*OPPORTUNITY* Deep Adaptation Call Out

Elvira Snow












Deep Adaptation – Commission Opportunity

Open Call for: Artists – Activists – Collectives


Following on from conversations started during Hidden Civil War, The NewBridge Project is taking a new approach to commissioning our programme over the next year. We are looking to hear from artists, activists and collectives interested in collaborative projects that engage with ideas and themes connected to the Deep Adaptation agenda.

In the last forty years, the global economy has grown by 380%. During the same period, the number of people in poverty has increased by 1.1 billion. This widely accepted culture of ‘consumption’ directly impacts the climate, causes huge household debts and a breakdown in social care networks, facilitates time poor lifestyles and zero hour working contracts, creates a reliance on food banks and allows a rise in domestic violence and homophobic attacks: is this kind of ‘growth’ really something we value?

In response to this context the deep adaptation agenda involves resilience, relinquishment and restoration:

Resilience involves people and communities better coping with disruptions. What are the tools we need to do this?

Relinquishment involves people and communities letting go of certain assets, behaviors and beliefs where retaining them could make matters worse. How do we let go?

Restoration involves people and communities rediscovering attitudes and approaches to life and organization that require less management, or increased community-level productivity and support. How do we re-build?


Whilst drawing on ideas from climate change theory and the Deep Adaptation agenda (Bendell, 2016), we are also looking to extend this into a wider societal context. We invite proposals that respond to broader issues within our society through the lens of deep adaptation, including (but not limited to); climate change, social welfare, zero hours contracts, food poverty, homelessness and domestic violence



We are interested in hearing from artists, activists, researchers and collectives interested in producing new commissions and projects that engage with ideas of resilience, relinquishment and restoration and the Deep Adaptation agenda.

We will be supporting 5 new commissions of up to £5000 each, and are asking for an expression of interest outlining your initial ideas.

This fee is to cover research and development, artist fees, travel & expenses, engagement, production and materials.

We are interested in ideas that focus on social engagement, off-site installation and integrating global issues within a local context. Where appropriate, projects should include community engagement, through co-production, collaboration, workshops and conversation.

As part of the commissioning process, successful applicants will come to a Development Lab on Wednesday 19 July at The NewBridge Project. This lab will give selected artists a chance to meet each other and the programme team, discuss their projects and develop ideas collaboratively as part of a wider conversation. The lab will allow us to explore links between commissions, looking at the ways in which the projects can complement each other, and to encourage learning and support between artists and communities.

We are asking for initial expressions of interest which include:

  • Initial idea(s) for commission/project
  • Outline of your interest in the theme
  • Background on your work and any previous relevant experience
  • Links to your work
  • Please send your application to admin@thenewbridgeproject.com

Further notes:

  • If you have a smaller project or one-off idea that responds to the Deep Adaptation agenda please get in touch
  • We are interested in working with artists at all stages of their career
  • It isn’t a requirement to have worked in collaborative ways previously.
  • The NewBridge Project and the programming team can support you to make new links and relationships, and offer advice on co-production.
  • If you are already working with a group or have a community in mind that you would like to work with let us know
  • Work should respond to the local context or be situated in the North East.
  • Please get in touch if you have any questions!


Key Dates

Deadline for expression of interest: Tuesday 27 June, 5pm

Development Lab: Wednesday 19 July in Newcastle upon Tyne
(please note you must be able to attend the development lab if selected)

Commission development/delivery period: August 2017 – April 2018
Background information:


The NewBridge Project:
The NewBridge Project is a triple award winning artist-led community supporting the development of artists and curators through the provision of space for creative practice, curatorial opportunities and an ambitious artist-led programme of exhibitions, commissions and events.

The NewBridge Project was established in 2010 to provide exchange and support in an engaged and discursive community of artists. We develop artistic talent through artist development programmes, curatorial opportunities and provision of space. The shared workspace is a critical and collaborative environment that allows artists to discuss and develop new ideas and projects.

We aim to deliver an outstanding programme of exhibitions, performances, screenings, educational talks and workshops in consultation with artist members, creating a programme responsive to the socio, political and civic environment within which it exists and seeks to be a genuine community resource.



Hidden Civil War background:
Hidden Civil War was a month long programme of activity in Newcastle upon Tyne, commissioned by The NewBridge Project. Throughout October 2016 we invited activists and artists to contribute to a series of events that exposed, collated and presented evidence of a Hidden Civil War in Britain today.

The conversation that was started is not one that can end now. There is an urgency for a response to events as they happen, but there is also a need to prepare for the long-game: this is a marathon, not a sprint. We need to foster a practical conversation; one that acknowledges discomfort, embodies varied agendas, breaks down silos and, ultimately, creates a space for growth.



Download a PDF version of the call out


Image: Nina Ayach, Utopian Political Puppet Parade, Hidden Civil War, October 2016




The Newbridge Project