Worcestershire Arts Partnership Blog

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Maker Monday Commissioning Programme – Open Call

  • Open call deadline: Monday 25th July 2016 at 12 noon.
  • £2500 funding available
  • Presentations of the selected projects: Monday 5th September
  • Participation workshops: October half term
  • Prototype showcase: May 2017

ABOUT Maker Monday Commissioning Programme

Maker Monday Commissioning Programme is an open call for collaborative arts and digital technology projects. The project is led by Birmingham City University, in partnership with four Birmingham based cultural organisations Sampad, mac birmingham, Birmingham Open Media (BOM), and fizzPOP. It aims to increase the ambitions and opportunities of local artists and makers to inspire local audiences.


The Maker Monday Commissioning Programme is an initiative developed from the existing monthly Maker Monday events that bring creatives, artists and technologists together to develop ideas through open innovation and collaboration. Held on the last Monday in Birmingham, Maker Monday draws on the rapid growth of cheap computing, such as the Raspberry Pi, prototyping tools, such as 3D printing and modern projection techniques such as telepresence. The focus of the on-going event is to build collaboration and learning between the participants to deliver new creative technology projects.  Maker Monday involves a range of collaborators from across the city. At each monthly event, an expert presents their own specialism and then shares techniques through a workshop. Planned themes include virtual reality, holographic projection, development with Raspberry Pi and using EEG brain sensors. There will also be sessions with guest artists working with innovative technologies.


The Maker Monday Commissioning Programme will consist of four carefully supported artist commissions that will:

• Enable artists to experiment across disciplines with digital technologies e.g. Arduino, Raspberry Pi, gaming, Kinect Augmented reality, open data, data-visualisation, open software, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Makey Makey, Gesture recognition and motion tracking, Holographic technology, and wearable technology

• Ensure use of interactive technologies for public engagement

• Encourage innovation

Themes and an associated outline commissioning brief has been devised with partners BCU, Sampad, mac birmingham, Fizz POP and BOM to ensure the content and purpose is appropriate to the sectors.

The programme is aimed at artists, creative professionals in art and design, performing arts, and participatory arts, programmers, hackers, developers and coders, and film and video makers.


The commissions will provide a new layer of opportunities for upskilling artists working across technology, and for them to fully consider user / public engagement.

Technology cross-overs include wearable tech, virtual reality, holographic projection, development with Raspberry Pi and using EEG brain sensors.



The aim is to select and support the development of a maximum of four highly creative projects that fuse arts with digital technology in a range of ways..  




We are looking for inspiring ideas that aim to explore new ways for people to engage and interact with art from a range of practices – music, dance, theatre, visual arts, creative media, literature/spoken word/poetry, and multi-artform, via the experimental application of digital technologies.


Your proposed project can be at any stage of its development, be it an initial idea that you would like to test, or a more fully researched project that requires further development or enhancement.


Proposals may be entered by individuals or by groups.

We are looking for projects that demonstrate inter-disciplinary collaborations, where relevant, between artists and technologists as a way to maximise on skills and knowledge exchange.  You may also want to consider some of the following themes:
  • The Internet of Things
  • Interactive and immersive technologies
  • Future of social interaction
  • Wearables
  • Disruptive media
  • Sustainable futures

  • A commissioning bursary of £2500
  • Materials and technical support of up to £500
  • Space to develop work
  • A mentor


The selection committee will comprise the representatives from the project partners, advisors, and technical experts. 

Projects will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Quality of the idea
  • Suitability to the aims and ethos of the Maker Monday initiative
  • Technical feasibility and clarity



In your proposal be sure to respond to the following:
  • Tell us about your previous projects
  • Provide a clear summary of your proposed project, its aims and what you expect to achieve.  What’s different or unique about your idea?
  •  How would you use a MMCP bursary?
  • How could MMCP help you develop your practice, idea or research?  What skills, networks and support would you need?
  • Tell us how long you need to develop your project and what kind of space you will need.
  •  Are you applying for any external funding? Have you identified or confirmed any other important partnerships that will help during this commission?
  • What would you bring to the Maker Monday co-working community, and how would you benefit from us?
  • Provide a specification of the technical and spatial requirements of the project 



fizzPOP is where Birmingham’s maker community meets to share knowledge, tools and creativity. fizzPOP gives makers the opportunity to work together on joint projects for local good causes and businesses or a space to work on your own project. Whether you’re interested in crafting, electronics, woodwork, metalwork, sewing, programming, prototyping, CNC, robotics, or nearly anything else, you can have access to the kind of tools that you would not normally find in your spare room or shed. We’re passionate about making and if your project can bring together technology perhaps with a Raspberry pi or Arduino and also brings together more traditional making techniques like woodworking or textiles then we want to hear from you www.fizzpop.org.uk


BOM is the world’s first curated hackspace, supporting innovative projects using creative technologies and DIY science that demonstrate measurable social impact. We are home to the BOM Fellows – a community of artists, technologists, scientists, producers and researchers who all fuel (and are fuelled by) BOM’s ethos, and help us to deliver our vision. Our building houses an experimental gallery and events space, co-working spaces and open studios for the development of larger-scale installations and collaborative projects. We are particularly interested in ideas that make creative use of the following: 

Open source technologies

Open data

Open science / DIY biology

Ethical hacking

Creative activism

Disruptive media

The Internet of Things

Interactive and immersive technologies 

Media archaeology


      For more info on BOM visit our website www.bom.org.uk 




Sampad continues to cultivate partnerships with technology providers and developers to work in innovative ways for audience engagement and interaction with programme content, whilst broadening the digital capacity and awareness within the organisation as stated below.  Partners have included: Substrakt, Seeper, Mixed Reality Studio, University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, Medialab Prado, STRP Festival, Ars Electronica Futurelab, Ars Electronica Festival, as well as a number of independent digital developers.

The main achievements focus on how we are able to serve audiences, communities, and participants through the integration of digital technology within the programme, and working with a range of technology partners and developers to test new ways of working.  We are particularly interested in applications from individuals from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, and/or work within BAME communities.


Working under its own dedicated producer, The Next Generation programme at mac birmingham provides opportunities for young people and emerging artists aged 14 - 30. The Future C U R I O U S project is currently led by Independent producer Yinka Danmole. The project was developed to enable young people to explore future innovation, technology and thinking through creativity.

The Next Generation programme at mac birmingham, in partnership with Future C U R I O U S (Yinka Danmole) are interested in finding out how cultural centres can provide more engaging and efficient ways of enabling younger audiences  to explore creative spaces and enabling them to be better connected with what’s happening within.


BCU Institute for Creative Innovation (iCI) works with businesses and organisations offering training, research, and knowledge to co-create innovative delivery solutions by working across sectors and using creativity to power innovation.


All of our activity supports improving the breadth and range of connections, through brokering creative collaborations, establishing a community of practice and testing new ideas and approaches, to inspire enterprise and help transform curriculum


To apply please visit (web URL) and complete the form.  Send the completed form to alexa.torlo@bcu.ac.uk by the deadline of Monday 25 July, 12 noon.



Alexa Torlo alexa.torlo@bcu.ac.uk

Clayton Shaw clayton@sampad.org.uk



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