FRESH AiR is Common Ground Arts Society’s Artist in Residence mentorship program dedicated to supporting the creation of new performance art in unconventional spaces. Have a wonderfully weird and totally new idea for a found space performance burning in the back of your brain? We want to hear from you!

The Fresh AiR Artist-in-Residence will receive a development workshop at Found Festival (July 4-7, 2024) with creative and logistical support based on the needs of the project, including audience outreach and project mentorship. Over the following year, the project will receive further development, creative, and producing support culminating in the premiere presentation at Found Festival 2025.

For both festivals, the project will receive support to secure an appropriate venue through community or city partnership; front of house support; advance and on-site box office services; production management support; assistance sourcing, setting up, and troubleshooting technical equipment; marketing support; and archival photos.

Who should apply?
Fresh AiR is a mentorship program designed to level up your practice wherever you’re at. Emerging artists looking to take a deep dive into found space art, established artists with a new idea that needs a bit of extra support, and everyone in between are encouraged to submit.

At this time, the Fresh AiR Residency is reserved for artists and collectives based in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region.

What’s included?
The selected artist or company will receive an 18-month mentorship with Common Ground’s Managing Producer & Found Festival’s Festival Director, including all the nitty-gritty goods, like:

  • Grant writing support;
  • Help creating, meeting, and smashing goals and timelines;
  • Help building a kick-ass creative team;
  • On-call creative brain picking, including dramaturgy and production support etc.;
  • Found Festival artist passes for all project artists; and more!

You will also receive financial support in the amount of:

  • minimum $6,000.00 fee split over the two Festivals;
  • A percentage of ticket sales from your project, negotiated based on ticketing structure, capacity, and project needs (because we know every found space project needs something slightly different!)


DEADLINE: 11:59pm MST on Thursday, December 21, 2023.

There are a few ways to pitch your project for the Fresh AiR Artist-in-Residence program. We’re not picky, we want you to pitch your project in any of the following ways that feels most comfortable for you!

NOTE: All projects pitched for the Fresh AiR program will be considered for Found Festival programming regardless of the selection of the Fresh AiR Artist.

Choose one of the following:

  • Application Form: Click here to submit an application form!
  • Email Pitch: Send an email to admin(at)commongroundarts.ca outlining:
    • A brief project description, including desired audience experience;
    • Your background as an artist/collective;
    • Desired venue(s)/location(s)* (specific locations or type of location, i.e. Wee Book inn or a used book store);
    • Potential community impact (how the project involves or effects the local community, any additional outreach activities you might want to engage with;
    • Potential technical/creative support you’d like to get it done;
    • and anything else we should know!
  • Video Pitch: Create a brief video (3-5 minutes) outlining the above points and send it to admin(at)commongroundarts.ca.
    • Don’t worry about any production – talk to your webcam for a couple of minutes and let us know what you’re thinking about.
  • Live Pitch: Contact Festival Director Whittyn Jason to schedule a Zoom or in-person meeting to pitch your show in conversation with the Festival producing team! Email Whittyn at whittynjason@commongroundarts.ca no later than December 3, 2023 to schedule a live pitch.

Tips for your application:

  • Projects that stand out are those that have clearly considered their work’s relationship to place, space, and audience. You don’t need to know the exact spot, but you should clearly identify the type of location your project needs and why it requires that particular type of venue.
  • Found space art comes with many unique technical challenges. We’re not expecting you to know exactly how to execute your project – we’re here to help with that! – identifying what you don’t know yet about how to make your project happen is just as helpful for us to understand how far you’ve thought out your concept.
  • Community impact is always at the top of our minds. We’re looking for projects that provide a one-of-a-kind experience for their audiences: we love to hear about what you expect your audience to see, hear, feel, touch, do, with your project and what support you need to make it possible.

Questions? We love them. Contact Festival Director Whittyn Jason at whittynjason@commongroundarts.ca – we would love to assist you with your pitch.

Click here to return to the Found Festival Submissions Page