For more than a decade, 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.
This year, in light of the pandemic situation, the British Council decided to press ahead the programme by piloting a digital exchange phase to support new collaborations on sustainability, inclusion and gender equality.
We have been working with our partners in Greater Manchester and our long-standing partner Scottish Government to start our pilot in October, 2020. The UK creative and culture professionals are encouraged to submit their EOI to this digital exchange phase, and the British Council will help to translate the EOI into Chinese for an open call for Chinese peers to respond to.
The Digital Exchange phase will be flexible, and we anticipate it will take between 8 – 12 weeks for partners to develop ideas for further exploration. During this period, partners will be expected to keep in regular communication and work together on creating a concept or project idea for further development, with agreed milestones and outline workplans.
There are no grants associated with this phase of the programme, although we can support translation and other access related costs as part of our commitment and desire to welcome applications from D/deaf and disabled leaders and practitioners. Partners who complete the Digital Exchange will be invited to apply for a Partnership Development Grant of £2,500 to further co-develop their concept or project idea either digitally or in person (subject to air travel restrictions) in 2021.
We particularly welcome and encourage individuals who are, or who are working with, underrepresented groups who face barriers to participation in international programmes, including professionals and audiences who are D/deaf or disabled.