The British Science Festival is seeking individuals and organisations to propose creative activities, exhibitions and performances to be part of North Parade after dark; an evening ‘culture crawl’ inspired by our changing world and curated to support the cultural transformation of the North Parade area of Bradford. These events will be held on Tuesday 8 September 2015 and will be free for the public to attend.

Background

The British Science Festival is Europe’s longest standing national event that connects people with scientists and engineers. This year, the festival will bring cutting-edge science and technology to Bradford from Monday 7 - Thursday 10 September.

Our new vision is a world where science is seen as a fundamental part of culture, so we are curating a series of innovative, interdisciplinary events to revolutionise how audiences think about science and society.

Bradford’s North Parade is currently undergoing an exciting regeneration: diverse independent shops and social spaces are being changed and developed. During After dark, old and new venues will be staying open late to showcase artists, makers and performers. We want this event to celebrate this transformation of the local area and creatively highlight these revived local businesses to a wider audience.

Theme context and task

Our world is in a constant state of biological, technological, molecular and atomic transformation. We want you to explore the concept of change by developing and delivering a creative event or activity that responds to this theme. Your proposal may be based on existing work or something new. It may take any form, such as: workshops, interactive art, installations, exhibitions, story-telling, poetry, making, walkabout theatre, hands-on activities, games, film showings, fashion shows, textiles or arts classes, food tastings, circus, dance or musical performances.

The core aim of After dark is to empower you, as an artist or performer, to engage with science and technology and provide you with the opportunity to work directly with scientists. We are especially interested in proposals that will collaborate or consult with scientists during the development, and can offer support in finding an appropriate expert to discuss your ideas with.

This is a great funded opportunity to get involved with an annual festival that has already reached tens of thousands of people. There will be in-house marketing and promotion of the whole ‘cultural crawl’, and regional and national media coverage.

Some examples of activity topics (this list is not exhaustive):

  • The evolution of language expressed though story-telling and poetry
  • Transforming music into art: a drawing class based on Synaesthesia
  • A photography exhibition about ageing and decay
  • A hands-on activity creating cocktails out of chemical reactions
  • Workshops exploring technological advancements in sewing
  • A display and demo showing the art and science of tattooing

If you have an idea but don’t think it fits with the theme, please get in contact and discuss it with us: we are open to any and all ideas!

Audience

The target audience for the evening programme at the Festival is young adults (aged 18-35), including creative professionals and university students who are ‘receptive to science’ (i.e. they might not self-identify as having an interest in science, but who like to visit museums and exhibitions, attend literary/ideas festivals and events in bookshops and pubs, and who might watch David Attenborough or Brian Cox TV programmes about nature and space). We want to challenge this audience to engage with science in novel, interdisciplinary ways and in new settings, and ultimately show them how it is intertwined with the rest of society.

Atmosphere

We want to create an informal, playful and collaborative atmosphere that explores the link between science and other sectors of our society. The events should allow for a natural flow between the different venues. Each activity should have a grassroots, community feel, but with high production standards.

Timings

The evening will begin at 6pm and go on until 10pm. Please bear in mind that it is likely that set up and break down time will be limited. Activities should be drop-in, but may be durational or timed (one that is repeated multiple times).

Budget

Each activity will be awarded a grant of £100 to £500 (inclusive of VAT). The grant is intended to support your activity by covering preparation, materials, delivery, transportation and other overheads (this may not necessarily include travel and accommodation – this is dependent on your locality). We encourage all applicants to reduce overhead costs, and stick to a grassroots, start-up feel. Please note that all the events must be free of charge. We will be giving out around 10 grants. 

Submission

The deadline for applications is Sunday 7 of June at midnight. To ensure that your proposal has the best chance of success, please describe your ideas in as much detail as possible. If you have any questions or want to discuss the brief, please do not hesitate to get in contact. Queries and responses to the brief should be emailed to Marissa Chazan at marissa.chazan@britishscienceassociation.org. Please get in contact by email first if you would like to send anything by post.

While writing your brief, please consider the following:

  • What are the logistical requirements (i.e. AV, lighting, projector, PA, stage, seating, wall space, plug sockets, dance floor, tables, kitchen, etc.)?
  • What requirements can you provide yourself (we would like to see that you are making an attempt to work in a sustainable way)?
  • Is the event durational or repeated – if durational, how long do you expect attendees to stay or, if repeated, how long is each session and do you need a break to reset?
  • How many visitors can you entertain at once?
  • Will it be a dry or wet activity (the latter is with liquids, such as food or paint)?
  • What kind of venue do you think will suit the activity?
  • Can the activity take place outside – if so, how loud will it be and how much space would you need?

Please include the following information with your submission:

  • Full name and organisation/institution (if applicable)
  • Address, contact telephone number and email address
  • A short personal statement describing your background and prior experience of delivering similar projects, including what audiences you may have worked with before and examples of your current or past work (such as pictures or links to websites, blogs, videos or reviews)
  • An outline of your proposal: what is it you want to do, where does your scientific inspiration come from, why you think this will appeal to wide audience, does the activity have any local relevance within Bradford and Yorkshire, what is the running order, how many performers will there be, what props will you use etc. We really want to hear what is exciting and original about your idea!
  • Details of the requirements you need from your venue
  • A budget that specifies how much money you need and how you will use it
  • A basic timeline for the development of the activity (if applicable)

We will prioritise applications from local individuals and organisations around the Bradford and Yorkshire area, and welcome applications from those with minimal experience in the sector. We will respond to all applicants by the end of June.