As everything moves online, and the options and choices get bigger and more complicated, The Place Bedford wants to support members of our audience who feel they are unable to access digital culture options.

We’ve spoken with some of our most frequent venue attendees, many of whom are in high risk categories, and who don’t feel like they are able to access online cultural offers. They are desperate for us to reopen our doors so they can continue to enjoy their cultural experiences, and feel part of the community.

In order to protect and support them through the next few months, when the temptation to reconnect physically will be very high, we want to send them a regular package through the post that will inspire, entertain, delight and educate our older, more vulnerable and isolated audience members.

We’re calling this our Cultural Care Package, and we want to work with artists, theatre makers, musicians, and creatives of all stripes, to put together these fortnightly packages to send out to our audiences.

Every 2 weeks on a Thursday morning we will send out a DVD or VHS tape to 20 households in the local area who have signed up (or been nominated) to be part of our project.

Each package will contain 2-3 hrs of curated arts & cultural experiences, chosen by the artists/collectives or groups selected for the project. We’re looking for artists to share the types of work that we would normally programme into our venue: theatre, drama, live art, performance, folk & jazz music, film, musical theatre, poetry & spoken word, dance.


  • 10 artists or collectives will be selected.
  • We will send out 1 package every 2 weeks starting at the end of May and running until mid-October.
  • The commission is £200 for each selected artist, group or collective.
  • The scheme will be split into 2 rounds, we will choose 5 artists in early June, and 5 more in early August.
  • Artists who apply for the 1st round and are unsuccessful will be able to reapply (or be re-submitted) into the 2nd round.
  • DEADLINE for 1st round of applications: Friday 29th May
  • DEADLINE for 2nd round of applications: Monday 3rd August
  • EDIT – We will be accepting rolling submissions to the programme until mid-August. All applications will be assessed as they come in, and we will contact people to discuss their ideas in more detail. If we feel that the application is a good fit for the programme we will confirm a timetable to delivery, and a payment schedule.
  • Applicants can apply to the scheme by sending their CV to
  • Please include a short covering letter that explains why you want to help us reach older audience members, and a few examples of some of the work you would like to share.

Guidelines for artists

  • We do not expect all of the chosen artists to curate selections of their own work, although we would be happy to include your work in each package.
  • We will work with each commissioned artist to get permission to share content created by others.
  • We want each package to have a minimum of 3 different types of cultural experience available. That way there’s something for everyone, no matter what their tastes.
  • The total length of the content must be under 180mins. That’s the max amount of time we can get onto a VHS tape.
  • Where possible we would like all digital work to include captions/subtitles.
  • The objective of this project is to make sure that people who aren’t comfortable navigating digital spaces have access to some of the wealth of experiences that have been made available during the lockdown. We don’t have the ability to send out packages with physical objects, or experiences, unless they are paper-based.
  • Each package should contain a short credit list of the work included. Where possible we would love to have a short piece of writing explaining why you’ve chosen the experiences you have, and providing a little context to the work. (Dependent on the next rule)
  • It’s only a small commission pot, so we do not expect artists to work long hours on this project. We anticipate that there is approximately 1 day of work to choose and gather information.
  • Each commissioned artist will be able to allocate that work as they see fit within a 10 day window.
  • We will work with each chosen commission to collate the final selections, discuss the order of the experiences, and help collect the credit information. The Place will be responsible for the recording, checking and postage of all of the care packages.


This project has been made possible by financial support from Arts Council England’s Emergency Funding Scheme, supported by money from National Lottery, and financial support from the Harpur Trust.

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