Open Call Returns for 2022

Monday, 7 February 2022

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The Unity Open Call is back for 2022, providing another 20 Merseyside companies and artists with funding and the chance to be a part of our programme.

Following the success of Unity’s first Open Call Programme in 2021, we are delighted to open this year’s applications from Monday 7th February – Friday 18th March.

We’re looking for a wide range of projects. Whether it’s a show you’d like to perform on our stage, a script you’d like test on an audience, a digital installation or online production, an outdoor event, community project, creative workshop or if you just need some free time, space and tech support to play around with new ideas – we want to hear from you!

Open to individual artists, performers and companies across Merseyside, this year’s Open Call will be made up of four different opportunities:


  1. Programme

    Performers and companies across Liverpool can apply for the chance to be a part of our Autumn/Winter programme 2022-3. Your work can take place live at Unity, be tailor made for digital and online audiences, be part of our gallery space or be an off-site piece of work in a location of your choice.

    What you receive: You will receive a guaranteed fee of up to £1250, tailored support from Unity’s Artistic, Producing, Technical and Marketing Teams, the free opportunity to have your work professionally recorded and exhibited on our On-Demand platform and support reaching national tour-bookers through ProPortal.

  2. Creative Experience Projects

    Open Call also funds creative experience projects. Examples of creative experiences include community or education workshops, pop-up events, panel discussions, immersive experiences and installations. Successfully funded projects from our 2021 Open Call programme included an audio-experience in partnership with Alder Hey, a Hip Hop Dance Class for All, a projection installation in the L8 area and a letter-writing workshop in schools.

    What you receive: Successful Creative Experience projects will receive a guaranteed fee of up to £1250, tailored support from Unity’s Artistic, Producing, Technical and Marketing Teams and support working with communities and partners.

  3. Up Next Showcase

    If your work is at an earlier stage of its development, we recommend you apply for our Up Next Programme. Up Next showcases exciting new work from Merseyside performers. This could be at an Up Next Weekender, a festival-style showcase giving multiple artists the chance to test new material on audiences, or you could be featured as part of a double-bill with pre-existing programme, for example the opportunity to open for a comedian. Work may be script in hand.

    What you receive: All Up Next performers will receive up to £750, producing, technical and marketing support, a professional recording of your work and the opportunity to be showcased on-demand and on ProPortal.

  4. Space to Create

    Liverpool-based artists and companies can apply for up to 5 days of free rehearsal and development space at Unity.

    What you receive: You will also receive free technical support, the option for a recorded sharing to an invited guest-list of your choice and mentoring from Unity’s Associate Producer.


Applying for the Open Call:

At this stage we are only seeking short expressions of interest for Open Call 2022. If your expression of interest is successful we will then pay you a fee of £100 to develop your application in round two.

There are a few ways to apply for Open Call 2022.



Application Window: Monday 7th February – Friday 18th March, 10am

Applicants informed of outcome for Round 1: Tuesday 22nd March

Application Development Period for Successful Candidates: Wednesday 23rd – Monday 28th March, 4pm

Final Programme Confirmed and Applicants Informed: Wednesday 30th March


Access and Application Support:

Got a question about your application or need help submitting it?

Every week we will be hosting in venue, online and city-based Q&A and application writing sessions to help support you with your expression of interest.

See the full calendar here.


Donate to the Unity Open Call:

Last year with your support we raised £12,500 to support 10 more artists through our Open Call programme. Your generous donations in 2021 allowed Liverpool’s incredible creative community to stage brand-new shows, develop their work, make performances available online for isolating audiences, support communities through education programmes and pop-up events at places like Alder Hey and Liverpool One and, most crucially, it allowed these artists to receive income, wellbeing support and the skills to share Liverpool’s amazing talent with the world.

This year, we’re asking for your help once again as we aim to support 20 more. As applications open, please consider giving to Unity to allow us continue this important programme and making sure artists are funded, supported and celebrated for years to come. Finally, here’s a poem commissioned by the artists YOU supported last year about why your support meant so much

“It gave us a bit of hope, something to work towards, something to busy ourselves with and a place to put our energies, frustrations and creativity. This is a thank you for opening your doors to those on your door step, from us, your Open Call Creatives”.

Scroll down for further information on receiving application support, FAQs, supporting the Open Call and the shortlisting panel.