A new chapter for XTRAX

We are pleased to share news about some structural changes underway in the work we undertake at XTRAX. 

After 15 years of successful work on Without Walls, XTRAX as an organisation will be stepping back from its management role in the consortium from April 2023 to concentrate on its other activities. The work on the consortium will continue to be delivered by the same XTRAX staff who have always undertaken the work, but they will become employees of Without Walls. XTRAX will focus on developing further international projects, in close collaboration with Without Walls and other UK and international partners.

In 2007, Maggie Clarke, Director of XTRAX, was one of the five founder members of  Without Walls, along with representatives from Hat Fair, Streets of Brighton, Stockton International Riverside Festival and Bradley Hemmings from Greenwich + Docklands International Festival. Raising project funds from Arts Council England, the consortium supported the development of new commissions from UK artists, touring them across the network of festival partners.

In 2011, XTRAX was contracted to deliver the strategic and operational  management of Without Walls, and led it through a period of growth, setting up a touring network alongside the commissioning partnership. The importance of Without Walls was recognised by Arts Council England when it became a National Portfolio Organisation in 2018. This regular funding has enabled Without Walls to continue to invest in artists, expand the network of partners across the country, and launch a programme of development work in areas such as environmental responsibility, diversity and inclusion, access for disabled practitioners and audiences, and numerous training programmes.

Management of Without Walls has always sat alongside XTRAX other core work, which has included: Platform 4:UK, our ambitious programme of annual international showcase activity in collaboration with UK and international festivals; support for artists creating new outdoor work; producing and touring the large scale show As the World Tipped by Wired Aerial Theatre; and other projects – though the success and expansion of Without Walls has meant this has become the largest area of work across the team in recent years.

The staff team of XTRAX has expanded to accommodate this growing work. We now have a team of 15 staff, all of whom support the work of Without Walls as well as delivering other XTRAX other projects.

In November 2022, Arts Council England confirmed that Without Walls would continue to be funded as a National Portfolio Organisation. This celebratory moment feels like the right time for a change, and after discussion with the Director and Boards of XTRAX and Without Walls, and Arts Council England, we have agreed that from April 2023 Without Walls should directly employ the staff, and the two organisations will separate. The existing staff team at XTRAX who have been delivering the work of Without Walls for many years, will become direct employees of Without Walls.

Maggie Clarke has decided not to transfer and will remain Director of XTRAX, a company she founded in 2001. A new Director of Without Walls will be sought through an open recruitment process, and will take over the leadership responsibilities that Maggie has been undertaking for the consortium. The recruitment pack can be found here

XTRAX and Without Walls have always been separate companies, albeit delivered by the same team of committed, experienced staff drawn from many different countries and cultures. Whilst the staff will now be working for two separate organisations, they will remain close collaborators, partners and friends and will be based in the same building. It is our firm intention to continue to work together on many projects.

More news about XTRAX future projects will be announced in the new year.


Maggie Clarke, Director of XTRAX, said:

“I have been part of Without Walls since 2007 and I am very proud of all it has achieved. Without Walls has transformed the landscape of outdoor arts in the UK, has supported the development of 200+ new outdoor shows and has enabled festivals across the country to collaborate on sector development in a way that was never possible before. 

I am now looking forward to focusing my time on future plans for XTRAX. Since starting the company in 2001 a core part of XTRAX work has been delivery of international showcase events, in association with UK and international partners. These events have always been built on partnerships, and I am working on plans to continue this activity in collaboration with my friends and colleagues, who will soon be transferring to Without Walls, and other UK and international festivals, artists and organisations. This work is evolving in the context of Brexit and the climate crisis, but we are committed to continuing to explore creative development, exchange and touring opportunities that will benefit our sector and take great work to audiences around the world. 

I would like to thank the Arts Council England and the Board for their ongoing support, and especially the incredible staff team, who have helped to build the work of XTRAX and Without Walls in recent years. I look forward to a new chapter in our work together.”


Photo credits:

XTRAX team

Future Cargo by by Requardt & Rosenberg at La Mercè 2022 © Christian Bertrand