How it works
About the scheme
Have you experienced that lightbulb moment? Do you have an original idea for a new and innovative project? Whether your creative idea is for an artwork, event, film, exhibition or digital initiative, you can bring your idea to life with a Micro Commission of £500 or less.
Explore your entrepreneurial spirit, try something different and boost your ambitions with this unmissable opportunity.
Brought to you by Cornerhouse and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Micro Commissions are open to everyone living in the North West of England, from professional artists, curators, designers, developers and producers to amateur creatives and budding entrepreneurs.
The aim is to develop new, original and innovative ideas via Micro Commissions. Ideas don’t always have to be at the forefront of new technology, but you must think about what is new, original, innovative, about your idea – either in terms of content, furthering your practice or experimentation – only those ideas meeting this criteria will be in with a chance for a commission.
Got a question about the scheme? Check out the answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below.
How it works
Frequently asked questions
What types of ideas do you accept?
The key is to submit a new, original, innovative idea...Whether your creative idea is for an artwork, event, film, exhibition or digital initiative, you can bring your idea to life with a Micro Commission of £500 or less. Ideas don’t always have to be at the forefront of new technology, but you must think about what is new, original, innovative, about your idea - either in terms of content, furthering your practice or experimenting with something new. Read more in our 'Should I send my idea?' section.
Do I have to be a professional artist?
No, Micro Commissions are open to everyone living in the North West, from professional artists, curators, designers, developers and producers to amateur creatives and budding entrepreneurs.
Is this a funding scheme?
This is not a funding scheme but a commissioning one. Our aim is to develop new, original and innovative ideas via Micro Commissions. For example, if you have produced a body of photographic work and are looking for funding to print and hang your exhibition, Micro Commissions is not the place to seek funding (for information about this, check out Redeye’s guide on how to get your work exhibited). Or if you have done an exhibition and are looking for funding to produce a straightforward 20 page catalogue documenting it, it wouldn’t be the place to seek funding for this further.
Can I submit for less than £500?
Absolutely, the limit is £500, but you might only need £50 - whatever it takes to bring your idea to life.
I live in ..., can I send you my idea?
Micro Commissions are open to everyone living in the North West. If you are unsure of which regions your town is in, have a look at the North West map
Exceptionally, in honour of our partnership with Abandon Normal Device Festival, the specific AND Micro Commissions are open to artists based in the whole of the UK. Deadline for this specific opportunity is 24 May 2012 and it must respond to the theme of success. Further information can be found on the AND website.
If my idea is accepted, is there any prospect of exhibiting the finished work at Cornerhouse?
You can request space from Cornerhouse, as help in kind, but we can’t guarantee we’ll be able to provide you with it, as our programme is often scheduled months or years in advance. We will do our best to showcase your project to our audiences.
What is the deadline?
This is an ongoing scheme, so you can submit your idea at any time. However, remember that we have a limited number of commissions to offer, and there is tough competition! We usually review submitted ideas for Micro Commissions on the second Monday of every month, so submit your idea before then, to be in with the best chance of a speedy review and decision.
Is there an age limit?
No, we accept applications from everyone, no matter your age. The only restriction is that you must live in the North West of England.
When will I hear from you?
We’ll get back to you within two months of submitting your idea to us. Please let us know if your project is time sensitive and we'll do our best to review it within your deadline.
Why didn't you commission me?
We will always inform you of our decision within two month of receiving your idea. We aim to provide you with feedback if your idea is not commissioned, however, due to the amount of submissions we receive, this is not always possible, and we may only be able to let you know that you didn't get a commission this time around. To help you ahead of submitting an idea, read more in our 'Should I send my idea?' section.
I have a question that is not answered in the FAQs, who do I contact?
Simply use the handy comment box at the bottom of this page. We'll respond to you directly and add it to the FAQs if it is relevant to everybody.
7th December, 2011
Hello there! I am just following up on an application I made, it's a little over two months now and I know that's the usual timescale for you to respond. I don't know if you respond if submissions are unsuccessful so I thought I would chase this up to see if that's the case. I love all the commissions I've seen so far, some really lovely ideas. I look forward to hearing from you! Hayley
7th December, 2011
Hello Hayley We reply to everybody but we can't always give detail feedback to unsuccessful proposals. We were actually in the process of emailing you so speak to you then.
23rd January, 2012
Hello, A couple of questions: Does the project have to take place in the UK? Can the funding be for a new phase of an existing project? Or can it only be for a completely new project. Many thanks
21st February, 2012
Hello! I saw this on central station, I live in Glasgow does that fall in your north west criteria? Many thanks! All best, Kim Moore
27th March, 2012
Sorry the North West is as defined in the regions of the UK. To check if your area in in the North West, check out the official map
26th March, 2012
hi do you accept proposals from a collective or only an individual artist,
27th March, 2012
Yes proposal from collective are accepted
11th April, 2012
Is this open to artists in the West Midlands?
12th April, 2012
Sorry as specified above, the scheme is open to people living in the North West of England. To check if your area in in the North West, check out the official map
25th April, 2012
Is the maximum £500 or is there funds available up to £2000?
4th May, 2012
The maximum is £500. In very specific instances we develop £2000 commissions namely: new ideas from previously "micro commissioned" people OR an idea for a £500 micro commission that we think could and should be scaled up.
8th May, 2012
thanks for facilitating this initiative, I hope you are favourable to be art / curb-side recycling idea I am about to share.