Cone-shaped purple installation with a gold ball on top

British Council

Finding new ways of connecting with and understanding each other through arts and culture.

Our work in arts creates new relationships between artists, organisations and audiences to develop stronger creative sectors around the world. We help artists to break new ground, support creativity and innovation, increase capacity by building skills to support livelihoods and cultural enterprise, extend safe spaces for creative exchange and contribute to research and policy.

Every year we work with over 50,000 artists and arts organisations around the world including 8,000 UK-based artists and arts organisations. Connection with the diverse cultural riches of the UK creates new opportunities and inspiration for artists around the world and the fostering of new collaborations with their British counterparts. 

Our work strengthens perceptions of a modern, vibrant and creative UK among millions of people – particularly young people – in fast-growing economies, encouraging more trade, investment and tourism.

It also helps to bring together divided communities and provides creative ways of responding to global challenges by protecting heritage, human rights and a sustainable environment.

Cultural Exchange

We support international network building and collaborations for the UK sector and provide opportunities for emerging and next-generation UK artists to present their work internationally, representing the diversity and distinctive creative voices of all four countries of the UK. We work with major UK and international cultural platforms, including festivals, seasons of culture and major civic anniversaries.

Our work in this area:

  • Supports organisations and artists to build networks, collaborate and develop markets.
  • Shares the work of UK artists with global audiences face-to-face and virtually.
  • Works with major UK and international cultural platforms, including festivals, seasons of culture, biennales and major civic anniversaries.

Creative Economy

We create international opportunities for the next generation of creative innovators, practitioners and entrepreneurs through exchange programmes. We help them to develop their skills and access UK and global networks of experts on digital platforms, and we create environments in which they thrive by sharing research and insight with governments, policymakers and global organisations.

Our work in this area:

  • Develops the capacity of creative entrepreneurs and policymakers to support sustainable creative economies in their countries.

Response to global challanges

We create inspiring opportunities for people, institutions and places to respond to challenges with local impact and global relevance and help to generate sustainable prosperity. Through the transformative power of arts and culture to change attitudes, we support more connected and equal societies and the protection and promotion of cultural expression, diversity and heritage at risk.

Our work in this area:​

  • Protects heritage at risk and generates sustainable socio-economic prosperity
  • Transforms lives through the power of art to change attitudes and create opportunities in the areas of inclusion and climate change