Festival 2020 Family Day: Call out for work


5pm on Monday 10 February.

The panel will meet on Tuesday 18 February and will be in touch with applicants by Monday 24 February. 

Credit: Ruth Armstrong

Family Day will take place on Saturday 23 May 2020, the museum is open to the public from 10am to 5pm. Get ins will be between 8-9.30am.  


5pm on Monday 10 February.

The panel will meet on Tuesday 18 February and will be in touch with applicants by Monday 24 February. 


The fee is £250 per performer, plus travel from within Scotland, if outside Edinburgh, and up to £75 for materials.


All performances will take place at National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF.  

How to apply

If you have an idea for new work that you are looking to share then we want to hear from you.  Please download, and fill in our simple application form and email it – with Family Day 2020 in the subject box – to applications@imaginate.org.uk by 5pm on Monday 10 February 2020. If you need any assistance with the application, please email Assistant Producer, Helen McIntosh

This opportunity is open to all artists based in Scotland.

Download Festival 2020 Family Day: Call out for work

We are delighted to announce that this year our Family Day will once again take place in the National Museum of Scotland.  In partnership with the Museum we are inviting proposals from artists who would like to try out a new idea for children and their families within the exhibition and gallery spaces throughout the building. 

Family Day is an excellent opportunity to be part of the festival, to try out a new idea and receive audience feedback. In the past, we’ve seen a wide range of walkabout characters, pop-up performances, spaces to make things, live music and more, including:

  • Life size crows searching the museum for shiny objects 
  • partying unicorns
  • interactive sensory installations 
  • A roving performance by drag kings
  • An intimate one-to-one performance with wise old owls  

Things for you to consider:

The museum is a noisy, vibrant space full of families and things to do, it has an average footfall of around 4.500 people per day.  Think about what would be interesting, fun, thought provoking or an unexpected artistic experience for them to come across.  Due to noise, dialogue-heavy performance pieces or performed readings aren’t suitable.  As the audience is often passing through, interactive and walk about or pop-up pieces work well.  Short performances that gather an audience can work if based on visual, sound and/or movement.

The Family Day is a free event so there will be a continual ebb and flow of visitors all day of various age ranges and interests.  The majority of the audience are likely to be age 2 – 8 years with a smaller number of babies and children age 8+ coming along with their families. There is limited get-in and get-out time. 

Think about if there is a specific space you’d want to use in the museum. Spaces used in 2019 included: Grand Gallery, Earth in Space, Auditorium, Hawthornden Court, Seminar Room, Adventure Plant.  

The criteria the panel will assess applications with are: the potential of the idea, how it would work in the context of the two events (Children’s Festival Family Day and Merchant City Festival), how the opportunity would impact the development of the idea and the artists involved, how the contributes to a wide-ranging and inclusive programme, and how the work addresses underrepresented voices and/or themes in the sector.

Family Day will be curated by a panel:

Megan Reid - Freelance artist
Lorenzo Mele, Executive Producer, Merchant City Festival
Noel Jordan - Festival Director, Imaginate
Fiona Ferguson - Creative Development Director, Imaginate
Helen McIntosh - Assistant Producer, Imaginate 

Merchant City Festival

Edinburgh International Children's Festival is collaborating with the Merchant City Festival, Glasgow (Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th July) to offer a second opportunity for selected work to be presented as part of the MCF Family day on Friday 3rd July.  Selected work would be presented in Merchant Square, a covered open-plan space surrounded by cafes and restaurants and the surrounding streets, weather permitting. It has similar challenges and opportunities in terms of sound, content , set up and audiences as the Children's Festival Family day in the Museum. You can indicate on the application form if you would like to be considered for the MCF Family Day as well as the Family day.

Further information

If you have a proposal that falls outwith these guidelines, please contact Fiona Ferguson, Creative Development Director.  If you have a question about technical support, venue spaces or your budget please contact our Assistant Producer, Helen McIntosh.