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2022 UK-China Connections through Culture (CtC) Grants

May 29, 2022

Since 2006 the British Council has run a well-established UK-China Connections through Culture (CtC) programme, which enables collaboration between creative and cultural professionals in China and the UK. Through brokering connections and offering development grants, CtC has enabled over 400 creative and cultural professionals to see one another's work, exchange skills and co-develop projects. CtC is designed to be agile, responding to changing sector needs and the wider socio-economic context within the UK and China, and encouraging new collaborations which respond to global challenges such as inclusion, sustainability, and gender equality.  The grants were provided prior to the Pandemic to support international travel for face-to-face meetings. However, with current travel restrictions, the grants are now mainly used to support online collaborations between China and the UK. CtC receives additional specific support from the Scottish government for projects with a Scottish connection.  What does CtC offer? 1.Professional Development Grants - to enable artists or members of arts organisations to work with their counterparts in China or the UK, to develop projects, exchange skills or see each other's work.  2.Alumni Grants – for previous CtC alumni to access follow-up funding and continue the collaboration, which are only available to alumni who received initial grants in the last 3 years, and are designed to be strategic grants to further facilitate collaboration and partnerships. What is the value of each grant? £2,500 2022 CtC Grant Application Schedule ActivitiesMilestonesCtC Grants-Round 3827 April: open for applying 29 May: application deadline 13 June: result announced CtC Grants-Round 39 27 October: open for applying 27 November: application deadline 12 December: result announced   Please read the “Notes for applicants” below to find out if you are eligible to apply here. For any queries, please contact: arts@britishcouncil.org.cn 

