In addition to Sharjah Art Foundation’s year-round open calls and grants, which support emerging and established artists working in contemporary art, below is a compiled list of reputable local, regional and international open calls, opportunities and residences for artists and art practitioners. Part of the Foundation’s commitment to supporting the community, this list is a reference tool that will be updated on a regular basis and includes grants, exhibitions and educational opportunities.

Opportunities for artists, curators, musicians, filmmakers, writers and academics

Open Call: Lebanon Solidarity Fund

Deadline: 12 February 2021
Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC)

This second round of the Lebanon Solidarity Fund aims to assist arts and culture institutions and spaces (Example: galleries, bookstores, libraries, etc.) across Lebanon. It will respond to their urgent needs as well as their mid-to-long-term requirements for viability. The Fund will come to support any reconstruction and repair activities that have not yet been conducted either due to a lack of funding or simply because it felt too soon to fix glass when the future seemed so uncertain. In addition to physical rehabilitation of spaces and equipment, the Fund acknowledges that the institutional survival of these spaces is only ensured through their workers and therefore needs to aid in the preservation of jobs and salaries as well as other essential expenses.

In an attempt to fight the course of business-as-usual, the Solidarity Fund will not be restricted to emergency relief but will also allow spaces and institutions the possibility to use this moment to think about their relation to the past and lived heritage and imagine different futures and meanings of contemporary cultural work and production. As such, the Fund will support at the programmatic level by answering to a variety of sector issues old and new. In this sense, the exploration of collaborative options when it comes to the use of space, the sharing of expertise and costs, as well as combining or diversifying audiences and cross-disciplinary programming is highly encouraged. Additionally, the Fund values those projects/programs that are aware of the need to engage communities and of their ability to create a trickle-down effect with respect to the economy of cultural production.

Open Call: Performing Arts Production Programme

Deadline: 14 February 2021
Cultural Foundation
Abu Dhabi

Cultural Foundation invites performing arts and music practitioners based in the United Arab Emirates, or from the region to apply for its Performing Arts Production Programme, a unique opportunity for artists to produce a play or a dance piece, a music album, a site-specific performance or any other type of performative work. Selected works will receive production support and will be showcased during the seasonal programme of Cultural Foundation.

Open Call: Masaha Residency

Deadline: 19 February 2021
Misk Art Institute

The platform is designed to further the Institute’s mission by facilitating opportunities for creative individuals to expand their knowledge and broaden their artistic experience. The initiative encompasses two strands; the in-house Masaha Residency in Riyadh - the first art residency program in Riyadh open to local and international artists; and an International Exchange program tailored in partnership with global art institutions to offer Saudi artists an opportunity to develop their creative practice in international settings.

The Misk Art Residencies are another part in the Institute’s goal to support artistic development and practice and promote the possibilities of exchange between artists, the local community, and the global cultural landscape. It allows artists access to dedicated studios, facilitate public program events and support the production and showcase of new work.

Open Call: Cinephilia Film Development Workroom

Workroom 3 deadline: 22 February 2021

Workroom 4 deadline: 1 April 2021

Workroom 5 deadline: 10 May 2021

New York

Cinephilia is a New York-based production company and film incubator with a mission of championing the next generation of Middle Eastern and African storytellers and filmmakers. WorkCinephilia FDW is designed to offer a unique experience to both emerging and professional film and television writers. During the four-week sessions, writers will be guided through the process of developing a narrative screenplay using hands-on exercises, creating project decks and training to pitch. Writers can expect to have a developed draft of their screenplay, a project pitch deck and tons of industry insights by the end of the programme.

Open Call: Red Sea Film Festival Professional Training Programme

Deadline: 27 February 2021
Red Sea Film Festival

Open to teams of Saudi and Arab directors and producers, with scriptwriters if on board. This intensive creative and professional training program will take your project from idea to reality. Every year, it turns ambitious emerging filmmakers into the next big thing. For filmmakers on the cusp of their big break, the Red Sea Lodge, in collaboration with TorinoFilmLab, selects projects for creative and professional mentorship, development, and next-level industry opportunities. Submit your project for your chance to be part of the eight-month program.

