Since 1934, the British Council has created friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and the wider world. Our work in the arts has been central to this mission for more than 80 years, seeking new ways of connecting with and understanding each other through creativity.

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.

By 2021 it is our aim to have increased the number of cultural connections between the UK and the world, doubling the scale of international activity of the UK culture sector. To achieve this, our global programme will span five key pillars:

Sharing UK arts with the world – introducing audiences around the world to the best of UK creativity and creating new opportunities for artists and organisations to work internationally. We will also support reciprocal work into the UK.

Fostering collaboration and networks - supporting creative people to collaborate and experiment with new ideas and developing sustainable ways of working for long-term prosperity.

Arts for social change - extending safe spaces for culture, creative exploration and exchange; building trust, enabling dialogue and presenting marginalised voices; and supporting the protection of cultural heritage and expression of cultural identities.

Capacity building - strengthening the arts sector worldwide by developing its capacity to innovate, reach new audiences and develop skills.

Policy and research - shaping cultural policy and sharing research with the cultural sector in the UK and overseas.
Our full set of our 2021 ambitions and how we plan to achieve them can be found in our  refreshed for the arts here. 

 Arts in Nepal strategy 

In Nepal, the British Council works with national partners in the following priority areas:

Empowering women and girls to challenge and shift attitudes that perpetuate gender inequality, through highlighting success stories, supporting economic empowerment and skills development, and expanding links and networks with the UK. For example, our partnership with the Southbank Centre on the Women of the World Festival (WOW) celebrates women and girls and their achievements, while asking what more we need to do to achieve equality. Two editions of WOW Kathmandu have been held in 2017 and 2018. Learn more  here.

Fostering community cohesion by bringing interactive content and untold stories about cultural heritage to communities and young people whose engagement with cultural institutions and sites is limited.

Supporting the development of South Asia’s arts managers and leaders through supporting their skills and development. For example, ARThinkSouthAsia is a training fellowship conducted in India with opportunity to take up a secondment in the UK or Germany. ATSA is delivered in partnership with the Goethe-Institut and Khoj International Artists’ Association in Delhi to empower active arts professionals in the planning and development of sustainable cultural organisations. 

Our arts initiatives and activities