Open Door call for proposals

Open Door 2022 – call for proposals

May 23, 2022

Open Door The Open Door project, delivered in partnership with Royal Institute of British Architects, is a programme to promote and celebrate outstanding conservation work by emerging architects in the UK and mainland China. The project will celebrate the best of recent architecture heritage projects, champion the environmental and cultural benefits of building conservation, and promote knowledge exchange between experts in both countries. The project is aimed at architects that are no more than ten years qualified, to encourage more young professionals to become involved in the sector and build relationships with experienced practitioners. Projects will fit into two categories: Twentieth Century (C20) heritage buildingsHistoric buildings built before 1901 Why Enter Open Door? Your work will be assessed by a prestigious Expert Advisory Group,  all leaders in the heritage sector from the UK and China: Group Chair: Ben Derbyshire, Chair of HTA Design LLP London and Commissioner for Historic EnglandLu Wenyu, Co-founder of Prizter Prize winning firm - Amateur Architecture Studio, HangzhouChen Xiong, Director of BOD, Deputy General Manager and Chief Architect of Guangdong Architectural Design and Research Institute Co., Ltd. (GDAD) Geoff Rich, Architect and Managing Partner at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Bath, London and ManchesterDr Wei Yang, Chair of Wei Yang & Partners, Immediate Past President of the Royal Town Planning Institute  Eligibility Open door aims to promote young talent in the conservation sector.  The project is open to emerging architects as individuals or to a group of young professionals that include a person with a recognised architecture qualification. For this project, 'emerging' means no more than ten years qualified. We accept submissions from emerging architects as individuals and those who work for an established firm, who have led or had a significant contribution to the design of the project. Open Door is open to practitioners and academics and entries can be made by an individual or a person on behalf of an organisation or practice, but the entry must be led by the individual with a recognised qualification in architecture. Only one proposal per category per person (or practice) can be entered. We welcome proposals from an individual or team: country of residence in Mainland China or the UK and;with a recognised architecture qualification as an individual or as a member of the design team who’s less than 10 years qualified.  2. This could provide an opportunity to promote your work and practice to a global audience, via RIBA and the British Council channels through the digital showcase.  3. Winning proposals will be included in a live announcement event and exhibition on 15 September in Shanghai, if the situation permits.  4. The six winning projects will be featured at a professional masterclass event alongside award winning work and academic experts in October.  5. Winning proposals will receive a RIBA certificate. Submission Criterion Submitted case studies must fit into one of these categories:  Twentieth Century (C20) heritage buildingsHistoric buildings built before 1901 Proposals can include completed built conservation projects, work in progress or submissions for well-resolved ideas for an existing building requiring improvement. Projects should take a holistic approach to the built environment and consider social context, technical challenges, cultural significance, aesthetics, and physical settings. Submissions should show how the project contributes to and advances architectural conservation and demonstrates how heritage buildings can be transformed and treasured, using the unique talents of architects for the benefit of their communities and for the environment. Proposals should be visually exciting and inspiring. They will evidence innovation and a creative approach in: design concepts, strategies and solutionsuse of new and existing materialsretrofitting for thermal efficiencyenvironmental considerationscultural significancechallenges of deliverybenefits to the client and or user We are particularly interested in projects that include innovative contemporary additions for new use whilst retaining their historic value. Submission Guidance Please submit your proposal in a concise presentation format. A digital portfolio or brochure, for example. The proposal should comprise:  No more than 800 words in language for a public audience ie non-technical informationA maximum of 10 JPEG images with all credits showing the project before refurbishment, the site or location mapPlease include a selection of sketches, colour photographs & technical drawingsA separate written description (Word document) You may also submit the project description in English or simplified Chinese. Please mark your submission ‘Open Door Submission + individual / team name’. Fill out the online application form and submit proposals via email or WeTransfer to ribainternational@riba.org by 1pm BST / 11pm CST on Monday 23 May 2022. Open Door is free to enter.  Assessment Process The Expert Advisory Group will assess all submitted proposals to select the three most impactful and innovative projects from each category, to give six final proposals to be showcased.  If your project is selected, you will also need to supply a short film about your proposal to be used in the showcase. We will supply you with the directions and a full brief. Key Dates:  Entries open: 10:00 (BST) / 17:00 (CST) 21 April 2022Entries close:16:00 (BST) / 23:00 (CST) 23 May 2022Assessment by Expert Advisory Group:20 June 2022 Announcement event and showcase launch: 15 September 2022 restrictions permittingMasterclass events: from 17 October 2022 Data protection The details you provide will be used in line with the RIBA's GDPR obligations. For information on how we handle your personal data please see our Privacy Policy. By registering for the Open Door and taking part, you are agreeing to have your data processed in the UK and shared with the British Council. Submissions will be used by the RIBA and the British Council for the promotion of the project, on the associated digital channels and in associated physical exhibitions. 

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2021 UK-China Connections through Culture Grants

January 10, 2022

We are delighted to announce that our Round 37th grant application is now open! This round of grant is designed to support the development of UK-China online and offline collaboration projects. When is the application open?From 13 December 2021 to 10 January 2022 When will the result be out?Result will be sent to applicants on 21 January 2022 Open to UK-China online and offline collaboration projects For over 16 years, the British Council has run a well-established Connections through Culture programme, which enables collaboration between creative and cultural professionals in China and the UK. Through brokering connections and offering travel grants, CtC has enabled over 370 creative and cultural professionals to see one another's work, exchange skills and co-develop projects. Connections through Culture is designed to be agile, responding to changing sector needs and the wider socio-economic context within the UK and China, and encouraging new collaborations on sustainability, inclusion and gender equality. Although the grants are available to all UK artists, Connections through Culture receives additional specific support from the Scottish government for projects with a Scottish connection. WHAT DOES CONNECTIONS THROUGH CULTURE OFFER? 1.Professional Development Grants - a limited number of small grants to enable artists or members of arts organisations to work with their counterparts in China or the UK online, to develop projects, exchange skills or see others' work.  2.Alumni Grants – a limited number of small grants for previous Connections through Culture alumni to access follow-up funding and continue the collaboration online. They are only available to alumni who received initial grants in the last 3 years, and are designed to be strategic grants to further facilitate collaboration and partnerships. 3. Digital Connections through Culture - online brokering and networking opportunity to connect artists and cultural organisations in China and the UK for future collaborations. Please note Digital Connections through Culture DOES NOT offer a grant. However, successful connections are welcomed to apply for future professional development grants/alumni grants for new collaborations. What is the value of each grant? £2,500 UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES November 2021 to March 2022Digital Connections through Culture: to facilitate online networking and exchange between artists and professionals from arts and cultural organisations in China and the UK13 December 2021Round 37th Grant Application Open: to support the development of UK-China online collaboration projects, and visits between February and July 2022 (depending on travel restrictions) Notes for applicants available here. For more information, please contact: arts@britishcouncil.org.cn 

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New Plan | Beijing to Promote the Construction of the National Cultural Center in the medium and long-term (2019-2035)

8 May, 2020

On 9, April 2020, the plan "Beijing to Promote the Construction of the National Cultural Center in the medium and long-term (2019-2035)” was officially released for the planning period to 2035, and ahead to 2050. It focuses on the question "what sort of capital are we are looking for? How do we build this capital?". The plan aims to help build the capital’s culture and developing construction for cultural center that serve the capital’s economic and social development. The strategic positioning of the plan is to consolidate, innovate, communicate and provide services. The development goal is that by 2025, the status of the National Cultural Centre will have significantly enhanced, the quality of civil society and urban civilization will have significantly improved, and the leadership of national cultural construction will be more prominent. Objectives by 2035: to have fully built the advanced cultural capital of socialism with Chinese characteristics, to have a more systematic function of the national cultural center, to have a stronger driving force for economic and social development of the capital, and to significantly enhance the international influence of the capital’s culture to become a world historical and cultural city that demonstrates cultural confidence and inclusive charm. Looking forward to 2050: To further consolidate the status of the cultural capital of socialism with Chinese characteristics, to gather cultural talents, to release the cultural creativity of the people, to develop the socialist spiritual civilization in a comprehensive and coordinated manner, and to make cultural awareness and cultural self-confidence more prominent. Beijing will stand among the world's cities with a higher profile, becoming a symbol of the world's culture that promotes Chinese civilization and leads the trends of our times. Forbidden City, Beijing Photo by Kubwimana Louis de Gonzague on Unsplash The construction of the National Cultural Center will be in accordance with the "four cultures", Namely, ancient capital culture, red culture, Beijing culture and innovation culture, in the overall framework of “one core, one city, three belts and two districts". One core is the core value of socialism with Chinese characteristics. One city means the historical and cultural city. Three belts represent the Grand Canal Cultural Belt, the Great Wall Cultural Belt and the Xishan Yongding River Cultural Belt. The two districts are the public cultural service districts and the leading cultural industry development districts. Beijing Old Town Protection to focus on creating 13 cultural highlights. The Old Town is a key area for the protection of Beijing's historical and cultural city. Beijing will implement the requirements of "the old city can no longer be dismantled”, promoting the overall protection and revival of the old city through the World Heritage Site application of the Central Axis, and focusing on creating 13 areas of cultural significance. The plan proposes that Beijing will focus on creating 13 cultural highlights in accordance with the requirements of “One Street, One Policy". These include: · Shichahai - Nanluoguxiang· Lama Temple - Chinese Confusion Temple· Zhang Zizhong Road North - New Taicang· Zhang Zizhong Road South – Dongsi· Dongsi South· Baita Temple - Xisi· Imperial City· Tiananmen Square· Dongjiaomingxiang· Nannao Shikou· Liulichang - Dashilan - Qianmen· Xuanxi - Fayuan Temple· Temple of Heaven – Xianlongtan At the same time, to gradually expand the scope of protection of historical and cultural neighborhoods, respecting and maintaining the hutong pattern and spatial design of the old city. In principle, the existing streets in the old city will no longer be widened, and pedestrian blocks will be set up to create a quiet and warm atmosphere in the hutongs. Temple of Heaven, BeijingPhoto by Victor He on Unsplash The plan also proposes to make use of the cultural spaces along the central axis to give priority to supplementary public functions, constructing museums, memorials, cultural centres, art galleries, libraries and other cultural facilities, to revitalize the central axis. While promoting the protection of cultural relics and landscape restoration on the central axis, we will strengthen the infrastructure and public services to continuously improve the environmental quality along this route. Promote the implementation of one standard for online and offline artistic creation Beijing will promote online arts and culture to create a new world of cultural life. It will implement one standard for online and offline work in order to promote quality online arts and culture, moving from low quality to high-quality. The plan proposes that the implementation of the online arts and cultural improvement project supports the creation and production of original online art works, improve online literature, film, drama, performance, music, animation and other emerging artistic artforms. The implementation of the one standard is to promote online arts and culture from low-quality to high-quality and the production of many leading art works. At the same time, to expand the channels of artistic communication and improve the efficiencies of artistic communication, so that online arts and culture becomes an important way to supply high-quality cultural products. By 2035, the per capita area for public cultural facilities will increase to 0.45 square meters By 2035, the area for public cultural facilities will increase to 0.45 square meters per capita, and the public cultural facilities network will achieve greater geographical coverage by reaching cultural services every 15 minutes. By 2035, Beijing will build digital libraries, digital cultural venues and digital museums for every district. Hutong, BeijingPhoto by zhang kaiyv on Unsplash The plan proposes: to build a modern public cultural services system that is convenient and efficient and to promote the public cultural service facilities to have quality content, diverse suppliers of content, intelligent service methods and to build a complete, convenient, efficient, high-quality modern public cultural services system. In optimizing the layout of the city’s public cultural facilities, it is necessary to guide the construction