Artist/Creative Practitioner Brief – Small Grants

Reading Borough Council would like to hear from artists/creative practitioners, from a variety of creative disciplines, with links to the Oxford Road area with experience of delivering high quality co-created projects with communities. 

Building on the Reading HSHAZ Cultural Programme Pilot Projects these commissions will be part of the main HSHAZ Cultural Programme which is running from late Autumn 2021 to March 2024 and aims to:

  • Reveal hidden histories and the lives of the communities of Oxford Road past and present
  • Create informative and creative outputs that uncover and celebrate those histories
  • Give a voice to the community at the heart of the Oxford Road area to tell these stories.
  • Celebrate diverse cultures of the Oxford Road.

The Project

Reading High Street Heritage Action Zone Cultural Programme supports communities to co-create new work with artists and creative practitioners that is relevant, authentic and genuinely participatory for people living in the Oxford Road area.

Proposed project should:

  • Be of high artists quality, innovative and well thought through
  • Work collaboratively with the local community such as grass roots community groups, businesses, shopkeepers and local organisations to co-create work that celebrates the heritage, history and culture of the area and promotes a positive sense of place
  • Actively encourage and support co-creation and participation building upon local communities’ strengths and the area’s assets, including its rich heritage and cultures
  • Enable the community to take a lead on and create meaningful cultural activity that is inspiring and relevant to them and reflects what the community want.

Reflection and evaluation will be key in measuring the impact of the projects and each project will need to ensure that reflection and evaluation is built into the project from the start. 


The total grant that can be applied for each is £4,000.  This includes all project costs including planning, preparation time, delivery of project sessions, creation of final art work, documentation such as film of the project ‘story’ and/or final outcome, evaluation, travel expenses and materials. 

Key Dates

  • Week of 13th June 2022 – Brief circulated
  • 5pm Friday 23rd September 2022 – Deadline for applications
  • Week of 26th September 2022 – HSHAZ Cultural Programme Selection Panel meet to select applicants to invite to interview
  • Week of 3rd October 2002 – Interviews
  • October 2022 – Project Inception Meeting (date TBC)
  • October 2022 – Project planning and preparation
  • November 2022 onwards – Project delivery can start
  • End of July 2023 – Project activity to be completed. 

Project activity must take place between November 2022 and the end of July 2023 but it doesn’t need to last for the whole 8 month period. 

The Artist/Creative Practitioner

Essential criteria:

  • Experience of implementing successful co-created arts and cultural projects within the community
  • Experience of working with a diverse range of people and communities, shaping and adapting projects to meet their needs
  • Experience of involving people in creative activities that inspire and build confidence
  • Strong communication and people skills
  • Knowledge of the Oxford Road’s history and diverse communities (please note we are ideally looking for an artist who is from the Oxford Road Area)
  • Flexibility, enthusiasm and friendliness to engage the local communities 
  • Effective project management skills including the ability to work to short timescales and within agreed budget
  • Experience of delivering reflective practice and knowledge of creative evaluation techniques to capture the ‘learning journey’ of a project.
  • Public Liability Insurance of 5 million or above and an up to date enhanced DBS check. 
  • Employer Liability Insurance of 5 million or above if you intend to contract freelancers/employee others to deliver your project or part of your project.

Early career artists and creative practitioners (up to 3 years’ experience) 

Support from Culture Mix Arts, an established and respected Reading based arts organisation, is available to early career artists and creative practitioners. This support will be tailored to meet specific needs and will be provided through skills sharing, peer support and mentoring. 

Application Process

We have tried to make the process as accessible as possible, so there are two ways to apply: Send us a written application to, or you can send us a short video or audio recording (no longer than 4 mins).

All applicants:

Along with your CV please tell us in no more than two sides of A4:

  • Your name, contact details and proposed name of your idea
  • Clear outline of your idea and how it supports the HSHAZ Cultural Programme to achieve its aims
  • Provide details on your previous related experiences
  • Outline who you are and how you are connected to the Oxford Road
  • The budget you are applying for with a breakdown of all your intended costs
  • Up to 4 images of your work and/or website links/YouTube links etc

Early career artists or creative practitioners:

  • In addition to the above please also tells us (on an additional side of A4) where you feel the gaps are in your current experience and skills and how support from Culture Mix Arts will enable you to bridge those gaps and deliver a co-created project with the Oxford Road community. 

Applications will be marked against the selection criteria (insert link to selection criteria) which covers the following: 

  • Quality: The proposal is clear and fits in with the above brief
  • Experience: How much experience the artist has had in previous projects
  • Participant Reach and Engagement: a clear understanding of who it is you are reaching but also how embedded the artist is in their community on the Oxford Road
  • Originality of the proposal

Deadline for submission:  5pm Friday 23rd September 2022

Additional information:

Examples of the Reading HSHAZ Cultural Programme Pilot Projects can be found at: Cultural programme – Reading Borough Council

Appendix A  – short extract from the the draft Reading Town Centre High Street HAZ Feasibiltiy Studyproviding a brief historical background to the Oxford Road HSHAZ area can be found at (insert link).

Information, tips, examples and tools for co-creation and involving local people in project-level shared decision-making can be found at: Shared Decision-Making Toolkit | Creative People and Places (

HSHAZ Small Grants Selection Criteria

Appendix A