Awaji Art Circus (AAC) 2019 - Open Call for Artists

Artistic field:



Awaji Art Circus (AAC) 2019

Open Call for Artists/Performers




Awaji Island, located in Hyogo Prefecture, is considered to be the Island of Japan’s Origin and is known for its beautiful natural surroundings and tasty food. However, in recent years, the island faces serious issues such as population outflow as well as decreasing birthrate and aging population.



  1. Based in Awaji Island, AAC has three distinct missions:
  1. One is to bring about increase in population flow and local economic consumption leading to regional vitalization whilst utilizing local resources.
  2. The other is to let the world know the appeals of Awaji Island and more broadly Japan. AAC aims to become a new local tourism attraction and attract people from within and outside of Awaji Island.
  3. Last but not least, to develop art and culture on Awaji Island and to create a chance for Japanese people to get to know international art of different genres.  



2.We ask all of you, talented international artists from around the world to:

  1. Stay in Awaji Island and entertain visitors with your performance at various locations on the island; as well as
  2. Experience and enjoy the appeals of Awaji Island and be the messenger as you spread the word about the island through SNS etc.


  1.  Through AAC we aim to give opportunities for artists around the world to:
  1. express themselves as street performers: carry yourself equipment and props, prepare yourself performance place, perform - do your favorite job and receive fixed payment, not only busking (!!!).
  2. get to know Japan, gain new experience at a new place and interact with artists of various genres, as well as to contribute to fostering personnel in the field of art.




  1. Recruiting number of artists
  1. participants


  1. Location

Awaji Island, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan


  1. Duration  

September 18 (Wed)~October 29 (Tue), 2019  

*You should arrive in Kansai International Airport before or on Sep 18.


  1. Details

Participants have to:

  1. Perform (at the main venues, different events inside and outside Awaji Island, hotels, schools etc.):
  • Number of workdays. Five workdays a week.
  • Performance frequency. As a standard, performance frequency will be around two/three times a day. Exceptions may be allowed upon consideration by the organizer of AAC (hereinafter referred to as the Organizer).
  • Performance duration. Depending on the event, the Organizer will ask you to prepare different durations of performance:  2 minutes, 4 minutes and 15/20/30 minutes*


 * depends on the genre of your performance

Circus tricky genres, for example: hand-balance, contortion, etc.

15 minutes

Other circus disciplines: clowning, object manipulation, etc., music, dance performances, theatrical acts

20 minutes

Interaction acts, for example: live statue, stilts, etc.

30 minutes



  1. Share information in social media. You will create posts and share information in social media (Facebook, Instagram, blog etc.) about Awaji Island and Festival based on your experience daily. Sometimes the Organizer will provide you the information you have to use in the posts or ask to share some posts. 
  2. Participate in Grand Performance at Closing Ceremony which includes collaboration with local school, and in all related meetings and rehearsals.
  3. Lead a Workshop. Participants will lead a workshop of their discipline for local people 
  4. Participate in the meetings held by the Organizer.


  1. AAC 2019 OVERVIEW
  1. Period.

Arrive by: September 18 (Wed), 2019

Orientation: September 19 (Thurs), 2019

Performance period: September 21 (Sat)October 27 (Sun), 2019

Discussion and preparation for departure: October 28 (Mon), 2019


  1. Venue.

● Public locations on Awaji Island, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. The feature of performance venues can be best described as ‘unusual spot’. The venues include park, café, tourism facility, square, foyer, roadside, cultural facility, school etc.

● Performance venue for each artist changes periodically.

● Most are in the open air and have only space to perform and no equipped stage and no well-equipped changing rooms.

● The floor varies from venue to venue (lawn, wood deck, concrete, asphalt etc.).

Artist shall adjust his/her performance to suit any venue.


  1. Transportation.

Transportation between accommodation and performance venues will be via AAC bus or cars. Time on the road varies from 30 minutes to 2 hours.




  1. Prize Money for Contest Winners: Winner artist will get 1 million JPY, runner-up will get 500,000 JPY, second runner-up will get 300,000 JPY.  (The contest will be held in 3 stages – at the Opening Ceremony, at a special event during the festival, and at the Closing Ceremony. Both votes of the Special Jury and the audience will be counted).
  2. Performance fee: 100,000 JPY for the whole period (the sum will be divided and paid in cash in JPY at the beginning and at the end of the period). This is the sum per person in case of a group.
  3. Busking opportunity (except some venues and events which will be announced by the Organizer)
  4. Transportation cost. We will cover your two-way economy class air ticket from your nearest airport to Kansai International Airport. Artist is expected to book and buy the airline tickets by himself/herself. The Organizer will reimburse travelling costs and pay in cash in JPY (the rate will be calculated on the day of payment) at the beginning of the Festival, based on the airline ticket information and boarding pass provided by the Artist.
  5. Meals: Breakfast and dinner will be provided by the Organizer. In addition, all artists will be given 500 JPY/per day in cash as Lunch costs.
  6. Accommodation. Rooms for 3-4 people
  7. Support staff
  8. Traveler’s insurance




You will be able to:

  • Explore and develop a Healthy Competitive Spirit.
  • Stay for 6 weeks right in the heart of Awaji Island`s nature, enjoying its incredible environment with breathtaking sceneries.
  • Get to know all the magic of Japan from inside, enjoy delicious traditional Japanese meals and traditional Japanese style accommodation.
  • Go on free tours around Awaji Island, visiting its key touristic venues, including the historical and meaningful Izanagi Shrine, the magnificent Honpukuji Water Temple designed by architect Tadao Ando, the marvelous Naruto whirlpools and beautiful views from the roof of Wakodo-no Hiroba.     
  • Participate in free cultural workshops (Japanese drums, fukimodoshi (party horn) making, Japanese paper making, incense making and Awaji puppets). 
  • Enjoy interacting with local people. They will capture your hearts immediately, both adults and children.
  • Take part in a grand creation process with local students and other AAC artists, and the resulting performance will be presented at the Closing Ceremony as a Grand Collaborative Performance. This will be the 3rd step of our contest mentioned in 4 1).
  • Visit and perform in other regions of Japan, such as Tohoku, Okayama and more!!


Be a part of this incredible art journey that will surprise you every single day with its uniqueness!




To apply, you must meet all the following criteria:

  • Open to artists of all performing arts genres such as: street performance, bodily expression, musical instrument performance, singing, live painting, dance, different circus disciplines (except all aerials acts, work with Chinese pole, tightrope walking, teeterboard, work with fire, performances which require perfectly flat surface) etc. Artists who are willing to break the barriers of existing genres as well as artists with interactive performance are welcome.

*Please note that high-end sound/lighting equipment cannot be provided.

  • Non-Japanese citizens only.
  • Open to all artists over 18 years old.
  • Both professionals/amateurs are eligible.
  • Groups (participating member shall be three maximum) and individuals are both welcome.
  • Artists who can adjust their performance to suit any performance venue.
  • Artists who can provide high quality of performance regardless of the number of audiences.  

*Awaji Island has few visitors on weekdays.

  • Performance which is offensive to public order and morals, dangerous performance, performance with acts which cause inconvenience to a third party, performance which is unjustly cruel to animals, performance which uses motorcycle, performance which may be partial to certain religion/belief and performance with political assertion are not eligible.
  • Artists who are willing to write about Awaji Island as well as their everyday experience and performance on Facebook, Instagram, personal blog, etc.
  • Artists who are interested in Japan, Japanese culture and livelihood etc.
  • Artists who are keen to participate in sightseeing tours, cultural experience programs etc. planned by the Organizer. *The Organizer will cover expenses for participation.
  • Artists who are interested in regional vitalization, local economic development etc.
  • Artists who can proactively communicate with other artists, local residents and visitors.
  • Artists who can communicate in English.
  • Previous years performers are welcome to apply on a regular basis.


*Items not defined in the Open Call shall be decided by the Organizer upon consultation with artists.


If you meet all aforementioned criteria and ready to contribute your energy to Awaji Island we are waiting for your application!!




To apply please fill-in the Online Google form (don’t forget to upload your performance photos and mention the link with the video of your performance).  



Applications must arrive by 11 PM (Japan Standard Time) on May 6 (Mon), 2019.

*Please note applications will not be accepted after the deadline under any circumstances.



1. First screening: Application material screening

・Deadline for application submission is 11 PM (Japan Standard Time) on May 6 (Mon), 2019.

・Successful applicants who will proceed to the Second Screening will be announced on May 31 (Fri) 2019 by mail.

The Organizer will go through application materials and decide on successful applicants of the First screening.


2. Second screening: Online interview

Scheduled dates are June 10 (Mon) – June 14 (Fri)

Those who passed First screening have to send us the following documents before Second screening (every member in case of a group):

  1. Copy of valid passport (copy of the first page with your picture and personal info and previous Japanese visas if any);
  2. Applicant’s Resume in English (with education, valid work history and links to your accounts in social media as FB, Instagram);
  3. Documents proving awards and achievements if you have (copy and translation into English - translation doesn’t have to be certified);

・The Organizer will conduct the interview and decide participating artists of AAC 2019 upon consideration of the First and Second screening.


Successful applicants will be announced on June 21 (Fri) 2019.



  1. The originality, professionalism, sense of showmanship and suitability of the performance, given the Japanese audience (including children) and the Awaji Island environment. The performance video should be taken outside and shouldn’t be too edited to understand its contents.
  2. The transportability of the performance and its adaptability to a range of locations and conditions.
  3. The motivation of the artists to participate in the Festival and their level of understanding of our goals and missions.
  4. The communicative skills and flexibility of the members.



11. VISA

Certificate of Eligibility required for obtaining visa will be issued by the Organizer and mailed to the artist, and in turn the artist shall go through the visa acquisition process at the embassy of his/her own country. Visa issuance fee shall be borne by the artist. Issuance expense for Certificate of Eligibility in Japan will be borne by the Organizer.


12. FYI

Awaji Island is an island with low population, and despite bus being the only means of public transportation, bus route as well as number of buses are limited. It takes 30 minutes to two hours even by bus to move between locations on the island. Transportation cost is minimum 1,500 yen one way to get out of Awaji Island. Places within walkable distance are limited (30 minutes-walk from accommodation to local supermarket). Dining out costs around 500 yen to 1,000 yen, and weekly grocery shopping costs around 5,000 yen. Fruits and vegetables are expensive (150 yen for an apple or tomato). Not much variety of dairy products.

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