The Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival (SMHAF) is inviting individual artists and creative organisations to submit proposals for dynamic, thought-provoking live events that can take place as part of our In/Visible showcase event.  

This two day showcase event will take place on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October at the CCA in Glasgow. It will consist of live performances, film screenings, creative workshops, discussions and more, exploring our 2024 festival theme of ‘In/Visible’. 

We will select three proposals and will provide a budget of up to £1,000 for each one, in addition to PR, marketing and technical support. The application deadline is Friday 28 June at 6pm. 

Background 

SMHAF is an annual programme to support the arts, explore how engagement in the arts can help prevent mental ill health and challenge preconceived ideas about mental health. Led by the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) with support from partner organisations across Scotland, SMHAF is the biggest festival of its kind in the world, and its ground-breaking model, combining high artistic quality with strong grassroots support, community engagement and social activism, has been imitated across Europe.  

Our 2024 theme, In/Visible, was chosen in consultation with regional coordinators across Scotland, and will consider what it means to be ‘visible’ or ‘invisible’ when we think about our mental health:  

  • Which aspects of our mental health do we keep hidden and which do we feel able to share?  
  • Who is made to feel unseen and unheard 
  • What do experiences of exclusion and discrimination have on our mental health? 
  • How can we challenge the inequalities and systems of power that render people ‘invisible’? 
  • How can we use the arts and creativity to make mental health more ‘visible’, in a way that engages people and challenges stigma?  

Your Proposal 

With our two-day showcase event at the CCA, we want to explore our In/Visible theme in an exciting, innovative, and accessible way, appealing to a wide audience. 

The three event proposals we select will: 

  • Respond to the festival theme in an imaginative way 
  • Be innovative in their approach to engaging with live audiences 
  • Challenge established ways of thinking, or have insightful and original things to say, about mental health. 

Each proposal selected will be given a budget of £1,000 to cover fees and materials costs. This figure does not include venue costs, standard technical support, marketing and access support, all of which will be covered by SMHAF.  

You can apply as an individual or as a group / organisation, but all freelance contributors must be paid according to recognised industry rates. 

There is no set length or format for an event. However it must be possible to host it in the CCA Theatre, Cinema or Clubroom on 25 or 26 October. You can find images of each space here.

Please bear in mind that since there will be numerous events happening there will be limited get in time, although we will try to be as flexible as possible.

How to Apply 

To apply, please send us a short proposal – up to six paragraphs if in writing; we can also accept proposals by audio or video – plus a budget and examples of previous work. 

Please email applications to smhaf@mentalhealth.org.uk with the subject line SMHAF In/Visible Event – Your Name’. The deadline for applications is Friday 28 June at 6pm.  

Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to discuss anything in relation to your proposal.  

SMHAF’s showcase event is supported by Creative Scotland and CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts