The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. In the Arts we work with the best of British and international artistic and creative talent to develop events and collaborations which link thousands of artists, organisations and audiences worldwide. In addition to staging shows and exhibitions, we partner with others on joint Arts projects and help develop creative leadership, professional networks and cultural educational programmes worldwide.
The British Council’s Re-Imagine research concluded the following:
- Although India and the UK have a shared history of 200 years, neither country has invested actively in building a contemporary relationship.
- Power no longer rests in the Centre and the Indian States are rising. Britain has not engaged with the emerging cities in India in the sectors of education, the Arts and English language teaching.
- Mechanisms to enable collaboration remain unclear. Individuals and organisations find dealing with the nuts and bolts of getting a solid collaboration off the ground difficult. The commonly reported challenge is a lack of knowledge about, or failure of, mechanisms designed to enable closer collaboration. A lack of mutual understanding of how things are done in each country is also an issue in the arts.
- The ‘softer sciences’ and the arts need special attention: they are essential to understanding and strengthening the cultural relationship, but they are also frequently perceived to be under-funded and marginalised.
To address these findings, the British Council is embarking on a 5 year Re-Imagine Arts programme. The British Council India’s work in the Arts under the ‘Re-Imagine’ banner, will reach larger audiences than ever before through a dynamic and creative programme. We will build strong lasting relationships between professionals and institutions. We will open doors for the UK on a scale never before seen in India. We will reach out beyond the metros. We will be renowned as the gateway to India for UK arts institutions. We will empower people, enable growth and encourage learning through innovative cross-cultural collaborations and creative exchange.
To do this, the priority of the first phase of Re-Imagine Arts is to understand and capture a picture of the contemporary Arts landscape in India. We will map the arts assets of India incrementally to cover the arts strands in which we work: literature, theatre, film, design, dance and music. For phase one , we will start with Performing Arts, by which we mean theatre, dance and music, which is therefore the focus of this ToR.