of new large-scale cultural facilities to densely populated areas such as Huilongguan Tiantongyuan and areas with weak cultural facilities. In expanding public cultural services, Beijing will improve state-owned museums’ curatorial capacity and the level of public cultural services to make good use of folk museums and private museums, and create a museum city with a reasonable layout, rich exhibitions and distinctive features. Beijing will create a more diversified public cultural space by dredging, remediation and reuse of the space. At the same time, it will explore the introduction of creative elements in large communities to improve community governance and promote public cultural facilities, knowledge services, creative counseling and other comprehensive functions. In terms of providing high-quality public cultural products and services, the plan proposes to reach modern public reading service systems every 15 minutes, including public libraries, comprehensive bookstores, specialty bookstores and community bookstores so that Beijing becomes a "city of books with a strong human atmosphere". Beijing accelerates the construction of "cultural business districts", strongly promoting high-quality cultural consumption Beijing will strive to build itself as a design capital, film and television capital, performing arts capital, music capital, online gaming capital, world tourism city, art trading center, and an exhibition center, so that the city becomes a high-quality, cultural, creative and innovative center. At the same time, accelerate the implementation of the "cultural business districts" plan to build a new batch of cultural and leisure spaces integrating art performances, interactive experiences and fashion to create a new cultural and commercial landmark with a global reputation. The plan proposes to build an innovative and creative city of global competitiveness and establish a modern cultural industry system and culture market system of global influence. It aims to promote the integration and development of cultural and technological, financial, sports and other related industries, and to cultivate new dynamics for the development of cultural industries. Specifically, to encourage and support the development of independent designer fashion, accessories, jewelry, cosmetics, interiors, digital electronics and other high-end fashion industries; to enhance the ability to produce outstanding original film and television content and to provide all-round high standards of supporting services; to promote the planning and creation of original theatre including operas, dramas, musicals, dance, children's theatre, etc., extending the performing arts industry chain, and introducing immersive, interactive and other performing arts formats. We will promote the creation of original music, increase the support and reward for the creation of songs, project incubation, performance display, publicity and promotion, and encourage enthusiasm to support original music. Beijing will also accelerate the implementation of the "Cultural Business District" program to promote quality development of commercial streets such as the Dashilan, Wangfujing, Xidan, Wukesong, Blue Harbor, Sanlitun, Longfu Temple, etc., Beijing will accelerate the construction of new commercial districts, high-quality cultural facilities, cultural landscape, cultural projects and cultural industries to attract international well-known brands and original independent brands to create a new cultural and commercial landmark with global visibility. Da Shilan, BeijingPhoto by Yingchih on Unsplash In the city's important urban development areas, such as the sub-center “three cities and one district", the new Shougang area and Beijing Daxing International Airport Economic Zone, there will be new cultural and leisure spaces for art performances, interactive experiences and fashion consumption. The launch of "Night Beijing" is being planned to create a culture of evening cultural and leisure consumption. Beijing will develop a season of community cultural consumption, cultural market and other activities so as to cultivate the concept of cultural consumption and enhance cultural consumption capacity. Beijing Tourism Consumption in 2035 will account for more than 30% of the city's total consumption By 2035, Beijing's tourism consumption will account for more than 30% of the city's total consumption, and the number of inbound tourists to Beijing will reach about 10 million, of which the proportion of international government affairs, business and conference tourists will account for at least 50%, creating new growth for the capital's economic development. The plan proposes that Beijing should become a world-famous tourist city that demonstrates the charm of Chinese culture, based on the capital's deep cultural heritage and resource advantages to build a resource system, service facilities system and industrial system of global influence and competitiveness. In order to build tourism into a new growth area of the capital's economic development, Beijing will deepen the structural reform in the tourism sector, build a tourism economic platform, cultivate major cultural tourism projects, cultivate influential cultural tourism enterprises, and cultivate "specialized, refined and new" small and medium-sized tourism enterprises. It will further enhance the cultural connotation of tourism products, the level of scientific and technological products, green products, and enhance the experience and satisfaction of tourists. The plan also proposes to promote the internationalization of the tourism public services environment, improve multilingual travel guides, traffic maps and tourism applications, implement multilingual menus in hotels and restaurants and achieve full coverage of English on public transport. It will improve international tourism services for tourist enquiries, medical facilities, tourism complaints, emergency relief, foreign currency exchange and other multilingual services. The plan proposed to improve the quality of tourist toilets and optimize barrier-free facilities for tourist venues, and to focus on creating smart cities, smart scenic spots, smart hotels and smart rural tourism for the development and promotion of "one-click tour of Beijing” mobile app. About the Article The plan is interpreted by the British Council. The Chinese version can be found here. Banner image by zhang kaiyv on Unsplash.

