New Opportunity: International Touring and Environmental Responsibility

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A new opportunity awards 20 performing arts professionals with an interactive online mentoring programme and the opportunity to secure £20k funding for their projects.


We are inviting applications, from professionals organising or working with performing arts activities, who have creative flair along with the will and capacity to advance their sustainable practice and develop innovative environmental thinking in relation to touring. Applicants will already have some experience of international collaboration and touring and be at the small to medium scale of operation.


The performing arts transcend borders, giving us a shared language to explore, inspire and enrich people’s lives world-wide. Travel and touring are essential to the arts, but given our state of climate emergency, they come at a cost.

As the urgency of the climate crisis increases, so does the need for our sector to fully understand its touring footprint, and to sustain a means of sharing art which supports our transition to a global low carbon future.

Julie’s Bicycle, Arts Council England, the Danish Arts Foundation, and the Development Platform (Denmark) have partnered to provide this unique programme, with the purpose of supporting performing arts professionals in England and Denmark to develop sustainable and innovative new approaches to international touring, collaboration and co-production which tackle these challenges head on.

This programme will build on the success of the Arts Council England and JB’s Accelerator Programme; a training, leadership, peer exchange and mentoring programme which supports cultural organisations to advance their sustainable practice.


Twenty successful applicants (ten based in England, ten based in Denmark) will benefit from a two-month interactive online programme exploring key touring challenges, with provocations, frameworks, and practical approaches to reducing their carbon and environmental impacts. Led by Julie’s Bicycle, with input from guest speakers, and a session hosted by the Development Platform, this online thought and climate leadership course will inspire participants to collaborate on concepts that respond to the purpose of the programme.

There will be 12 sessions, each three hours in length, and the online activities will take place on the following dates in 2022:

  • 13, 17, 20, 27 January
  • 3, 10, 17, 24 February
  • 3, 7, 15, 17 March

Following the online programme participants will be invited to apply for funding in partnership with one another. Up to three projects will be awarded up to £20k to seed fund concepts originating from the programme.

The three successful partnerships will be announced in April 2022 and projects commenced in autumn 2022.

Concepts could include, for example: creating artistic content, exploring new models of presentation or distribution, research and development.

Concepts must:

  1. be delivered in collaboration with at least one participant from each country and
  2. be in response to the themes of the programme (environmental responsibility, international collaboration, and innovation in touring).

The selected applicants will be provided with one-to-one support and mentoring from Julie’s Bicycle and the Development Platform to help them to develop and deliver the concepts.

The collaborative partnerships may be in digital, physical or hybrid formats, depending on COVID developments. Physical partnerships will be prioritised if circumstances allow but may be adapted into digital projects where required.


Please submit your application to join the interactive online programme by midday (12:00 GMT) on the 29 November 2021 to Arts Council England (if based in England) and the Danish Arts Foundation (if based in Denmark).

To apply, please respond to the following:

Tell us your details: company name, lead contact, address, email, telephone number, website

  1. Tell us in 250 words about your work, including evidence of its high artistic quality, and your experience of international touring and collaboration.
  2. Tell us in 200 words how you think you can benefit from this opportunity.
  3. Tell us in 300 words about your future vision for international collaboration.

Applicants will be shortlisted by Danish Arts Foundation and the Arts Council for a final decision panel including representatives from Arts Council, Danish Arts Foundation and JB, and informed of the outcome in the week commencing 13 December 2021.

We will consider the following when balancing the shortlist for the seminar programme:

  • The artistic quality of your work
  • The scale of your operation
  • Your experience of international touring and collaboration
  • The perceived impact of your participation in the programme on your touring practice
  • The spread of art-form and geography

We will invite collaborating participants to submit proposals for funding between 9 March and 8 April 2022. Applicants will be required to submit a budget, project plan and timeline. You will also need to state how your proposed concept responds to the purpose of the programme.

Image: Norfolk & Norwich Festival – 2014 The Voice Project ‘Souvenir’ Credit JMA Photography

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