The Nest Residency Programme

A Nest Residency is time, space and conversation with other artists, and is designed to allow you to think, experiment and take a punt on one of those ‘What if…?’ ideas.

Nest Residencies are open to any Midlands-based d/Deaf, disabled and/or neurodivergent artist and/or any Midlands-based artist or small company. Nest Residencies cannot fund your fully-formed project proposal – there are other funds that might better support that. We are interested in your idea – and why you are interested in us, in The Nest and in exploring something together.

nest-sketch-banner

Applications are now welcome for Nest Residencies from October 2021

Pretty much all artforms/media are eligible and, as before, the deadlines will be rolling rather than fixed so you can apply whenever you like.

Please read the FAQ’s below and then apply via the online form or you can submit your application in video or audio format to cover the questions below

  • What idea would you like to develop during this residency?
  • When ideally would you like to do your residency, or what’s your preferred working pattern?
  • Why you’d particularly like to work with Talking Birds.
    Note: we believe in making work in an environmentally sustainable way that puts access at its heart, so we’d be interested to hear how your residency will be consistent with these values and/or show a commitment to exploring them.
  • Why is this opportunity beneficial to you at this moment?
  • Please specify any support you would need in order to make this opportunity work for you.

FAQs       

Why is Talking Birds running this programme? We want to support the burgeoning creative life of our home city and in particular create the right conditions for d/Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists to develop their work. We want to encourage and mentor under-represented artists, give them space and time to experiment, and to allow this exchange to grow us and our creative community at The Nest (which will be our new home from 2021).           

Who can apply for the Nest residency programme? Midlands-based d/Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists or any Midlands-based artist or small company. When Covid allows us to once more expand the programme, we will again be open to d/Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists from across the UK who can make a good case for connecting to The Nest community through coming to make work in Coventry.   

When’s the deadline? We are now open to applications for Nest Residencies running from October 2021. This programme runs on a rolling deadline – so there *is* no deadline! We’re looking to support residencies on an ongoing basis until at least 2023.

What spaces are available for working in? Within the supportive community at The Nest building, we have created 3 brand new Nest Residence studio spaces with love and care – and we hope you will find them accessible, comfortable and productive spaces to work in. These studios are amongst studios occupied by Talking Birds artists and other members of the Nest community and residents are encouraged to use communal spaces for meetings, co-working and breaks. 

The Space Odyssey studio
The Solid Blue studio

The studio spaces are designed as ‘clean’ spaces, but if you need a ‘dirty’ space, this might be possible, depending on how you want to explore your idea. We should flag up, though, that we are pretty hardline about what materials can be used in the building and on waste generation and disposal, as – in line with our climate conscious stance – we want The Nest community to be a beacon of regenerative practice. If this is something you are also interested in exploring, then a Nest Residency may be an excellent fit for you.

We have put appropriate Covid protocols in place and will keep reviewing these measures to ensure that we can continue to safely offer residency spaces at The Nest.

Will I get paid for my time? We don’t believe artists should work for free. The whole point of a Nest Residency is to allow you time, space and conversations to help you experiment and develop your idea – so we will offer you financial support for your time, in addition to a project mentor/sounding board and other appropriate support if needed.

I’m on benefits, can I still apply? Yes, we’ll do our best to make the residency work for you,

I’ve got a full time job, can I still apply? You need to be able to commit enough time to your residency to make it worthwhile, but if you can give us a plan for your working pattern that works around your other work, that’s fine by us.

I’m a student, can I still apply? Current Undergraduates are not eligible, but postgrads will be considered as long as you can demonstrate that it will fit around your studies.

I’ve got particular access needs, how will these be taken into account? We’ll do our level best to tailor the opportunity to you.

I’m a d/Deaf / disabled / neurodivergent artist based outside the region but interested in developing work in Coventry. Can I get help with travel and accommodation? When Covid allows us to once more expand the programme, we will again be open to d/Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists from across the UK who can make a good case for connecting with The Nest community through coming to make work in Coventry. And yes, we will be able to help with travel and accommodation.

If I Hatch an idea that I then want to take to Fledgling or First Flight stage, can I reapply? Yes. We advise that if you haven’t previously been a Nest Resident, it might be better to apply for Hatching or Fledgling level at the initial stage. (Running the Nest residency programme is also a great excuse for Bird-related puns).

Do I need to produce an outcome at the end of the residency? No – although we know, as artists ourselves, you probably will! We want to allow residents the time to really explore their idea, to honour the creative process and to take the pressure off having to produce an outcome.

