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rapid response

an urgent call to south Yorkshire based artists and creatives

When the flood comes, what will you take with you?

What should we leave behind?

ark sheffield invites artists working in any form of live art or recorded media to propose imaginative responses to these urgent questions as part of a special three-day programme for Migration Matters festival at the Performance Lab, Sheffield Hallam University, 19-21 June 2023.

what we're looking for

We’re seeking ‘rapid responses’ to the climate and ecological crisis. We want to seed fund new ideas that have the potential to be developed further, elsewhere, and in other contexts . Proposals should be achievable within the period 12-18 June and selected contributors should be available to share the outcomes of their work as part of an informal sharing event at the Performance Lab at Sheffield Hallam University on either 19, 20, or 21 June.


We have a total fund of £2,000, and we expect to award between £200 and £600 per project. You will be expected to:

  • provide a basic plan for how you intend to work.

  • give consideration to how you might promote your activity through social media.

  • utilise a DIY approach and work with whatever is close to hand.

  • work independently and manage the project within the given budget.

All projects will receive guidance on future development, and professional photographic documentation from the sharing event. Contributors will be provided with limited technical support on the day of presentation. This might include simple lighting, use of PA, and video projection. 

​The sharing events will take place at the Performance Lab at Sheffield Hallam University, a black-box studio theatre in the city centre that is home to the BA (Hons) Acting and Performance. 

Deadline for proposals: 17:00 Friday 26 May

Initial conversations with artists: Wednesday 31 May

Final selection: Friday 2 June

Development: within the period 10-18 June 

Presentation of work: The evening of either 19, 20, or 21 June

We especially welcome applications from candidates with lived experience of migration, displacement and seeking sanctuary.

about ark sheffield

ark sheffield is a citywide conversation about the climate crisis. It was launched in 2022 with Sheffield Theatres' for Together in the City. How is an ark a way of talking about the climate crisis? The story of people creating a boat to save themselves from a flood resonates across cultures and histories, past and present. In our time of unprecedented climate emergency, the flood is not the same for all people. For some, it is sea level rise. For others, it could be economic uncertainty or displacement. It could be many things... 

Applicants are encouraged to visit the Ruskin Collection exhibition Comes the Flood at the Millennium Gallery, where they will find an interactive map telling the story of ark sheffield in 2022.

Interactive ark sheffield display for Ruskin Collection exhibition 'Comes the Flood' at the Millennium Gallery, Sheffield Museums (2023). Photography by Becky Payne.

about migration matters festival

Migration Matters Festival is a 9-day annual celebration of sanctuary, cultural identity and migration in Sheffield. It is the largest Refugee Week festival in hosting up to 60 events each year providing platforms to underrepresented communities particularly people with lived experience of displacement, seeking asylum and forced migration.

Banner images from Ships at a Distance' by RESOLVE Collective and SADACCA for Together in the City (April 2022) / Ark Sheffield Climate Lab for Future Now festival of creativity (May 2022). Photography by Becky Payne.

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© ark sheffield 2023

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