The British Council has been working in Europe since 1937. Our arts programme across Europe aims to strengthen relationships following the UK’s exit from the EU and enable vital long-term partnerships between arts organisations and professionals from all four parts of the UK and the EU.
On this page, you can find an introduction to our arts work in Europe and useful sites for UK arts professionals, organisations and initiatives looking to connect with or work in an EU country.
Travelling to and working in the EU: Practical information
Detailed information is available on the UK government’s website guidance for the arts, culture and heritage sectors. This includes links to advice for both UK nationals, organisations and artistic businesses working with or in the EU, and EU nationals, organisations and businesses working with or in the UK.
If you are planning to travel to Europe on business, including travelling for meetings or conferences, providing services (including those for a charity) or touring for art or music, check the UK government’s business travel webpage.
EU nationals wishing to travel to or work in the UK within their work in the arts, culture and heritage sectors should visit the UK government’s check UK visa webpage.
The British Council’s EU Arts strategy
Our EU Arts strategy aims to place the UK at the heart of Europe’s cultural conversation. Arts will continue to connect the UK to the rest of Europe and the British Council will support the UK arts sectors to work throughout Europe. Read our EU Arts Strategy.
Through our Bespoke Brokers programme, we aim to bring together the leading artistic organisations, festivals and programmes from the UK and EU. We will work with established UK artistic organisers and showcasing platforms, enabling them to connect with their counterparts and with influencers in the EU so they can build the connections they need for positive artistic exchange.
Museums Revisited is an intensive, capacity building programme designed to enable cultural exchange for international connections and create a stronger network among some key cultural institutions in the EU and the UK while exploring the role of museums in society today. Through Museums Revisited, we aim to respond to the lack of skills and opportunities for museum professionals in the EU; make new connections and facilitate dialogue and exchange between UK and EU museums; create new networks and encourage unexpected partnerships between museums and other cultural and civil society organisations; and influence policy change in relation to the role of museums in society, local development, tourism and creative industries.
Our New Voices programme supports emerging UK-based artists from diverse and less well represented backgrounds, bringing them together with innovative artists from across Europe who face similar challenges. The programme enables UK and EU artists to develop fresh ideas and skills to tackle contemporary challenges together and share their work as a representation of the great plurality of expression across Europe.
Our multi-disciplinary Circular Cultures programme is the EU Europe arm of the British Council’s global programme Making Matters, which aims to foster dialogue around circular design, covering a wide range of topics such as climate change, material waste and making cultures. We will create new UK-EU networks for artistic professionals who are passionate about sustainability and circularity in design and embed more of a critical dialogue around these themes. The programme will support skills development, knowledge sharing and the development of leaders.
The programme currently operates in eight countries across EU Europe: France, Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands with key partnerships including the Onassis Foundation, Re-Barcelona, MODA-FAD, City of Warsaw, Romania Design Week, University of the Arts London (UAL) and Design Manchester.
Arts and Disability – Europe Beyond Access
Europe Beyond Access supports disabled artists to break the glass ceilings of the contemporary theatre and dance sectors.
We are currently finalising our programmes for 2021 onwards. Please check back for updates.
Examples of current key partnerships
The British Council has been responsible for the British Pavilion in Venice since 1937, showcasing the best of the UK’s artists, architects, designers and curators to an international audience.
Fluxus Art Projects
Fluxus Art Projects is a Franco-British charity dedicated to supporting exhibitions by contemporary artists from both countries. It encourages new connections and exchanges between the two countries. The programme is managed and supported by the British Council, the Institut Français and the French Ministry of Culture, with additional donations from private patrons.
The Diaphonique fund supports classical and contemporary music collaborations between France and the UK, which include commissions, concerts, residencies and educational projects.