Covid Update (June 2020) >> Since the Covid-19 pandemic struck, we have been offering our Nest Residencies to local artists as Remote/Work From Home, with funding and mentoring support offered remotely or digitally rather than in person. We’re really pleased with how adapting the residencies in this way has allowed us to continue to support artists in what are still extraordinarily difficult times - although we recognise that this format might exclude artists for whom working from home remains difficult.

As lockdown begins to loosen, we are still keen to find ways to support artists to explore new ideas and we remain *very keen* to continue to receive applications from Midlands-based artists (or small companies who can work safely within social distancing guidance) for our Remote Nest Residencies. We will continue to give priority to D/deaf or disabled artists based in the Midlands for these Remote Residencies.

If you wish to apply but would find working from home difficult for whatever reason, please get in touch - these residencies are designed to be flexible and to support the artists in whatever way works best for them, and we are happy to have conversations that enable more artists to be supported. We should also mention that, although success cannot be guaranteed, we will welcome further applications from those we support now, at a point when we are in a better position to offer physical space.

You can fill in the online form to apply for a residency here. If you’d prefer to submit your idea as a video or in another form, that’s fine by us. For details of how to apply and FAQ's, see below... [Please bear with us if it takes a day or two to get back to you, we will be as quick as we can!]

PLEASE NOTE The Remote Residencies are only open to Coventry/Midlands-based artists, but when Covid allows us to once more expand the programme, we will again be open to applications from D/deaf and disabled artists from across the UK who fulfill the eligibility criteria (see FAQs).

»Are you a D/deaf or disabled artist living in Coventry/the Midlands or a Midlands-based artist or small company with a creative idea you would like to take to the next level??

If so, Talking Birds is offering supported residencies in Coventry ahead of the opening of The Nest (our incubation space in Coventry, due to open in 2021 during the city's term as UK City of Culture). This is open to artists working in any medium - performance, visual art, film, sound/music, mixed-media....

Pick the level you would like to apply at:

» Hatching

Gives you a few days of time and a sounding board to help you develop your idea

» Fledgling

Gives you a supported residency for up to 2 weeks to enable you to nurture your idea

» First Flight

Gives you a supported residency for 1-2 months to launch your idea to into the world (with an initial public sharing subject to social distancing guidance).

Tell us what your idea is / what you would like to do and when you would like to do it. You can fill in the online form here. If you’d prefer to submit your idea as a video or in another form, that’s fine by us. See the FAQs below for more information.

If we think we might be able to support your idea, we’ll be in touch to arrange a conversation.


» FAQs

Why is Talking Birds running this programme?

We want to support the burgeoning creative life of our home city and in particular create the right conditions for D/deaf and disabled artists to develop their work. We want to encourage and mentor under-represented artists and to allow this exchange to grow us and our creative community at The Nest, which will be our new home from 2021.

Who can apply for Nest residency programme?

Ordinarily, any D/deaf or disabled artist resident in the UK; or any Midlands-based artist or small company. PLEASE NOTE HOWEVER that the Remote Residencies are only open to Coventry/Midlands-based artists. When Covid allows us to once more expand the programme, we will again be open to D/deaf and disabled artists from across the UK coming to make work in Coventry.

When’s the deadline?

We’ve got a rolling deadline, and in this round we’re looking to support residencies on an ongoing basis until 2022.

What spaces are available for working in?

In 'normal times' we would try and match up your idea with a suitable space - which might range from a large-ish area in an industrial unit to somewhere small and cosy, but during the Covid-19 pandemic, all residencies will be Remote.

Will I get paid for my time?

This is a supported residency programme so we will offer you some financial support for your time in addition to a project mentor/sounding board and other appropriate support if needed.

I’m on benefits, can I still apply?

Yes, we’ll do our best to make the residency work for you,

I’ve got a full time job, can I still apply?

You need to be able to commit enough time to your residency to make it worth while, but if you can give us a plan for your working pattern that works around your other work, that’s fine by us.

I’m a student, can I still apply?

Current Undergraduates are not eligible, but postgrads will be considered as long as you can demonstrate that it will fit around your studies.

I’ve got particular access needs, how will these be taken into account?

We’ll do our level best to tailor the opportunity to you.

I’m a disabled artist based outside the region but interested in developing work in Coventry. Can I get help with travel and accommodation?

Yes, once we are able to open the programme up again fully we will welcome applications from disabled artists based outside the region, but we'd want to know what it is about working in the city and with Talking Birds that is integral to your project, as these residencies are designed to help grow our creative community in Coventry.

If I Hatch an idea that I then want to take to Fledgling or First Flight stage, can I reapply?


Who is funding this?

Arts Council, England, through its support of Talking Birds as a National Portfolio Organisation.

Who/what is Talking Birds?

Talking Birds is a nationally renowned, Coventry-based company of artists specialising in Theatre of Place.

What are Talking Birds’ core values and do mine have to align with them?

We believe in making work in an environmentally sustainable way that puts access at the heart of its process - you can find out more on our website. We’d like to know how your residency will be consistent with these values and/or show a commitment to exploring them, as these residencies are designed to help grow our creative community in Coventry.

What is Talking Birds track record in supporting artists in this way?

On top of running the Nest Residency Programme since 2018, Talking Birds has a track record of curating project development and residency opportunities for other artists. We previously ran the FarGoSpace programme in (what’s now) FarGo Village, we run a series of open auditions for performers called Open Cast, and we convene the F13 Artists’ Network. We have also developed a mobile captioning tool called the Difference Engine to help make experimental performances (by us and other artists/companies) more accessible. Running the Nest residency programme is also a great excuse for Bird-related puns.

Will my project supporter/mentor be one of the TBs team?

Yes if we have the right skills to support you - but we will work with you to identify what sort of support you need and may draw on one of our many partner/collaborators to work with you. In-house expertise and interests include: creative development, theatre-making, site-specific work, design, composition and sound design, making work accessible, strategic planning, evaluation, finance and funding.

Sounds brilliant! How do I apply?

You can fill in the online form here. If you’d prefer to submit your idea as a video or in another form, that’s fine by us.

links to The Whalelinks to article about Theatre of Placelinks to the difference engine