Permanent and temporary commissions and projects

LB x a-n Artist Bursaries | In association with Open Culture

Design: Helena Geilinger

Design: Helena Geilinger

As part of a shared commitment to supporting artists across the UK, Liverpool Biennial 2021, a-n The Artists Information Company and Open Culture are joining forces to offer five support and research bursaries of £1500 each for artists between March – June 2021, within the 11th edition of Liverpool Biennial.

Launching 20 March, the festival is underpinned by a public programme, Processes of Fermentation, which will bring together a diverse collection of voices through a dedicated peer strand. A healthy stomach has a rich diversity of bacteria. This probiotic injection of different voices will similarly assist in the absorption and digestion of information, ideas and exchanges to support and increase our collective gut intelligence in response to the Biennial.

Delivered as part of this public programme, and in partnership with a-n during their 40th anniversary year, these bursaries are open to a-n Artist and Joint (Artist and Arts Organiser) members who are living and working in the UK. Artists may be at any stage in their career, including early-career or may have been working for several years but wish to undertake a period of research in response to a new avenue of thinking. Reflecting the diversity of artist practices in The Stomach & The Port, we encourage applications from artists working in all visual and sonic arts disciplines that reflect innovative and ambitious thinking.

The Biennial will support the recipient artists to develop their practice through self-determined professional development activity that responds to their own unique needs. Artists will benefit from dedicated time with the festival exhibitions team, plus assistance from the marketing and wider Biennial staff to support their research and development, help make connections and to create opportunities for the sharing or showcasing work or practices within the framework of the festival.

Deadline for applications: 12 noon, Friday 12 February 2021


Applications should be submitted via the online form:

Please also complete our Equal Opportunities Monitoring form which is anonymous and will not be used in the selection process:

LB x a-n Artist Bursaries are open to current a-n Artist or Joint (Artist and Arts Organiser) members. 

Not yet a member? Find out more about a-n and join today.

Unfortunately, we are not able to provide guidance on individual applications, however if you have any questions that aren’t covered in the guidance below or if you require the application form in an alternative format you can contact us by email via

For general application form guidance see the listed PDF here

Further Information

Who can apply?

LB x a-n Artist Bursaries are open to artists at any stage of their career. Applicants must be a-n Artist or Joint (Artist and Arts Organiser) members and must be living and working in the UK, with a UK bank account. We encourage applications from artists working in all visual arts and sonic disciplines.

We are not accepting applications from:

  • Organisations or artist collectives
  • Full-time students
  • Artists living outside of the UK
  • Artists within 24 months of completing an undergraduate course
  • Individuals who are not a-n Artist or Joint (Artist and Arts Organiser) members

How much can be applied for?

There are five bursaries available at £1,500 per recipient. Additionally, up to £500 is available per recipient for those requiring access support related to their bursary activity, if appropriate.

What activity can be supported?

LB x a-n Artist Bursaries are intended to support the professional development of your artistic career. This bursary seeks to support the development of new skills, knowledge and networks that will benefit your career in the short and long term. We are open to considering any ideas that constitute a self-determined professional development opportunity, including those that combine the creation of work with other activities.

We ask that each artist recipient hosts a public sharing or showcasing of their work or work in progress, which should take place within the Liverpool Biennial festival timeframe, March – June 2021. This activity can be anything from an informal sharing or discussion to a pop-up exhibition and can take place either digitally or in person.

This activity should be self-directed and produced, however the Liverpool Biennial team will support all recipients to develop and create a showcasing opportunity that is responsive, appropriate and comfortable for you and your practice. This support may include help with finding a temporary exhibition or activity space and in-kind digital advertising of your activity, as well as connecting with other Liverpool-based organisations and events such as Light Night if appropriate.

There is no expectation to complete a finished body of work as part of this bursary.

Bursary activity may include, but is not limited to:

  • Research and development costs for a new way of working or collaboration
  • Learning new skills through professional training, courses, peer-to-peer learning with visual arts or non-arts experts
  • Mentoring, coaching or curatorial feedback
  • Networking with artists, galleries, organisations or other groups of interest
  • Making and sharing work with audiences

In addition to the bursary, there is additional financial support available to cover:

  • Reasonable travel costs, accommodation and subsistence to support a visit to Liverpool Biennial (subject to the government pandemic guidelines)
  • Contribution to caring costs and any access needs

Examples of activity that can’t be supported include:

  • Applications made only for the purchase of materials or equipment, however this could be included as part of a broader application where learning through making is vital and clearly beneficial in the long-term. Material or making costs should not be more than 50% of the total amount asked for
  • Applications made only for goods or services e.g. paying a contractor for a website to be built, unless this is part of a broader application where other learning or skills building for the artist is included
  • Applications that fund the making of new or unfinished work or projects for exhibition, art fair or sale, however this could be one element of a broader application
  • Applications that are dependent on other unsecured funding

What is the selection process?

Applications will be reviewed by a selection panel including Liverpool Biennial, a-n, Open Culture and Independents Biennial. Bursaries will be awarded at their discretion.

All applicants will be notified of the outcome by 5 March 2021.

Other requirements

Bursary recipients will be asked to:

  • Provide information including an artist’s bio and media of past work and participate in PR activity where necessary.
  • Produce a blog post on the a-n website about their activity and for use on the Liverpool Biennial website. Blogs can be completed by text, video, audio and/or images and must be completed before 6 June 2021.
  • Contribute to an evaluation of the programme, including the completion of a final activity report.