Open Call: Arab Britain

10 March '22



The Arab British Centre is pleased to announce a new opportunity for projects exploring the themes of Arab Britain. The deadline to apply is 1 April, read below for more information.

Arab Britain 

Launched in 2019, Arab Britain is a programme that explores the history, achievements and experiences of Arabs in Britain*. Through exhibitions, commissions, and community engagement programmes we aim to retrace the ways the Arab world has influenced and shaped British culture and society and celebrate the contributions of Arabs in Britain, past and present. 

Past projects include London’s Theatre of The East at Dr Johnson’s House in London, and Jarda, a co-produced workshop series and exhibition at People’s History Museum in Manchester.   

Our long-term goal is to create a digital story archive, platforming personal stories and creative responses around themes including but not limited to migration, generational experiences, culture, home, identity, and the intricacies of the “Arab British” experience, in all its intersections and diversity.  


The Commission 

The Arab British Centre is offering £10,000 towards a creative project which explores Arab British communities and their lived experiences, past and/or present.  

There is a lack of documentation about and representation of Arab life in the UK. This commission aims to address this problem by supporting artists and organisations to work with their local communities to explore, document and showcase their lived experiences through creative activities. 

Projects can interpret and build upon the Arab Britain theme in a number of ways and we are open to a broad range of creative outputs, including but not limited to fields of visual arts, poetry and literature, film, photography, performing arts, oral histories, or inter/cross disciplinary artforms.  

We are particularly interested in projects which take place outside of London and which engage clearly defined participants in creative and cultural activities. We welcome projects centring underrepresented groups and which bring new perspectives and stories to the forefront. Participants and the number of them will differ depending on location, focus and idea. Whoever your participants are, in your application explain why them and how you will reach them. 

Projects will be shared publicly and will also be displayed digitally as part of the upcoming Arab Britain story archive. Applications must include details of proposed locations/venue partners for public facing activities as well as plans for digital engagement. Applications must also include details on how the activity will be documented and displayed digitally in the future as part of the Arab Britain story archive. 

We will prioritise projects that have ambitions for significant audience reach and will:  

  • Take place outside of London 
  • Directly involve local communities in their development  
  • Culminate in a public showcase – such as an exhibition, installation, performance, publication, screening, etc.
  • Include a wrap-around programme of activities to engage the public in outcomes of the project. 


* The Arab British Centre is a charity which works to further understanding of the Arab world in the UK. The Arab world is defined as the 22 countries who are members of The Arab League: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. 

Arab Britain is inclusive of all people from or with heritage from these countries and cultures. While for some this may refer to nationality, for others the reference might be to identity and/or regionality. 

Whether you are born in or recently migrated to the UK, we recognise that the way participants self-identify is complex and personal and we welcome proposals and ideas from all who want to be involved. 


Who can apply? 

Individual artists (must be registered as freelancers or sole traders) 

Arts organisations 

Collectives (one designated individual must be point of contact throughout the project)  

Registered charities 




Applicants must fill in the Budget Template provided by the Arab British Centre and submit this with their application  

The total project budget must not exceed £10,000 unless there is separate funding confirmed or in-kind support secured at the time of application. There is no scope for additional funding from the Arab British Centre should other funding applications fall through. 

Project budget must include management and production fees, materials, dissemination and documentation. For projects which include longer term engagement of participants, we welcome the inclusion of travel costs and stipends to ensure that financial barriers for participation are minimised. 

Please get in touch to discuss additional resources needed for access requirements. 


Project Delivery 

The lead artist or organisation is responsible for managing and delivering the project. Artists’, management and/or staff fees should be included within the budget. Organisations can include some or all of their management fees as an expenditure, or can list staff time as in-kind support. 

Applicants should demonstrate their experience in managing projects of this size and also highlight backing and support from partners, community groups, and other relevant stakeholders in their application which demonstrate commitment from those who would be involved.  

The Arab British Centre team will support and promote the project remotely however the team will not be available to support with the delivery and as such are looking for projects which are largely self-sufficient. 

Projects should be completed by 30 November 2022. 


How to apply 

Applications should be submitted through the digital form below by 4pm GMT on 1 April. Applications submitted after this time will not be considered. We will inform applicants of the decision by end of April. 

Applicants should answer all of the application questions according to the word count limits listed. We recommend copying and pasting the questions into a document rather than working directly on the website – you can save what you did as you go however please always keep a back up and check that you keep within the word count limits! 

If you have any specific accessibility needs to fill in the application, please get in touch with us. 

If you would like to discuss your project or idea before submitting an application, please email