Our work in arts

Arts is a cornerstone of the British Council’s mission to create a friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and the wider world. We find new ways of connecting with and understanding each other through the arts, to develop stronger creative sectors around the world that are better connected with the UK.

Shakespeare Lives

Shakespeare Lives is a global programme of events and activities celebrating the world's most popular playwright's work on the 400th anniversary of his death in 2016. The programme will include a host of events, including innovative theatre and dance performances, film screenings, globally sourced art exhibitions, and educational resources for English language learners. 

Read the latest Arts Newsletter Opens in a new tab or window.

Keep up to date with our projects and the latest news from the UK arts sector.  In our latest edition read about the Guadalajara International Book Fair, our new touring exhibition David Shrigley: 'Lose Your Mind', Mercury Prize winner Benjamin Clementine, ways to connect online with disabled festival audiences and more.

Guadalajara International Book Fair Opens in a new tab or window.

Our Literature team is sending a delegation of 30 British writers to this year's Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) in Mexico where the UK is Guest of Honour. FIL is Latin America's publishing's most important platform for networking. Find out more about the UK writers that will be attending on our Literature website.

David Shrigley: Lose Your Mind

Lose Your Mind is a comprehensive exhibition that highlights the breadth of David Shrigley’s practice and his darkly witty imaginings. Key works include Ostrich, 2009, a new acquisition for the British Council Collection, in which a taxidermied bird loses its head and gains a droll menace.

Philip Hoare on Whales (Podcast) Opens in a new tab or window.

With the Guadalajara International Book Fair fast approaching, we're celebrating the exciting UK Literature programme through a series of podcasts featuring British writers who are joining us in Mexico later this month. In our second podcast listen to Georgina Godwin in conversation with Philip Hoare.

International Festivals Academy Opens in a new tab or window.

The British Council and Edinburgh Festivals have collaborated to launch the International Festivals Academy. The mission of the Academy is to provide festivals managers from around the world with the skills and knowledge necessary to increase the sustainability and growth of festivals worldwide. 

Edinburgh Showcase 2015 Opens in a new tab or window.

The Edinburgh Showcase is our biennial programme of performance, presenting work by some of the most exciting UK companies to visiting international programmers. This year's Showcase incorporated 30 of the most exciting and innovative companies and artists working in all areas of performance, from live art, devised and physical theatre to new writing, dance theatre and immersive performance.

© British Council - Inside Heatherwick Studio exhibition; photo credit: Fabian Ong.

Inside Heatherwick Studio

The touring exhibition Inside Heatherwick Studio provides a rare insight into the London-based design studio’s work, including world-famous projects such as the UK Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo, the New Bus for London and the Olympic Cauldron from the 2012 London Olympic Games.

About Arts

Arts is a cornerstone of the British Council’s mission to create a friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and the wider world.