Great experiences for everyone
Box Office: 023 9247 2700

Play Artist in Residence Project

Production image of Danyah Miller against a black background surrounded by piles of books. She is wearing a brightly coloured patterned dress and is raising her hands to her ears as if listening


We are inviting 3 artists/play makers to join the team for one of our upcoming seasons to co-create playful, interactive activity in our building and for our community.

The Play Artist in Residence programme is a new and unique project designed to create joyful, interactive moments for audiences and the community across all areas of The Spring’s programme. It aims to develop audiences, deepen relationships with visitors, offer co-creation opportunities for the community and create unforgettable experiences.

We want to put artists at the forefront of our work to creatively play with our programming over a period of time and whose purpose it is to work with the events, exhibitions and workshops we’ve got planned to bring them to life in fun, interactive ways. There is a lot of research about how good play is for every age group and we are looking for three artists/ companies who have the time and expertise to make our audiences and visitors interactions a bit more engaging, memorable and playful, from working within the café and galleries to performances, workshops or outreach programmes. Adding an element of surprise, intrigue and excitement to someone’s visit through the art of play.

As the first programme of its kind, The Spring is seeking a researcher/evaluator to work with the programme’s producer and the selected artists to thoroughly measure the project’s board-ranging impact – including but not limited to the cultural and social impact that leading ideas through a play artist has on the organisation and the community it serves. The researcher/ evaluator will undertake evaluations with participants and artists gathering data (both qualitative and quantitative) and will create a full report to help us share the learning found. The evidence and report should also support The Spring in making future fundraising applications to continue or develop the programme.

Click here to listen to an audio description of the Invitation to Play or download the pdf below. 

We have budget for access costs if required, please contact to discuss.

Key Dates

Deadline to RSVP: Friday 23rd April 2021

Day of Play: Wednesday 2nd June 2021

Play Artist 1 residency: September – December 2021

Play Artist 2 residency: January – April 2022

Play Artist 3 residency: May – August 2022





To apply to be one of our Play Artists we ask you to submit a short creative response to show us how you work.

Please show us:

• what excites you about this programme

• a flavour of the style of your current work

• summary of how you will work with our building and our communities • an indication on which season you would prefer to be resident

• how you will use your time and budget as Play Artist


Please RSVP via video, writing (no more than 2 sides of A4) or another creative format of your choice (if by video/audio no more than 4 minutes of material) by Friday 23rd April 2021 and send your response to

Please email if you would like to arrange an informal chat before applying.


Great Experiences for Everyone

The Spring strives to be an Equal Opportunities Employer and to ensure that no person is unfairly discriminated against in its recruitment and selection policies and procedures. As a publicly funded organisation, The Spring monitors the cultural diversity of all its employees, freelancers, Board Members, and volunteers.

We ask that applicants complete our Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form. This information will not be used in connection with your application. It will be used for monitoring and evaluation purposes only.






Frequently Asked Questions

1. The call out states two days a week, is this flexible?

The play interactions are based on the equivalent of two days a week. How we work together with the artist during the season will be based on the activity created and therefore flexible in the approach. For example, the selected artist may come in every day for a few hours or perhaps there is a specific event or week of events that require the artist to be there meaning some other weeks will be less busy. We will work with you to create the best way to work and be playful.

2. Can artists/play makers look to seek out match funding for the project?

If you want to yes, and we can try to support this where possible. However, with the additional production budget and access cost we feel that something magical can be created within this and its not a necessity for additional funds.

3. Can I select which season I am part of if I am successful?

We will select three artists to be part of the programme after our Day of Play on the 2nd June. When the three are selected we will talk to each artist to make sure that each season fits well with the artists plans going forward.

4. In the application how specific should I be about my play ideas?

The application is a chance for use to get to you know and your work, we want to see a flavour of how you might play and explore with us, our communities and the venue however full details of your ideas can be fleshed out in the planning days if selected. We are interested in people who can create playful and artistic interactions and these interactions don’t all have to be art form specific.

5. What are your hopes for the outcomes of this programme?

The Spring is a small place where big things happen. We hope this project will support our vision, attract more communities to be involved with our work and be a platform for best practice in this new way of working. We are seeking a researcher/evaluator to be part of the project who will probe, support and guide the process in seeking tangible outcomes.