Opportunity: Artist Call Out

Stratford Circus ran Stratford Arts Social a social and creative arts club for adults aged 55+ in its building for 2 years between 2018-2020. No longer running an arts centre, we are looking to pilot 2-3 projects this spring with additional funding from Art Council England’s Loneliness & Isolation fund as part of our ongoing visioning work.

Stratford Circus is embarking on a period of transition as we leave our physical home of 8 years and explore a new phase for our organisation, one based within the community. Our arts centre in Stratford was a hub for theatre, dance, music and circus performances for families, young people and adults.

Without a building to manage Stratford Circus now has the opportunity to work more deeply with communities in Newham and we want to make sure those communities have a say in our future programmes. Through pilot projects like these we will aim to build relationships with local people and artists which will inform how we work in the future.

ACE Loneliness & Isolation funding principles:

Through creative and cultural activity

  • Participants would feel less lonely
  • Participants would feel less isolated
  • Participants would feel more connected to their community
  • Participants would have a sense of belonging
  • Participants would have increased wellbeing
What we are looking for: A project that uses creativity to engage and connect groups of adults living in Newham aged over 55, reducing isolation and loneliness during this time.As a result of our engagement research, we found that the most valued and successful projects included activity that offers shared experiences between participants, either in person and/or through conversation. What our participants miss most is being able to physically meet and engage with creative activities and we want to find ways to recreate this connection which is so sorely missed.Projects which can be delivered with low to no digital requirements will support making the activity more accessible.

Please be aware we will be adhering to COVID-19 government guidelines when considering how to deliver activity safely for both the participants and artists.

Budget: £10-15k per project, to include artist fees and project expenses. Final budget to be agreed at commissioning stage.
Timeframe: Project delivery from mid-March – June 2021
Length of project: We propose projects are between 6-8 weeks, but this can be negotiated. Artform: We are open to expressions of interests from artists working in any discipline.

Who is the project for: Adults living in Newham aged over 55. We would like each project to engage with 15 – 30 people minimum but we are happy to discuss the final numbers of participants at the project planning stage.Stratford Circus will be responsible for recruiting participants, but we are happy to do this in partnership with the successful artist/collective and target recruitment if necessary.

Who are we looking for: Artists or collectives with a track record in socially engaged artistic practice who are confident delivering creative or cultural activity in a group setting for participants who have varied access and support needs.We look to develop and build each project with the artist/collective with the needs of participants in mind. Artist or collectives should have experience delivering similar activities to groups of older adults or other specific community groups.

Next Steps: To apply for this opportunity, we will be asking artists and/or collectives to submit an expression of interest.

  • Expression of interest – max 2 A4 pages. If you would prefer to submit in an audio or video format, please do so - max of submission 5 mins
  • Outline concept of creative project including how you will work with people and how it will meet ACE’s funding principles (max 500 words)
  • Previous relevant / relatable experience working within a community setting (max 500 words)
  • Outline creative team (this does not have to be 100% confirmed)
  • Outline budget/timeline (topline is fine)
  • You can also submit a portfolio, website link or video links for reference and context.
Please email your EOI along with a monitoring form to
Deadline: Friday 26 February, 10am
Zoom meeting: Proposals will be reviewed by Stratford Circus staff and members of our Stratford Arts Social network.We will invite successful artists/collectives for a zoom call w/c 1/03/21 to discuss their project further. At this meeting we will discuss your proposal in more detail where you will be offered a £150 stipend towards your time.

If you have any questions about this brief, please email and to arrange a chat.

More Info and Download Brief Here