Call for Entries: Grand Prix Images Vevey

Deadline: 28 February 2021
Images Vevey
Vevey, Switzerland

Grand Prix Images Vevey is a creation-support grant for photography projects. The award, worth some CHF 40’000 (approx. EUR 37’000), enables one artist to develop an original project over a year that will be presented at the next Festival Images Vevey in September 2022. The competition represents unique support for contemporary creation, with complete freedom of choice over subject and genre.

Open Call: residencies at PACT Zollverein

Deadline: 25 February 2021
PACT Zollverein
Essen, Germany

From mid-August to mid-December 2021 PACT Zollverein is offering a residency programme for the development and realisation of projects and productions, which is open to professional artists from both Germany and abroad working in the fields of dance, performance, media art and science.

Residencies are planned individually and include a working space and local accommodation as well as financial support in the form of a weekly grant allowance and travel costs. By arrangement and subject to requirement, PACT Zollverein also offers its residents technical support. In keeping with its unique structure, PACT Zollverein sees itself as a place of encounter and exchange and, together with all its contributors, welcomes the readiness of others to share their own work processes in open and freely definable forms.

Call for Applications: FACE Contemporary Theater and FUSED 2021

Deadline: 28 February 2021
FACE Foundation
United States

The Application call 2021 for projects in the field of the Performing Arts is open until February 28, 2021. Through its annual application call, projects are evaluated by an independent committee, and since its creation, FACE Contemporary Theater has distributed more than $3 million dollars to 287 projects that reflect the cultural and artistic diversity of the French and American contemporary scenes.

Open Call for Curators

Deadline: 28 February 2021
kunstencentrum nona
Mechelen, Belgium

Contour Biennale is a biennale for contemporary art in Mechelen (Belgium). It is the longest-running art biennale in Belgium and is part of an international professional network. Strongly embedded in the local fabric, the biennale has been aiming to reflect critically and consistently on current affairs, presenting pressing themes and art that relates to a world in change. The curators of the most recent editions were Jacob Fabricius (2013), Nicola Setari (2015), Natasha Ginwala (2017) and Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez (2019).

A compact team of permanent staff will produce the tenth Contour Biennale in close collaboration with the curator, supporting the curator in anchoring the event in the urban landscape and in maintaining the relationships with national and international partner organisations.

Open Call: Singapore Art Museum Residencies

Deadline: 28 February 2021
Singapore Art Museum

SAM Residencies is now accepting applications for the 2021 cycle for three residencies – the Artist Residency; Community & Education Residency; and Curatorial & Research Residency. Selected residents will be hosted in Singapore between July 2021 and March 2023, for a period of between one and six months. Open to both Singapore-based and international practitioners, across all disciplines of the arts, the 2021 cycle focuses on processes and practices which engage with notions of “intimacy” and/or “infrastructures” and the impact of technology on contemporary life – sociability of the internet; connectivity and capacity of networked platforms; agency and empowerment in civic technology; and digital participatory platforms.

Open Call: Apexart opportunities

Deadline: 1 March 2021
New York

Apexart's Open Calls are opportunities for artists, curators, and other professionals to turn their curatorial idea into an apexart exhibition, combined with inviting apexart’s international community to collectively determine our programming through an online jury process. Winning proposals become part of apexart’s next exhibition season and receive funding and staff support. apexart is not a granting organization-all exhibitions are part of apexart’s programming.

Call for Submissions: New Contemporaries 2021 Programme

Deadline: 1 March 2021
New Contemporaries
United Kingdom

New Contemporaries welcomes submissions for the 2021 programme from emerging artists who are final year students, recent graduates and postgraduate students from UK art schools and alternative learning programmes. The selectors for 2021 are internationally-renowned artists Hew Locke, Tai Shani and Michelle Williams Gamaker.

Open Call: Pro Helvetia Residencies 2022

Deadline: 10 March 2021
Swiss Arts Council

Cultural practitioners from Switzerland may apply for residencies in the Arab region, while cultural practitioners from the Arab region can apply for residencies in Switzerland. Below you will find more information about the countries in question.

