The British Council has been putting the arts at the heart of its activities for 85 years. One popular approach has been co-ordinating cultural seasons in partnership with countries with which we have deep and long-established relationships of exchange of culture as well as trade.  with those countries.  Recent research conducted for it by BOP Consulting provides new evidence for the soft power impact for the UK of this form of cultural engagement.  Writing in the University of South California Public Diplomacy Magazine, Ian Thomas explores the growing body of evidence of the positive impact of reciprocal international arts activities.