For all residencies we ask for a blogpost reflecting on what you have explored during your time at The Nest, including your journey on environmentally conscious practice – and for First Flight (a longer/better resourced residency) we ask for some kind of sharing – and will discuss with you, as your residency progresses, what might be the most appropriate format for this. 

We also sometimes pair up with other Coventry based organisations, such as Ludic Rooms or Coventry Biennial, to combine a Nest Residency with a specific commission or exhibition opportunity from the partner – and obviously an outcome is expected for these residency-commissions.

Does my practice fit into the artforms and disciplines Talking Birds supports? It’s the idea, rather than the artform that interests us most, so if you’re not sure whether your idea fits the bill, please get in touch and let’s have a chat about it. We support most multi and cross discipline practice including performance, theatre, dance, music and visual arts that don’t require any ultra-specialist equipment or facilities – and we do our best to support wherever we can.

Who is funding this? Arts Council, England, through its support of Talking Birds as a National Portfolio Organisation.

Who/what is Talking Birds? Talking Birds is a nationally renowned, Coventry-based company of artists specialising in Theatre of Place. You can find out more about our values, our work, Theatre of Place and our new home on this website.

What are Talking Birds’ core values and do mine have to align with them? You can find out more about our values and our six big ideas here. We are working towards The Nest being a zero waste building/community so that it treads as lightly on the world as possible. We know zero waste is a huge ask, but it’s also a really positive thing to aim for. If we all really think about what we are using – and what we can stop ourselves throwing away – we can make huge progress towards a zero waste target.

We want to champion, encourage and support environmentally conscious living and working. As artists we use a wide range of materials, and we try to make better choices when creating work, we think ‘sustainable’ (or breaking even) is no longer good enough, and instead we are aiming for regenerative working practices. 

We’d like to know why The Nest is the place for your idea and how your residency will be consistent with Talking Birds’ values and/or show a commitment to exploring them, as these residencies are designed to help grow our creative climate-conscious community in Coventry. In a Nest Residency, we want to work with you, to support you to experiment and to try some things out. We are interested in your idea, and in why you think that idea is best explored with us here at The Nest

What is Talking Birds track record in supporting artists in this way? On top of running the Nest Residency Programme since 2018, Talking Birds has a track record of curating project development and residency opportunities for other artists. We previously ran the FarGoSpace programme in (what’s now) FarGo Village, we run a series of open auditions for performers called Open Cast, and we convene the F13 Artists’ Network. We have also developed a mobile captioning tool called the Difference Engine to help make experimental performances (by us and other artists/companies) more accessible.

Will my project supporter/mentor be one of the TBs team? Yes if we have the right skills to support you – but we will work with you to identify what sort of support you need and may draw on one of our many partner/collaborators/networks to work with you too. In-house expertise and interests include: creative development, theatre-making, site-specific work, design, composition and sound design, making work accessible, digital technologies, workshop, graphic and web design, peer critique, strategic planning, evaluation, finance and funding.

Sounds brilliant! How do I apply? Either complete the online application form here. Or you can submit your application in video or audio format to cover the questions below:

  • What idea would you like to develop during this residency?
  • When ideally would you like to do your residency, or what’s your preferred working pattern?
  • Why you’d particularly like to work with Talking Birds.
    Note: we believe in making work in an environmentally sustainable way that puts access at its heart, so we’d be interested to hear how your residency will be consistent with these values and/or show a commitment to exploring them.
  • Why is this opportunity beneficial to you at this moment?
  • Please specify any support you would need in order to make this opportunity work for you.

Artists who have already undertaken a residency with us include:

Andy Sargent, Lucy Hayward, Theatre in Black, Sylvia Theuri, Mahendra Patel, Jasmine Moreton, Katie Walters, Rosa Francesca Hinksman, Sinead Brady, Luísa Isabel de Freitas, Chloe Allen, Emily Woodruff, Alan Van Wijgerden, melissandre varin, Tara Rutledge, Angela Mhlanga, Tom Walters, Patsy Brown-Hope, Tom Simkins, Holly Clark, Alex Hilton, Tina Hofman, Elizabeth Hudnott, Corinne Perry, Dion Ellis-Taylor, Indira Prasad,

Artforms include:

Painting, drawing, theatre-making, digital visual art, music, installation, audio, writing, electronics, sculpture, film-making, radio, video, postcard, mixed media visual, dance, performance, online, interactive…