Open call for d/Deaf or disabled practitioners

| by Harriet Guest

Tags: Arts and disability Opportunity

We’re offering bursaries for artists and producers to attend IETM in Munich — a major European performing arts networking event

IETM Porto Group photo 2Our delegation of artists and British Council staff attends IETM Porto. We award bursaries twice a year for artists to attend IETM, helping to ensure Britain is reflected in all its diversity on the world stage. Photo: Laura Alos

As part of our mission to embed art made by disabled artists within the UK and international cultural sectors, we're offering bursaries for d/Deaf and disabled artists to join the next IETM gathering, IETM Munich. We will also provide access support through our partners in this programme Unlimited. This is the sixth time that we have offered these bursaries to under-represented groups, helping to make sure that Britain is reflected in all its diversity on the world stage. We're offering bursaries for minority ethnic artists to join the delegation too.

IETM (Informal European Theatre Meeting), is a network of over 500 performing arts organisations and individuals working in contemporary performing arts across the world. Members include theatre, dance, circus, new media and live art practitioners, as well as festivals, producers, research centres and institutional bodies. They run two plenary sessions a year in European cities that provide an invaluable chance for participants to meet international contacts, attend talks, see international work and to broaden their understanding of the global challenges for performing arts in the 21st century.

IETM Munich takes place from 1–4 November 2018 and will explore European identity. It will look at what the EU's motto "United in Diversity" means today, whether Europe is a cultural or geographical entity, and the role of arts professionals in shaping and reflecting these identities. The theme of this meeting makes it even more pressing to have an intersection of identities in the room.

These bursaries go a small way to help remove barriers” 

"At the British Council, it’s a vital part of our work to make sure the UK performing arts sector truly reflects the UK"  says Ben Evans, our Head of Arts and Disability for the EU. "There are very real barriers which prevent d/Deaf and disabled professionals from accessing international networks, and this means they are at a disadvantage in getting to know what works internationally and how best to build connections. These bursaries go a small way to help remove some of these barriers.”

Our Theatre and Dance team holds associate membership of IETM, so there will be friendly faces from the British Council on hand for the successful participants. We will provide support: making introductions, hosting a pre-meeting, steering the group through events, and helping everyone to make the most of the experience. We also offer access support for bursary recipients, supported by Unlimited. The British Council is liaising with IETM to ensure venue accessibility is clearly communicated in advance. We will discuss the needs of individual bursary winners in the months leading up to November. If you have any questions before application please feel free to email us:

For the last IETM in Porto we awarded 12 bursaries to a dynamic group of artists, and we will offer new bursaries for the next IETM, hosted in another European city, in April 2019.

This is what previous bursary recipients say in blogs about their experiences:

“By the end of this trip, I’d met artists from Spain, France, Italy, Holland, Denmark, Iceland, Australia, Poland, Iran, and, of course, Portugal. The meeting programme didn’t shy away from difficult conversations: the keynote speech featured a bracing performance-lecture from artist, Fernanda Silva, denouncing the conditions of Native Americans in Brazil and putting Portugal’s colonial legacy squarely on the stage” 
Gareth Cutter, artist

“It’s an incredible network of artists that is completely new to me! Members included festivals, companies, producers, theatres, research and resource centres, universities and institutional bodies.” 
Keith Saha, Co-Artistic Director, 20 Stories High

We'd like as many people as possible to benefit from IETM's vast network. You can find out more information about how to apply below.

"It's an incredible network of artists that is completely new to me!"


At a glance:


Where and when?
IETM Munich takes place in Germany from 1–4 November 2018. 

What does the bursary cover?
Successful applicants will receive a £500 bursary each. The bursary money can be used to contribute towards costs incurred travelling and staying in Munich. This might include, but is not limited to travel, accommodation, daily expenses and show tickets. In partnership with Unlimited we will also cover access costs and support with access requirements.

Who is eligible to apply? 
This opportunity is open to d/Deaf and disabled artists and producers who are based in the UK, including those working for an NPO or a regularly funded organisation.

Previous IETM bursary recipients are eligible to re-apply. We will support one person to attend IETM a maximum of two times through this scheme. You must be available from the 1–4 November 2018 (inclusive) and allow for appropriate travel time on either side of the dates.

How do I apply? 
Please complete this form. If you would like the form in an alternative format or if you have questions please contact us on: 

When is the deadline?
Friday 24 August 2018 12:00 (BST)

What are your criteria for selecting bursary award winners?
We will be looking for applications that demonstrate that attending IETM Munich will be useful to your career. This might mean that your visit is part of a wider international strategy for your work. Alternatively, it might be an important first step for you to explore international networks following success in the UK.

Who makes the final selection?
The successful bursary recipients will be selected by a panel including experts from the theatre and dance sector together with British Council arts specialists.

Find out more:


Discover the bursary recipients from IETM Porto

Check out Gareth Cutter's account of IETM Brussels

Get some tips from bursary recipient Sophie Woolley on how to make the most of IETM

Read a case study about Unlimited's involvement with IETM

Unlimited's Clara Giraud tells us what IETM is all about

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