A Guide to Arts and Culture Opportunities in China

A Guide to Arts and Culture Opportunities in China

25 Feb, 2020

Opportunities for international collaboration in China are wide -ranging. The British Council in China has commissioned this practical guide to arts, culture and creative activities to help UK stakeholders access these opportunities. This report is to support cultural and creative organisations, artists, practitioners, and SMEs to better understand the trends and developments across China’s cultural and creative sectors. All too often, relationships are focused on the largest markets and the so called first tier cities including, Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. This guide also highlights the “off the beaten path” developments and opportunities in China. These include new and emerging fields of arts and culture as well as cities and regions which have their own unique cultural identity and offer. The report is broad in scope, covering national and regional policies, and cultural projects and activities from the breadth of China’s provinces and sectors. It should act as a starting point to encourage artists, SMEs and institutions in the UK to further explore relevant opportunities for collaboration in China. The British Council commissioned a similar guide in 2008. In the past ten years, the cultural sector in China has changed drastically with huge investment in infrastructure and massive audience growth. The number of large UK institutions working in China has also increased to include the Tate, British Museum and the V&A. The new guide provides an up-to-date view of the Chinese cultural landscape with the aim of strengthening the existing cultural relationship between China and the UK. Particular focus is given to opportunities for SMEs, individual artists and smaller institutions who would like to work in China. The guide lays out the opportunities for the UK in sectors that are relevant across all of China, including: performing arts, film, the visual arts, cultural heritage and cultural tourism. It also covers regional developments and opportunities across four of China’s key territories: North-Central, East, Greater Bay Area and South West.