Artist Open Call: Day of the Dead Festival

“Death is not the opposite of life; but the most profound part of it.”

From Samhain to Shraddha, from Mexico to India, across the world, the cultural exploration of death is a key part of our shared humanity. The Day of the Dead Festival will explore themes of death, rebirth and the afterlife. We are looking for proposals for:

A visual art exhibition –  exploring the different cultural approaches to death and dying throughout our diverse multi-faith borough – £3,750 exhibition costs + £2k curation fee.

Two new immersive theatre shows – staged across our unique Edwardian buildings – two gothic tales; both joyful and profound – £6k commissions.

Timeline28th Oct – 9th Nov

Theatre Commissions

These two seed commissions are for new, site-specific, immersive theatre performances fully utilizing our unique listed Edwardian building and its resources. They will be each staged for a week as part of our Day of the Dead Festival, October 28th – Nov 9th.

The shows should explore themes of life, death and the afterlife. We are seeking tales with intriguing and impactful staging. We are not just looking for jump scares, rather for profound stories with a touch of the gothic about them to suit our Edwardian setting. 

You don’t have to be inspired by the specific history of Stanley Halls – though with links to Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry Houdini, and a track record of seances there are some interesting stories to tell – but in creating your proposal you should think about the specific spaces in the building and how you might want to use them. 

(There is a great online 3D tour of Stanley Arts available on the hire pages of our website, or alternatively email if you would like to come and have an in-person tour.) 

We envisage successful bidders will use their seed commission to allow them to apply for further funding, potentially from ACE. Our fundraising team will be happy to help advise you on these applications. In your pitch you should lay out two potential production models: what you would do if you were successful in additional fundraising; and what you will deliver if you have just £6k to work with.    

Please email with the subject “Day of the Dead Theatre Proposal” including:

  • a project outline (maximum 1000 words)
  • a full budget (as noted above the theatre proposals should have two options, the stripped back £6k version and a fully funded versions).
  • a company / personal CVhighlighting previous shows
  • complete our Equal Opportunities survey

All proposals should be sent by Friday 29 March. If you would prefer to send a proposal in another format, i.e. as a video submission, then just drop us a line.

Art Exhibition

We are seeking an artist / artist collective / curator / workshop leader to work with community and faith groups in Croydon to create an exhibition that explores varying traditions around death, dying and remembrance.   

The project leader will find and engage with different community groups, deliver workshops with these groups to generate art; as well as create their own professional artistic response. Using these outputs they will curate and hang an exhibition for our public gallery space for the Day of the Dead Festival (28th Oct – 9th Nov). 

The production budget for the exhibition is £3,750. There is an additional £2,000 fee for the artist. 

We welcome proposals of any and all visual media. We are seeking an exhibition that represents local community traditions, and also delivers a visually sumptuous exploration of the themes. Bids can come from both individuals or art collectives / visual arts organisations.

Please email your proposal to with the subject “Day of the Dead Exhibition” including:

  • a personal statement – why this project is of interest to you as an artist/curator/facilitator (maximum 500 words)
  • a company / personal CV – highlighting previous arts facilitation
  • complete our Equal Opportunities survey

All proposals should be sent by Friday 29 March. If you would prefer to send a proposal in another format, i.e. as a video submission, then just drop us a line.

Supported by ACE Place Partnership Programme.

Day of the Dead artwork by Flynn Klein
Interior of the Gallery A colour painting of the front of the Stanley Halls building complex. A photograph of the Stanley Halls complex from the 1920s
© 2024 Stanley Arts Charity No: 1155680