Citadel Arts & Cultured Forest School Commission Brief and Call Out


Citadel Arts Children & Families Agency and Cultured, St Helens Local Cultural Education Partnership are jointly commissioning a forest school project in St Helens. This is the second commission for schools by Citadel Arts and Cultured.

Citadel Arts

At Citadel Arts we believe the magic of theatre has the power to change people’s lives.

Citadel Arts is a children and families organisation operating exclusively in non-traditional spaces in the public realm, providing high quality arts experiences for children and families who would not normally engage with traditional arts venues.  We are a building less organisation. We work exclusively in the public realm, in communities and in outreach settings. This means we pop up in unusual spaces such as empty shops, community spaces, libraries, schools and outdoors. We provide artistic experiences that are different to the norm, creating happiness and enjoyment contributing to people’s well-being and enhancing the life of local communities, children, young people and families

Funded by Arts Council England & St Helens Council our areas of work are children, young people, families, community and arts particularly; Children & Family Theatre Programme in non-traditional spaces in the Public Realm, Creative Participation Programme in Community settings, Co-commissions for the public realm and community settings


Cultured (St. Helens Local Cultural Education Partnership) is made up of representatives from the education sector (Primary through to FE and HE), St. Helens Council Arts, Library and Music services, The Citadel, FACT Liverpool, Curious Minds and Heart of Glass. By working together, we can address issues specific to the locality.

Working with a wide range of creative practitioners, Arts organisations and venues, we have put together a package for schools which includes authentic workshops with practicing artists, visits to local venues and support with planning, networking and CPD opportunities with colleagues, creative practitioners and Arts organisations. We have also worked with local industry to promote the creative sector in terms of further study and future job opportunities.

We regularly engage with over 30 schools per year and our Development Officer now serves as a point of contact for both the education sector and the Arts sector, making connections between them and ensuring that information reaches the right people.

The Project

Inspired by Forest Schools and using the artist Maria Sibylla Merian as inspiration we are looking for an artist who will bridge performance and education to bring the curriculum to life.

We are looking to create an immersive artistic experience that should take place outdoors (as least in part). It could explore science, nature and habitats. It could lead children into a space where they hear a story and interact with Maria Sibylla Merian as a character. It could be multi-sensory incorporating song and music. It could be anything you want it to be….the aim is to create a magical, memorable lovely experience for primary age children that inspires learning.

The commissioned artists will work with Cultured to create teaching resources to accompany the theatrical experience. Many schools are already exploring the work of Maria Sibylla Merian as part of their Art lessons, and so this piece will help to illustrate the connection between art and science from the perspective of a pioneering female role model.  The finished piece should tour primary schools across St Helens during the Spring term of the 2021/22 academic year.


Individual artists, companies, collectives and collaborators with experience of working in youth / school settings.  Multi-sensory artists, musicians and storytellers are also encouraged to apply.

We are particularly encouraging applications from local, early-stage career artists. This commission would provide an excellent development opportunity for a local early-stage career artist with schools engagement and project support provided by both Cultured and Citadel Arts.

We also actively encourage applications from Black and Minority Ethnic artists, disabled artists and LGBTQIA+ artists.


The audience for the commission is primary schools, specifically lower Key Stage 2 (years 3 & 4) but should be designed to include upper KS2 and KS1.


Call Out:  August 2021

Application Deadline: Monday 23rd August 2021

Interviews: Early September 2021

Creation:  Autumn – Winter 2021/22

Primary Schools Tour: Spring 2022


There is a budget of £4000 (including VAT if applicable). This is to include all artists time/travel, materials/equipment used in creating the work and delivery of the finished piece. We can provide advice, support, access to spaces to run sessions, introductions to the people and places of St Helens and schools contacts. This budget could also be used by the artist to attract match funding.

There will be a programme of stage payments available for appointed artist/company/ collaboration. ● £1000 on appointment

  • £2000 following a mid-point sharing event
  • £1000 on completion of the commission

We cannot contribute towards travel costs for artists invited to presentation/selection.

How to apply

Please send your whole submission as a single PDF or Word Document which must include:

  • A brief description of how you would approach the project (no more than two sides of A4)
  • CV or details of background and relevant previous work
  • Links to examples of your work (either online or closed links)
  • Confirmation that you can conform to the timetable and budget

Send submissions to Fay Lamb, Chief Executive, Citadel Arts by Mon 23rd August

For an informal chat before 9th August please email Evonne Bixter For an informal chat after 9th August please email Fay Lamb

Selection criteria: the panel will assess applications based on: a well-conceived proposal, feasibility of the proposal related to budget, time and how, where, and when it is to be presented.