New Opportunity: Artist in Residency Programme

As part of the celebration of Circus250, (the 250th anniversary of Philip Astley’s invention of modern circus), the New Vic Theatre in Newcastle under Lyme will work in partnership with NoFit State to develop and deliver an ambitious and wide ranging programme of circus activity during 2018 – Circus Past, Present & Future.

As one element of Circus Past, Present & Future, NoFit State is offering an ‘Artist in Residency’ programme. This programme runs between 16 Oct 2017 and 10 April 2018 will support at least three and up to five individual circus artists or companies at a critical point in their creative or organisational development.

The programme is deliberately designed to be as flexible as possible and the structure and nature of the support offered may vary considerably from applicant to applicant.

Support could include (but is not limited to):

•    Shadowing and working alongside the NoFit State creative team during the development and creation of a new large scale NFSC touring production
•    Provision of creation and rehearsal space within the Big Top Circus Village in Newcastle under Lyme
•    Work in progress showings within the Big Top Circus Village with sectoral feedback sessions
•    Inviting feedback and advice from members of the NFSC and / or NVT creative, technical, producing, development, and rigging teams on your creative process or production elements.
•    Bringing identified new creative collaborators or mentors into your creative process to support the development of a new production. This could be a writer, a director, a designer, an aerial choreographer – and NFSC could advise on an appropriate collaborator if you wished.

These are just a few suggestions – and by no means a definitive list!!! We want to seize the opportunities created by Circus 250 and the celebration of circus in the birthplace of its founder to ensure an extraordinary next 250 years for circus in the UK. We need you to tell us what you need and how we can best support you within the development of your creative practice or a new performance work.


Application Process
This new opportunity is open to all contemporary circus companies and artists based in England. If you would like to apply please submit a short written application (max 1000 words) explaining who you are, the kind of support you would like to receive, and why this opportunity would be of benefit to you. Please also provide a short budget for your project showing the level of financial support you are looking for.

You may accompany your written application with footage of recent work (maximum 10 mins).


In addition to the value of the support in kind offered, there is a total budget of £15,000 to support the Artist in Residency programme. This money will be divided amongst the successful applicants. There is no specific cap to the level of support which will be given to any applicant, but it is extremely unlikely that any individual applicant would receive more that 50% of the total funds available. You may have already secured some funding for your project and need extra resources, you may be asking us to support the total cost of your project – both are possible.

Use of space and facilities and engagement with NoFit State and the New Vic Theatre is offered free of charge and there is the opportunity for resident artists and companies to live alongside the NoFit State company Circus Village site in Newcastle under Lyme in their own caravans or tents.

Financial support could be used to cover the cost of artists’ fees or production elements. It is extremely unlikely that financial support would be offered to cover the cost of marketing, fundraising, governance, or administration.  

Please note: any financial support provided within the Artist in Residency programme cannot be used as match funding for any grant received from Arts Council England.

If you would like more information or discuss an idea please email Alison Woods or Tom Rack on / 


If you would like to submit an application, please email Lizzy Ferguson on

Application deadline: Monday 26 June, 2017

Decisions will be made and all applicants will be notified of the outcome by Monday 24 July, 2017.

Circus Past, Present & Future is supported by Arts Council England and the Arts Council of Wales. 

The Artist in Residency programme is supported by Arts Council England.