An image of Hadrians Wall, stretching away into the distance over rolling green fields

Volunteer Voices - Blue Sky Ideas



OPEN CALL for artist Ideas for 4 major heritage sites in the North, as part of the Volunteer Voices project, run by Newcastle University and Arts&Heritage

Background to the project

Volunteer Voices is a collaborative project between Newcastle University and Arts&Heritage with a group of heritage volunteers who wanted to develop their understanding and knowledge of contemporary art. It has been very successful and for the final part of this project, volunteers are being supported through the process of selecting an artist for a micro-commission for their heritage site. This micro-commission will run very similarly to the Arts&Heritage Blue Sky Museums project of 2020 and will result in 4 artist Ideas for 4 major heritage sites in the north of England.

What Arts&Heritage are looking for

Having looked at the Artist Briefs (below), prepared by the volunteers for their heritage sites, Arts&Heritage want to receive ideas from artists working in any medium. What if there were no limits on your artistic Idea – no practical constraints, no budgets – the Idea doesn’t even need to be technically possible, and can be as simple and/or complicated as you want.

Arts&Heritage are looking for maximum creativity and audacious imagination, and want to receive your imagined artwork in visual, audio, film – or any other form they can display on their website. Don’t think about how it could be made or the cost of it – just send good visuals, film edits, sound files – anything that gives a clear, lively description of your Idea. The response you send Arts&Heritage is, in itself, the artwork, so stretch your imagination and ambition to its fullest. You can find examples of the sort of thing they are looking for on their Blue Sky Museums page.

What happens next

The volunteers will select one Idea per site, and each selected artistic response will receive £500 to be shown on the Arts&Heritage website, as well as promotion. Depending on how you present your initial Idea, Arts&Heritage may ask for additional information in order to present it on their website if your Idea is selected. Arts&Heritage would like to stress that the responses they are inviting will not result in a full-scale commission – this is an opportunity for artists to engage in untethered idea development, without any restrictions.

Key dates

4 April – applications open

13 May – deadline to receive all applications

10 June – artists informed of volunteers’ selection

24 June – selected ideas displayed online

Further information

All further details can be downloaded in this application pack. If you have any questions that are not answered in the pack, please email Becky Orwin at becky@artsandheritage.org.uk

Artist’s Briefs

Durham Cathedral

Belsay Hall, Castle, Quarry and Gardens

Hadrian’s Wall

Ushaw Historic House, Chapels and Gardens

To see this opportunity in full on the Arts&Heritage website:

Click here
View opportunity
A woman holds up her phone to film 3 dancers who are performing a danced tour of a museum. We see the camera in the foreground and the dancers are blurry in the background.


Be part of our #DanceMuseumsMarathon!

On 19th June this year, the Museum Week theme is dance. We’re hoping to share up to 2 dance/heritage films per hour for 12 hours between 10am and 10pm, on The Imagination Museum Facebook page and a new Imagination Museum YouTube Channel, also signposted via linked posts on Twitter and Instagram. If you have a dance and heritage project you'd like us to share, let us know! Deadine 19th June.