Deadline: 8 March 2019

British Council is seeking expressions of interest from UK based arts organisations, curators or programmers working in any of the following art forms – Visual Arts, Literature, Music, Theatre, Dance, Architecture, Design, Fashion and Film – to travel to Sub-Saharan Africa to connect with the local contemporary art sectors, and undertake their own professional research to be shared with a wider UK sector in their chosen field.

The trips should take place between April 2019 and March 2020.

Research may take the form of meeting with potential artists and partners; finding out more about chosen art form’s ecosystem in a country or countries; gaining an understanding of art trends in Sub-Saharan Africa;meeting arts organisations and/or attending events and festivals with a view to programming or curating work in the UK.


This opportunity aims to:

  • facilitate the UK creative sector’s ambitions toconnect with young, African creatives and art professionals who are 18 to35-year-olds;
  • increase opportunities for UK arts organisations and individuals to visit African cities and gain further insight into the chosen local art sector;
  • encourage and support the development of networks that connect the UK and Sub-Saharan African arts sectors for the long term;
  • widen the opportunities for art professionals in Sub-Saharan Africa to connect with UK arts organisations and arts professionals.

Countries Covered

The countries covered under the programme (in which the British Council operates) are: Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi,Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Funding Information

The British Council will award up to nine grants of £2,500(each) to proposals to undertake research of applicant’s chosen artistic sector& travel in the Sub-Saharan Region between April 2019 and March 2020. The British Council will be considering a geographical spread across the continent when assessing applications.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The successful applicant is likely to:
    • be based at UK arts organisation or individual with a proven track record of working internationally;
    • have a minimum of 3 years professional experience in their sector;
    • demonstrate experience in working with international partners to deliver collaborative arts programmes;
    • have a basic knowledge of their chosen art sector in the region which is being visited (although the British Council will provide support in putting together a detailed programme);
    • demonstrate a clear rationale for the research they want to undertake;
    • demonstrate a commitment to British Council values.
  • In addition, applicants should:
    • commit to programme a UK public forum to share/disseminate the research findings, this can either be done online or in person
    • have a valid passport for travel;
    • have a valid visa for travel (if required);
    • have valid travel insurance;
    • be able to travel between April 2019 and March 2020.

How to Apply

  • If applicants would like to apply for this research grant, please submit a PDF Expression of Interest. This should comprise:
    • Up to 2 examples of key projects and/or programmes that applicants feel represent their work
    • A short statement (max 800 words) outlining why applicants are applying for this research grant and clearly state the following:
      • State the country or countries applicants would like to focus and conduct their research
      • State how their research proposal aligns with or addresses at least two of the ‘Art Connects Us objectives’.
      • State what applicant hopes to gain from the experience and outline some of the potential practical applications of the research into a tangible programme or project.
    • Activity plan; identify the main stages of their activity during the research visit.
    • CV (up to 2 pages)
  • Submissions should be in a single PDF file and not to exceed 2 MB in size. These should be emailed at the address given on the website.

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