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Baltic x Shape Emergent Residency Open Call

Baltic and Shape launch Emergent – a new hybrid residency and support programme for early-career disabled artists with a £5k bursary.

Applications are open for disabled artists/creative practitioners in the first five years of their career to take part in a three-month residency programme that combines digital and physical elements of delivery, supported by both organisations.

Receiving an award of £5,000, the selected artist will take part in a residency where, in addition to receiving expert support and mentoring to inform their practice, they can use facilities and technical input to develop new or existing artwork. A showcasing or broadcast opportunity will be provided as part of the programme.

A package of support will also be offered to a small number of shortlisted artists.


  • You self-identify as disabled* [see note below on what we mean by disabled] and have experienced barriers to progression in your career
  • You are within the first five years of your career
  • You are not in full-time education
  • Your work is a socially engaged contemporary arts practice
  • You are UK based, and usually live in the UK
  • Aged 18+
  • You are available September to November 2022 inclusive, to take part in the residency. This is structured as:
    • September – remote residency
    • October – in-person residency at BALTIC
    • November – remote residency

You will also have contact with the organisations on either side of these months, and there is flexibility as to how contact is arranged.

The artist, and any shortlisted artists, will be selected by representatives from BALTIC and Shape.

You can access Baltic and Shape's Equal Opportunities Statement here.


  • Deadline for applications Sunday 10 July 2022, 23.59
  • Conversations with shortlisted artists are expected to take place 19–20 July 2022
  • Artist Announcements 23 August 2022
  • We will liaise with the awarded artist on a flexible basis between July and August prior to activities beginning in September

Submitting your Application

As part of the application we will ask for:

  • A covering statement (500 words max.) telling us about your work, and how this residency opportunity will benefit you
  • A description of the barriers you have faced in starting your artistic career
  • A recent or updated CV or biography
  • Examples of your work, these can be attached as files (up to six images of your work or a video/audio extract, no longer than two minutes) or an online portfolio/website
  • You will need to self-identify as disabled [see note below]
  • We strongly recommend you read the Emergent FAQs document before applying
  • You can apply via Submittable which accepts text, audio and visual media. This means you can use the format most accessible to you

Apply via Submittable now.

Further to Baltic and Shape’s Equal Opportunities Statement, your personal details from the Submittable form and your responses to the Equality Monitoring Questionnaire will not be seen by the shortlisting panel. This means we can make the selection based only on how this opportunity will benefit your practice. In addition, we would ask that in your statement and CV/biography, you do not include any personal information which identifies any personal characteristic, for example your age, title, name, e-mail address, home address, nationality details, immigration status, dates of examinations.

You can read Baltic's Privacy Policy and Shape Arts' Privacy Policy.

You can also send your application by post, please do not send original artwork, applications will not be returned:

Baltic x Shape Emergent Residency
Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
Gateshead Quays
South Shore Road
Gateshead NE8 3BA

Deadline: Sunday 10 July 2022, 23.59

A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page is available to help with your application.

Due to the expected high volume of applications, we may not be able to give individual feedback.

This programme is only on offer to those artists who self-identify as disabled.

What do we mean by disabled, or disability?

Because we recognise that people’s perspectives and experiences of disability are very wide-ranging, we have a broad and inclusive approach to what disability means.

Some people will meet with access barriers on a daily basis; others may have a mental or physical impairment or health condition which is invisible to others or that they prefer to keep to themselves; some people may not even have considered themselves to be disabled until something has happened to make them reflect on the issue.

If you consider yourself to be disabled under this broad definition, then please indicate so in the monitoring form and where applicable in your application.

The partners work to the social model of disability, and applications are not dependent on a medical diagnosis.

Baltic Studio Space Information

The Emergent residency studio space is located on Level 1 of Baltic. Occupying the 43m² space is fully accessible with step-free access. The studio overlooks the River Tyne with panoramic views of the quayside.


The Emergent programme is a collaboration between BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead and Shape Arts, London, with key activity taking place in the North East of England, where BALTIC is based. 2022 is the programme’s pilot year.


Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead opened in 2002 and is the largest non-collecting contemporary art gallery in the UK. Our mission is to create greater understanding of the world through outstanding, experimental and inspiring contemporary art which has power, relevance and meaning for individuals and communities. Baltic is visited by half a million people annually from the North East, the UK and overseas, and to date we have welcomed over 8.5 million visitors. We are committed to keeping our admissions free.

Baltic has an outstanding reputation among artists and audiences for commissioning and producing exceptional exhibitions that are conceptually rigorous, inspired by new perspectives and have the power to inspire new ways of thinking about the world. We have an accessible building with step-free access, with four world-class galleries and a performance space. A public programme of talks, workshops, screenings and events also accompanies our exhibitions programme. Since 2018, Baltic has commissioned contemporary dance and performance and hosted artists' residencies. Beyond our bricks, BALTIC connects with local communities, individuals and groups exploring creativity, social connections and shared hospitality.

Our Aims:

  • To commission and produce exhibitions, performances, public and learning programmes which champion the role of artists in contemporary society.
  • To create environments and opportunities within and beyond Baltic’s galleries where individuals and communities can explore different ways of seeing and thinking about the world by engaging with exceptional art and artists.
  • To deeply root inclusivity and diversity in all our practices, processes and actions so we may better reflect and support our local, national and international communities.
  • To devise and embed innovative research-engaged frameworks which support and encourage talent development of artists and future thinking through sustained collaboration, partnership and sector leadership.

Shape Arts

Disability-led, Shape works to remove barriers to creative excellence. We have been at the forefront of creating opportunities and breaking barriers for disabled people in the arts and cultural sector for over forty years.

Our Aims:

  • Work with cultural sector organisations to promote greater accessibility and inclusion.
  • Raise the aspirations of disabled people wanting to work and lead in the cultural sector, providing high-quality, accessible learning and development opportunities to support their careers.
  • Support disabled artists to achieve excellence and inspire a new generation of artists to emerge.
  • Improve the public perception of disabled artists and raise their profile across the UK and internationally, to diverse and growing audiences.
  • Lead with landmark and influential ‘game-changer’ projects to build our creative and cultural reach.

These aims are supported through the delivery of our annual exhibition the Shape Open, and our archival projects The National Disability Arts Collection and Archive and The National Disability Movement Archive & Collection. We are a leading diversity organisation for the [Transforming Leadership](Transforming Leadership) programme. In addition to this, we provide artist commissions, and access auditing and training services to arts organisations.

All of Shape's work is informed by the Social Model of Disability.

Shape’s flagship artist award The Adam Reynolds Award is a high-quality development opportunity which we have been delivering in partnership with leading cultural locations and galleries such as Baltic across the country for over ten years.


You can view the BSL version of this text here.

You can view the Easy Read Guide here.