Residencies serve to gain inspiration, to establish networks and to work on projects. Pro Helvetia offers accommodation, travel costs, a daily allowance, professional supervision, a workplace (on request) and a contribution to production/material costs (on request).

Call for Scripts: 2021 VSA Playwright Discovery Program

Deadline: 10 March 2021
The Kennedy Center
Washington D.C.

Young writers with disabilities are invited to submit a ‘ten-minute script’ of any genre. Scripts may be for theater scripts, musicals, multimedia, video, film, or TV scripts, non-linear scripts, or other writing for performance. Entries may be the work of an individual student or a collaboration by a group of up to five students that includes at least one student with a disability.

Writers are encouraged to craft short (10 minute) works from their own experiences and observations through the creation of fictional characters and settings, writing realistically, metaphorically or abstractly about any topic, including the disability experience.

Open Call: Self-Organizations Program

Deadline: 15 March 2021

Self-Organizations is a program that aims to provoke inventive ways of working and collaborating. The program offers support to projects where different arts practitioners take the initiative and join forces to define a mutual resource or interest that’s important for their work, and propose how to share or develop it. The overall purpose of the program is to incite productive conversations, encourage the development of bespoke protocols for collaboration, and push for new art experiences to take place.

Eventually, through different experiments with self-organization, the value of collective sharing and generosity amongst arts communities may show itself to be more relevant than funds and structures. The program will involve a diversity of participants working according to the specific guidelines below in order to try different formats and methodologies. For this second edition, this open call is reaching out to those interested in self-organizing under this program.

Open Call: Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant

Deadline: 19 May 2021
The Andy Warhol Foundation
New York

The Arts Writers Grant supports both emerging and established writers who are writing about contemporary visual art. Ranging from USD$15,000 to USD$50,000 in three categories—articles, books and short-form writing, these grants support projects addressing both general and specialised art audiences, from short reviews for magazines and newspapers to in-depth scholarly studies. The grant supports art writing that engages criticism through interdisciplinary methods or experiments with literary styles.

Open Call: Research Fellowship Programme

Deadline: 15 July 2021
The Africa Institute

The Africa Institute Research Fellowships Program provides the opportunity for both junior and senior scholars of African and African diaspora studies to focus on a research project and participate in ongoing scholarly and intellectual activities during their term at the Institute. The inaugural cohort includes two senior fellows and two postdoctoral fellows, and will offer fellows the opportunity to interact with scholars and academics in their area of research with the aim of enriching their scholarly experiences and future projects.

Open Call: MMAG Foundation Self-Led Residency

Deadline: N/A
MMAG Foundation

Studio spaces are available across the foundation's buildings for artists, writers and researchers based in Jordan. These include the drawing studio, darkroom, sound studio, library and screening room as well as subsidised individual studios. Open to artists from a diverse range of backgrounds and levels of experience, this programme is for those who are in need of space and support to develop their individual practices while engaging with a greater community of cultural practitioners with opportunities for organic collaboration.

The self-led residency programme aims to create room for artists to experiment with and advance their practices through research-oriented, discursive and practical production while also determining their own pace and outcome. Residents gain access to the foundation's resources and equipment, mentorship, curatorial support from the MMAG team and open studios to engage with a wider audience during their stay.

Open Call: Sumac Space Dialogues

Deadline: N/A
Sumac Space

Sumac Space invites writers, curators, critics, researchers and thinkers to engage with the work of contemporary artists from the Middle East. Responses through research, contextual and visual essays, interviews, poetry, audio, video and hybrid formats are welcome.

Call for Applications: Cultural Emergency Response Fund

Deadline: N/A
Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development

The Prince Claus Fund provides quick help to evacuate, stabilise or rescue cultural heritage that is under imminent threat of destruction or that has been damaged by man-made or natural disasters through the Cultural Emergency Response programme (CER). They often work in collaboration with other international heritage conservation organisations, such as UNESCO, ICCROM, the Smithsonian Institution, Gerda Henkel Stiftung, and the Whiting Foundation.

All the information shared here has been sourced from the aforementioned institutions’ online platforms.


All the information shared here has been sourced from the aforementioned institutions’ online platforms.