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. 

Restaurant car on the Trans- Siberian train

Trans-Siberian Lit: a travelling art residency

As a part of the UK-Russia Year of Language and Literature 2016 we gathered a party of Russian and British writers, artists, photographers and musicians to explore and perform in five Russian cities this autumn along the Trans-Siberian railway route. Discover more about the journey and who took part on our literature website.

Arts Opportunities Opens in a new tab or window.

Find out about our current and upcoming international opportunities for artists, creatives, professionals and organisations.

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.

Priyesh Trivedi / Adarsh Balak at Gasworks

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. Including our London arts tour, Yinka Shonibare's first major solo exhibition in Nigeria, our new film in collaboration with Boiler Room plus much more..!

Image with Bristol Kampala Kigali in words on it

new Art new Audiences 2017 projects Opens in a new tab or window.

Cultural partners across East Africa and the UK applied in July 2016 for British Council East Africa Art's new Art new Audiences grant. Exciting project ideas came from artists and organisation from across Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and the UK, which you can explore on the East Africa Arts website.

graffiti of David Attenborough on side of building in Sheffield

UK - India 2017 online arts tour Opens in a new tab or window.

In 2017, the UK and India will celebrate a major year of cultural exchange. Alongside partners we will present a programme of cultural events and activities in India throughout the year. In the lead-up, join us for an online arts tour of the UK, and discover inspiring and exciting art being made and enjoyed in different cities arcross the country.

author giving talk

International Literature Showcase Opens in a new tab or window.

The International Literature Showcase is an online resource for literature professionals and everyone with a passion for literature. Discover exciting British writers and organisations, discuss industry best practice and debate the latest trends in a growing online space. 

Robbie Thompson's XFRMR

UK/ID Festival 2016 Opens in a new tab or window.

The UK/ID Festival is part of UK/Indonesia 2016-18, a 3 year programme to build new links between young creatives in Indonesia and the UK. The festival boasts a range of free arts events including Robbie Thomson's XFRMR (pictured above), Fashion Futures at Jakarta Fashion Week, Tim Spooner's Assembly of Animals and more.

Remains of the Buddhas of Bamiyan, Afghanistan

Cultural Protection Fund

In partnership with the Department for Culture Media and Sport, we are pleased to announce that the next round of the £30 Cultural Protection Fund is now open for applications.

David Shrigley: Lose Your Mind. 'Boots' at Instituto Cultural Cabañas, Guadalajara, Mexico, November 2015.

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.