Artist Commissions

A woman with a pram, standing in the middle of an empty road, with tall glass, concrete and stone buildings all around.
Perambulator, Image Credit: Katie Wilson
A woman with a pram, standing in the middle of an empty road, with tall glass, concrete and stone buildings all around.
Perambulator, Clare Qualmann, Image Credit: Katie Wilson

The Walking Publics/Walking Arts project seeks to commission artists’ walks responding to themes and challenges that have emerged from our research into creative walking under COVID-19 restrictions in the UK. There are 3 artists commissions available.

Introduction to the Artist Brief

Key Facts

Who Can Apply

Application Process

How to Write Your Budget Advice

Introduction to the Artist Brief

Walking Publics/Walking Arts: Walking, Wellbeing and Community during COVID-19 is an AHRC funded project led by an interdisciplinary team, in partnership with arts and walking organisations including Ramblers, Living Streets, Paths for All, Glasgow Life, Open Clasp Theatre, Sheffield Environmental Movement, Arts Canteen and Museum of London Archaeology. You can find out more about it at: including our care and ethics statement: 

The commissions will contribute to our investigation of the ways in which creative walking activities have been and could be used to mitigate isolation and anxiety, maintain health and wellbeing, enhance social connectivity, facilitate cultural empowerment, and address exclusions from leisure and cultural activities. Collaborating with partner organisations, artists, cultural workers, and residents, the project explores the potential of the arts to encourage, sustain and more equitably support walking during and beyond a pandemic.   

We are interested in commissioning walks that work with participants in different ways. This could include live in-person walks, the creation of maps or instructions that guide people on a route, audio or sound walks, virtual walks, indoor walks or walking performances. This list is not exhaustive and there are many types of walks that could be included. We also note that walking does not only take place on foot, that users of wheelchairs and other mobility aids are included in our understanding of what a walk is. Each commission must engage with a community/communities or existing group and offer opportunities for participation in its research, development, delivery and evaluation. Each commission must take account of COVID safety, including any restrictions in place at the time of creation and presentation of the work.  

Artists can propose entirely new work, or apply to extend or develop existing work explored during COVID-19, including support to continue working with a particular group. 

The commissions are targeted at artists who already use walking as part of their practice, and who have experience using social practice or participatory projects to engage with people. Applications must also connect with at least one of the research project’s challenges: 

  • mitigating isolation and anxiety  
  • maintaining health and wellbeing 
  • sustaining/enhancing social connectivity 
  • facilitating cultural empowerment 
  • enabling access/countering exclusion 

The work, including agreed documentation, will be subject to a contract agreed with the University of Glasgow. Copyright in the work will remain with the artist, whilst allowing the research project team and partners to use agreed elements, such as images and content for non-commercial purposes, with attribution, for example in research reports, publications, online and in conference presentations. We will ask you to acknowledge the project and funding in any future iterations of the work. 

Key Facts 


  • Artists’ fees at £2500 per commission (to represent a maximum of 8 days’ work at Artists’ Union rates) including VAT  
  • Materials/Production budget up to £500 including VAT   
  • Access budget up to £500 including VAT   


  • Call out published 15th September 2021  
  • Proposal deadline midday 13th October 2021  
  • Feedback to artists and selection decisions 12th November 2021  
  • Work to be completed by 31st March 2022 with a project timetable by agreement  
  • Project evaluation & collaborative reflection with Walking Publics/Walking Arts team, mid-April 2022 


  • Access budget for disabled artists, those with additional needs, those with caring responsibilities  
  • Regular check-ins with the commissioning team to support delivery. 
  • Marketing and promotional support. 

Who Can Apply?  

We welcome proposals from individual artists and artists working collaboratively. You must be based in the UK and be able to accept payment by invoice. Payments will be processed through the University of Glasgow (lead institution) with whom appointed artists will have a contract to deliver the work. You must hold, or be willing to acquire if appointed, public liability and professional indemnity insurance, such as that offered by a-n the artists information company (current cost £38 per year We welcome applications from disabled artists, artists with additional support needs, including caring responsibilities, and artists from groups or communities currently underrepresented in walking art. 

Application Process

  1. 15th  September 2021 Commissions announced/advertised  
  1. 15th September-6th October Walking Publics/Walking Arts team available for informal enquiries. We cannot discuss individual proposals in depth but can answer any queries via email to  
  1. 13th October 2021 completed applications required by 12 noon BST.  
  1. From 13th October 2021 initial selection process by Walking Publics/Walking Arts team to identify eligible applications. If your application is not taken forward at this stage we will let you know straight away, including the reason for our decision.  

