Open Call 2021

After three successful editions in 2018, 2019 and 2020, this year we are once again organising the NDSM Open Call. We invite artists and creatives with a workspace at NDSM to submit a proposal for a new, publicly accessible art project on the wharf! A yearly rotating council of judges, specifically appointed from within the NDSM community, decides on the winner.


NDSM is a place for art, culture and creative ingenuity. This is largely thanks to the diverse and active community of approximately 400 artists who have their studios at NDSM, under one of the ramps, at Treehouse or elsewhere on the wharf. For them, NDSM is often more than just a place to work. The charismatic, vast terrain is also a source of inspiration for new art projects. The artistic initiatives that arise from this place a focus on urban undercurrents that might go unnoticed by a sporadic visitor, and for that reason, they add great value to the area’s identity.


With the Open Call, Stichting NDM-werf addresses initiatives that grow from NDSM’s ‘breeding ground’. We call upon all designers, theatre producers, visual artists, labourers, inventors, musicians and other creative people amongst the wharf’s community to submit a proposal for art projects and cultural initiatives that they wish to realise in the outside area of NDSM.

For this year’s edition of the Open Call, we ask you to ponder these current times; what is it we need right now? The wharf has experienced a relatively quiet year, just like the rest of the city, with minimal activity and limited opportunities for meeting others and exchanging ideas. What would you like to give to users, visitors and occasional passersby? And what shape would it have as a publicly accessible art project? A (temporary) installation that functions as a meeting spot (at safe distance), a performance of sport and play, an intervention that calls for reflection, or something else entirely. In short: visualise a project that shows what you wish upon visitors, what you hope to connect them to in these times, and create a design/intervention that can actually be carried out.

The project can situate itself anywhere on the wharf, as long as it takes place in public space. Think about the three billboards already present at the wharf, which offer a canvas for artworks, or the empty concrete ‘box’ next to Noorderlicht, where Zoro Feigl formerly exhibited his work and which now needs a new purpose. All of NDSM’s public space is available to use and we welcome all ideas. The final location of the work is decided upon in agreement with Stichting NDSM-werf, so that the work fits with the general planning and programming.

Programme council

The programme council assessing the submissions consists of Ewa Scheifes and Petra Heck from Stichting NDSM-werf, along with the following people:

  • Sue Doeksen (artist)
  • Marjanne van Helvert (artist)
  • Willem Dielemans (winner Open Call 2020)
  • Mike van Wetten (co-founder MACA)


For this Open Call, Stichting NDSM-werf allocates €6.000 per project – with a maximum of two projects – for the realisation of a cultural project and organisational support. The Open Call is directed at creatives who can prove the fact that they have a workspace at NDSM, but no further distinction will be made with regards to art form, medium, field of profession, specialisation, interest or material. The type of project, too, is open: everything is allowed, everything is possible. The conditions: the project takes place in 2021, between May and July, in the outside space of NDSM – in other words: there is a presentational obligation. Additionally, the work should be publically visible and open for a (small) public to experience. Considering the current covid measures put into place, the project should ensure that an audience can also visit it to a limited or regulated degree. Finally, the project’s co-funding, in case it is needed, should be fully covered at the moment of submission.

Submitting a proposal

Proposals should be submitted before March 19th to [email protected]. A proposal should include the following elements, merged into one PDF file (max. 8 pages):

  • project description (max. 2 pages)
  • motivation (max. 1 page)
  • creator(s)’ cv or biography 
  • budget + coverage plan – this should clearly show the requested contribution within the trajectory of the NDSM Open Call 
  • planning + target date for opening/presenting/revealing the work in the Spring of 2021
  • optional: reference material in the shape of max. 10 photos or max. 3 1/2 minutes
  • film or audio, max. 2 A4 text

After the programma council assesses the submissions for the NDSM Open Call, we aim to present the winner(s) in the Spring of 2021. Considering the current conditions, however, this timeframe is subject to change.

In case of questions, you can contact Ewa Scheifes or Petra Heck via [email protected].


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