this context. See some images of our spaces here and a video tour here.

We are interested in all/any of the disciplines that collaborate with dance and imagine sound, text, lighting, costume, set or video being presented.


Material Archive 1: Installation to be completed ready for launch in September 2023.
Material Archive 2: Installation to be completed ready for launch in March 2024.

Material Archives can remain public for up to 1 year.

— Digital Archive

Up to 2 opportunities, £1000 – £3000 

This strand focuses on making past work/processes accessible online.

We are open to a range of approaches, anything from a recording of a past performance to something experimental or interactive. Content could be comprised of production notes or drawings, rehearsal documentation, trailers, interviews, performance extracts, audience reactions, artists’ reflection, less and/or more. 

Digital Archives can be hosted on the Siobhan Davies Studios website or a connected microsite. You can see how our website has been used to date, by exploring the WebRes2020 programme here, or alternatively explore the microsite for Exitmap’s Digital Archive: Moving On here


Digital Archive 1: before end of October 2023 
Digital Archive 2: before 1 April 2024  

Digital Archives will remain public for a minimum of 1 year.

Apply to artist archive

In the application form you can make one proposal for each strand, in either text or audio format.

We ask you for the following:  

  • About your practice
  • Your archive proposal
  • A proposed timeline
  • A proposed budget
  • CVs of those in your team
  • A website and documentation reflective of the work proposed

Download the questions (as a pdf or as a word doc) to plan your application in advance.

Applications have now closed.

We will contact all applicants by Friday 3 March.

Things to consider when applying

  • The online application form cannot be saved part way through. We recommend that you download the questions (as a pdf or as a word doc) to plan your application in advance.
  • Your proposal should be achievable within the budget available. Download our budget guidance here.
  • Material Archive only: please tell us why you think this work is suitable for the locations you propose and what resources you think its installation will demand. Watch our building tour to get a sense of our space.
  • Be clear about the shared ownership of collaborative practice and ensure you have, or will have, the consent of any collaborators who were involved in the past work.

Application Support  

If you have questions, please get in touch by emailing contact@siobhandavies.com.

If you have access needs that will affect your ability to apply for this opportunity, please contact us and one of our team (not involved in the selection process) can offer you additional support. This can take the form of a conversation (up to 1 hour) or proof reading of your application and written feedback.

Q&A Sessions
Recording and Auto-Transcripts

Co-Artistic Director Annie, Programme Coordinator Rosa and Communications Manager Rohanne, talk about Artist Archive and answer questions in an online Q&A.


Frequently Asked Questions

— Who is eligible? 

We welcome applications from artists and for works that fit the criteria listed above: works/practice that received little to no funding, had too few opportunities to be presented, are at risk of being forgotten outside of an immediate community, and that resist mainstream sites of production and presentation.

This opportunity is open to UK-based dance artists, choreographers and collectives. We welcome applications from those working in or across different dance styles and approaches to movement.

We are particularly interested in applications from artists whose backgrounds are underrepresented in the dance sector, including people with heritage from the global majority/global south, who identify as disabled and/or neurodiverse, and/or who are from low-income backgrounds.

The artist applying must be UK based. 

We cannot accept applications from those in full time education.

— What work/practice is eligible? 

This call out is about making visible work that already exists, a past work or practice however rough and ready. It doesn’t matter if the work was in process or unfinished at the time, or never presented.

However, we are not interested in proposals that want to ‘finish’ or ‘complete’ a work, or further the research and development of it with the money/time offered by Artist Archive. We are interested in revisiting/rehoming works at the stage they got to or were left at, including works that are considered complete.

Importantly, we want to support work that has been unfunded or underfunded, or indeed completely unsupported even in ways beyond financial.

— What support and resources can SDS offer?

We provide a list of in our Budget Guidance, which can be downloaded here.

— What does ‘up to 2 or 3 opportunities’ mean?

The number of projects we select and fund will depend on the applications made and how much support each proposal requires. If several artists propose budgets at the lower end of the scale, then we can potentially fund more applications than if each artist applies for the maximum amount. This should not, however, deter artists from asking for the amount they need. 

— Can I make more than one application? 

Yes. You can make one proposal for each strand within the same application form.

In the first part of the form there are tick boxes to determine how many strands you’d like to apply to. You can then make up to 3 distinct proposals, with accompanying timelines and budgets for each strand. 

— Can I apply to/across all three stands with a single archived work or practice?  

Whilst we have made multiple proposals possible, it is unlikely that we would select the same artist with the same single focus for more than one strand. We advise that you choose the most fitting/desired context for each project.

— My work is interdisciplinary/hybrid, what strand should I apply to?  

We recognise that projects work with multiple mediums, and may relate to each strand in some way. For this application, we encourage you to consider how this programme might best serve the work you are proposing to archive, in this particular instance. Also consider that, the original form of the work/practice doesn’t dictate the strand it applies to, but rather what you’re going to do (for example someone might host a live event about a historic digital project).

— How much can I apply for? 

You can apply for between £800 – £2000 for Live Archive and £1000 – £3000 for each of the Material and Digital Archives.

— What should I include in my budget?

Download our Budget Guidance to support you in putting together your budget.

— Is there additional budget for Access costs? 

SDS have a separate fund for access that can supplement the budget offered for each Archive. When detailing these costs please highlight when they are additional Access Costs. If we go ahead with your application, we will confirm if all, or some, of these proposed costs are possible and what the team (or our wider network) can offer to make your proposals happen.

Download our Budget Guidance for more information.

— How much detail should go into the proposed timeline?

The timeline should be a practical tool for you to map out the process you anticipate going on to bring your proposals into being.

It is very important to us that artists are paid properly for their work. Your budget and timeline should correlate and you should not be anticipating periods of unpaid labour. Please include planning, preparation, install and de-install time for Material Archives and evaluation.

The timeline is also an opportunity to give us some practical insight into your working process, working needs and any other engagements that may impact on the project and its scheduling. We will see the timeline as a proposal to be negotiated – but please make us aware if there are any strict /immovable dates in your timeline.

— In what format should my supporting documentation be?

Documentation of the work proposed can be shared with us via a URL link or uploaded directly within the application.

Providing a URL link to documentation is best for large files such as video.

You can upload the following file types:

  • Images like .png, .gif, .jpg
  • Documents such as .doc, .xls, .ppt, .pdf
  • Audio like .wav, .mp3, .mp4
  • Video like .mpg, .mov, .wmv, .mp4

If needed, you can supply accompanying notes.

Ideally sound/video you link to or upload should be no longer than 5 minutes. If the material is longer, please provide timestamps for the bit we should watch or listen to.

— Can I propose curating the work of another artist?

Yes – as long as you have the permission of the artist(s), and can supply documentation to support this.