Our eligibility checklist is: 

  • Does the applicant have experience of using walking in their work? 
  • Does the proposed project use walking? 
  • Does the proposed project connect to the research project’s challenges? 
  • Is the applicant UK based and able to accept payment by invoice? 
  • Is the application within the guideline word/recording length? 
  1. Week of 25th October review of all eligible applications. The criteria we will be using are based on how well the application: 
  • Demonstrates experience of walking art and creative practice that connects with people. 
  • Articulates connections to project challenge(s). 
  • Sets out a feasible project timeframe and budget. 
  • Articulates project ideas and the ways in which it links with participants. 
  • Explains the methods or approach for the proposed work. 
  1. 12th November, commission decisions sent to artists, including feedback for unsuccessful applicants.  

The application: 

You can write your application or make an audio/video recording. 

  1. Please state your full name 
  1. Pease state that you are based in the UK and are able to accept payment by invoice 
  1. Please state that you have, or are willing to acquire if commissioned, public liability and professional indemnity insurance. 
  1. Tell us about your current creative practice, what do you make and how does it connect with participants? 150-300 words or 2-4 mins. 
  1. Tell us about your use of walking in your creative practice. 150-300 words or 2-4 mins 
  1. Tell us your idea for the commission: what would you like to make and where would it happen? What methods will you use to create a work? Who would you like to work with? How will you connect with them? What will the experience be for an audience and/or participant? How does your idea address one or more of our research project challenges? 450-650 words or 6-8 minutes 
  1. Budget – including how you will use your fee, your materials and production costs, and your access needs. Please see ‘how to’ below for a detailed breakdown of the budget section. If you are submitting by video or audio recording please attach a written budget with your application. If you need help to transcribe a budget please get in touch and we can organise this.  
  1. Include an example of previous/current walking work preferably as a web link, but if this is not available a single pdf file no larger than 2MB or two pages, with images and explanatory text. 

Your application should be no longer than 4 pages or 20 minutes long maximum, at a font size of 12pt, with an additional 2 pages if you need to use this format to show us an example of previous work. 

Send your application via email to by the deadline, 12pm BST on 13th October 2021 with the subject heading ‘artist commission’, and your application attached as a word doc, pdf file, MP3 or MP4 file named ‘surname_FirstName_application’. If you are submitting video/audio please also attach a word doc containing your budget.

How to Write your Budget Advice

Artists’ fees – tell us what you plan to do in the time paid for with the artist fee. This is fixed at £2500 for each commission including VAT. This can only be used to pay for your time. We plan for this to represent no more than 8 days’ work. If you are working collaboratively with another artist you must take this into account, e.g. for a duo this would represent 4 days’ work each. You must account for a public sharing/pilot of your walk within this time/fee, as well as project evaluation which will include a collaborative reflection meeting  with the Walking Publics/Walking Arts team. If you are disabled or have additional access needs that mean things can take longer for you to complete you can apply for extra fees for your time in the access section of the budget.  

Materials/production – tell us what you will need to make your walk. The maximum you can apply for in this section is £500 including VAT. Use this section to outline things that you will need to buy or make, including printing. Any travel costs for you or for participants in the project should also be included in this section, as well as things like refreshments. We appreciate that you might not know every detail  at this stage, so please include broad categories of likely expenditure.  Every applicant should include a contingency of 10% of their total budget in this section for any unexpected price rises. If your access needs mean that you have additional travel costs, for example you need to use taxis instead of public transport, or if you need a travel buddy to accompany you, you can use the access section to cover the extra expenses.  

Access – if you have access needs (including caring responsibilities) to enable to you undertake a commission you can apply for additional funds up to £500 including VAT. We recognise that not  everyone who  needs additional support will identify with the term Disabled. We aim to be as transparent as possible about the possibilities and limits of what we can offer, and we are aware that this budget cannot cover everything that an artist might need. If you would like to discuss access needs please contact us at   

Some examples of expenditure  that could be included in this section are listed:  

  • Child care (or other care) to relieve you of caring responsibilities so that you can undertake this work.  
  • Additional time (artist fee)  
  • Sign-language interpreter   
  • Note-taker or support assistant  
  • Taxi fares   
  • Travel-buddy   

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