Frequently Asked Questions - DaDaFest Festival Commissions

Please contact us if you would like this information in an alternative format.

Submitting an Application

How do I submit an application?

There are a number of ways you can apply

Fill in the application form downloadable here and return by email to 

Unfortunately due to the pandemic our offices are closed so we cannot accept postal submissions

We are also accepting proposals in video / audio format and BSL – please send a film / audio file no longer than 10 minutes to or send us a download link to the same address.

When can I apply? 

You can submit an application from 8 June 2020. The deadline for submissions is 5.00pm on Monday 20 July. We won’t be able to offer any extensions.

Is there any support available to help with submitting an application?

Yes. If you need any assistance with access, or the language and terminology in our application form, please get in touch with us via

Unfortunately our offices are not open at the moment so we cannot take initial enquiries over the phone, though we can arrange a suitable time to speak or video call if required. 

When and how will the decisions be made?

A panel comprising DDF staff and independent artists will review all applications and make a final decision. The panel will be disability-led. 

The selection panel will meet during the third week of July and all applicants will be informed of their decisions by 7 August at the latest.

What supporting documents should I include in my application?

Writing about an artistic idea can sometimes be limiting so this is an opportunity for you to give us an insight into your project by using visuals, sound, or creative writing.  The content could relate directly to the project (such as documentation of research, or visualisation of ideas or mood boards), but can also be previous work that demonstrates quality.  It’s important to select this material carefully so that it informs the application and stays relevant.  

Please take the time to enter descriptions of visuals and sounds for hearing and visually impaired panel members to enable them to be able to access the content.

I don’t have any documentation of my work – can I still apply? 

No. You need to be able to show examples of your work to the selection panel using either still images, audio, video documentation and/or written documents. 

Will I be penalised for submitting just one instance of past work or documentation?

No, the work will be judged on quality and relevance, not the number of supporting documents submitted. It is advisable to submit your best work(s).

What do we mean by disabled artists and companies having a strong track record in their artistic field?

We will not measure a “strong” track record solely by its length or breadth. We are keen to include work that has generated strong critical response and/or been challenging of social norms or conventions, particularly work that can demonstrate a strong social justice element

I don’t have my own website – can I still apply? 

Yes. But you must have an established profile evidenced by other relevant links, the letter of recommendation or media coverage.


Project Details 

What kind of information should my Project Summary text contain?

This section of the application is about giving us a clear and concise summary of the project, naming the artist(s) involved, the themes, forms and aims of the project.  

Should the application be successful, this text will be used on the DaDaFest website and within our initial marketing materials (full or edited). It should be clear and to the point.

What kind of information should my Project Proposal contain?

In this section, we want to hear about the art work or project, what you are planning to do, form, content, and what is it about? We want to have a clear understanding of your idea and how it addresses our Key Criteria.

If you have already undergone initial research and development for this project, please tell us what has been the response to the work?  

What kind of information should the DaDaFest International section contain?

Please tell us why your project is right for DaDaFest. We are looking for projects that are disabled-led, demonstrate quality, ambition and innovation and address the theme of our festival and season - Translations

What kind of information should the ‘Timeline’ section contain?

We will let all applicants know the outcome of their submission by 1 August. The DaDaFest Festival commissions need to produce work that can be incorporated into the International Festival programme which will start in late November 2020.

You need to detail the various stages that your project will need to go through and provide evidence that your work can be completed in time to form part of the 2020 International festival.

What Information should the Access section contain?

Applicants are expected to consider access throughout the creative process and embed it in their final work. Given the digital nature of these commissions we are keen to explore creative ways of building access into the work from initial conception. In this section you should reflect this and set out how you will make the work accessible for audiences and participants within the aesthetic of your artistic idea. 

Please also indicate where and why this cannot be achieved 

What information should the Impact section contain and how should I measure the success of my project?

In this section you should outline some of the outcomes you plan to achieve and how you will monitor your project’s progress. This might include how you plan to measure the success of your project and what the long term impact of the work might be

What kind of information should my budget contain?

Please give detailed information on all the expenditure that you expect to make on the project. This could include materials, the costs of hiring things (or people) costs of travel, production, presentation or project management. You should also include anything you expect to spend on support for yourself (e.g. training or mentoring) and access for you, the artistic team and/or for audiences.

In the income section you should include confirmed and potential income sources, including information on partnership funding, in-kind support, grants from other organisations, and fees for the presentation of the work. 

The difference between what you expect to spend and what income you expect to get is the total that you are asking us to cover. 

What you are asking us to cover can be the whole costs of the project - for these commissions you do not have to be in receipt of funding from other sources, in other words there is no match funding requirement

A budget template is available, but you do not have to use it. Please supply the required income and expenditure detail in whatever format you feel most appropriate


About You

What kind of information should the Professional development section contain?

This commissioning round aims to help you develop your practice. Please tell us how this project stretches your practice, whether that be in relation to skills, networks, audiences, form, new collaborations, etc. Consider what support you might need with regards to this - support could include mentoring, training, shadowing, gaining new skills and so forth.

We are planning to put in place a comprehensive support package for successful applicants so it is important for us to understand what will be required


Will I be eligible for Access to Work funding and support during the programme?

Access to Work is a government scheme that is designed to meet the additional costs of employing a disabled person where they are directly a result of that person’s impairments. For more information go to:

It is the selected applicant’s responsibility to apply for Access to Work funding, if the support is necessary and relevant to their situation. It is anticipated that for most artists, costs for support workers and/or access equipment/technology will be funded via Access to Work. 

Can you cover my access costs?

If you have self-employed artist status or work as part of an organisation or company and usually receive Access to Work support, then any access costs you incur on this commission as an artist or practitioner should be covered by Access to Work.

If you do not draw an income from your work as an artist or are not eligible for Access to Work funding for other reasons then we will work with you to meet your access costs if you are selected, so please include these figures as a cost either within your project budget or as an “add on” extra above the commission if needs be.

Will audience members’ access costs be covered?

It is the responsibility of the applicant to consider how their work will be accessible for audiences and participants within the aesthetic of their artistic idea. Applicants are expected to consider access throughout the creative process and embed it in their full application proposal.

If it is not possible or desirable to incorporate all access requirements into your finished work we will support you, with additional resources if necessary, to explore options and ensure access (e.g. captioning, audio descriptions, BSL) is addressed. 

Why do I need a Producer? 

DaDaFest is looking for artists to apply with projects that are ambitious for them - either covering new ground or enabling them to work at a different scale. Even if the scale of your work is small, we expect there will be some logistical, technical or administrative work required

We want to know how you will engage with a producer to manage these aspects of the project, or for you to evidence how you will manage both the management and artistic sides of the project. 

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