Unlimited R&D Awards

Nwando Ebizie looks forward with red light shining on her face, which has decorative gems and paint on it.
'Distorted Constellations' by Nwando Ebizie. Photo by Anya Arnold.

Bagri Foundation is pleased to be a partner supporting two Unlimited Research & Development Awards for 2021 to commission disabled artists and companies to make exceptional work.

The Unlimited Research & Development Awards are part of the Foundation’s ongoing support to the work of extraordinary Asian talent, and its aim of exploring ground-breaking artistic ideas that creatively engage both the traditional and the contemporary while sharing knowledge and expertise from, about, or inspired by cultures across Asia.

Bagri Foundation is excited to be able to support Unlimited’s current commissioning round to fund two research and development awards – for a maximum of £10,000 each – specifically for UK-based disabled artists identifying as Asian artists or from the Asian diaspora that work in any art form, including visual arts, moving image, literature, music and dance. Through this partnership with Unlimited, Bagri Foundation is keen to encourage proposals linked to the written word, including poetry and creative writing, which are currently underrepresented within Unlimited’s portfolio.

Unlimited’s main aim is to commission disabled artists and companies to make exceptional work. They aren’t the only people commissioning disabled artists in the UK; they are part of a big jigsaw of work across the cultural sector all of which is vital. It feels important at this unprecedented time, when many artists and companies have been stopped from touring and sharing work, to keep commissioning artists even when we are all unsure of where the cultural sector might be when these works will be due to bloom. The commissions call out is a competitive process (last time Unlimited shortlisted 25% of the applications we received and funded 13%) but they try and make it as humane as they can. It starts with an Expression of Interest application, which is as simple as they can make it, and only shortlisted applicants complete a full form, which they do with support from the team. The Bagri Foundation can also support applications to our partner award.

To find out more about eligibility criteria and how to apply for the Unlimited’s Awards, and for the Bagri Foundation’s two R&D partner awards, click here!

Here are some key dates to know: 

Commission Timelines
● Thursday 01 October 2020 – Application portal for Expressions of Interest opens
● Tuesday 27 October 2020, 12pm – Deadline for Expression of Interest submissions
● Wednesday 3 December 2021 – Shortlist announced, application portal for Full Applications opens
February 2021, 12pm – Deadline for Full Applications
March 2021 – Funding decisions announced
May 2021 – Projects begin
Spring 2022 – Projects must be completed

Mural by artist Mohammad Barrangi. Image courtesy of the artist.

On Friday 11th September 2020, Unlimited held the online event, Reimagining Arts Commissioning, in partnership with Bagri Foundation. A panel discussion chaired by cultural organiser, producer and facilitator Joon Lynn Goh in conversation with artist panellists Kai Syng Tan, Mohammad Fastami Barrangi and Omeima Mudawi-Rowlings, where they explored future possible processes for commissions that can be more accessible, diverse, inclusive, and collaborative, meeting the needs of a much wider range of artists in the cultural sector.

Read the article artist Ashokkumar Mistry wrote in response to the event here, and access the transcript of the event here.

About Unlimited

Since 2013, Unlimited has provided nearly £4 million to 280 disabled artists through commissions, awards and support, making it the largest supporter of disabled artists worldwide. Unlimited supports ambitious, creative projects by outstanding disabled artists and companies. The projects include theatre, dance, music, literature, performance, painting, sculpture, public artworks, photography, digital artworks, installations, moving images and more. Unlimited wants to change perceptions of disabled people by commissioning disabled artists in the UK and internationally to make new, groundbreaking and high quality work. We also do this by building a community of Unlimited Allies who help us to embed the work of disabled artists in the mainstream cultural sector and improve access for artists and audiences.

Unlimited is a commissioning programme, not an organisation. It is run by two different organisations:

  • Shape Arts, a disability-led organisation which works with disabled artists and has an office in Peckham, London
  • Artsadmin, which supports artists to create work without boundaries and has an office at Aldgate East, London.

Unlimited works with disabled artists from all over the UK – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – and offers funding for research and development, to make small and large-scale projects happen in the UK and around the world, and awards for emerging artists who are new to art, early-career or haven’t had reached large audiences yet. We also fund full commissions (from an artist’s idea through to its realisation and touring) and commissions created through international collaborations.

Over 1 million people have engaged with or seen Unlimited Commissions by disabled artists.