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Arts Council England and British Council Announce Re: Imagine India

Oct 16, 2014   10:00 IST 

Arts Council England and British Council today (15th October 2014) announced a new £1.5million lottery fund to build creative connections between the people of England and India.


Re-Imagine India will provide English artists and arts organisations with opportunities to develop collaborations and cultural exchanges with their Indian counterparts.


The scheme will give grants of £15,000-£100,000 to support projects which –


  • Promote creative collaborations

  • Showcase the best of UK and Indian arts across a range of art forms and activity

  • Reach beyond England's major cities and India's metropolitan areas

  • Connect English and Indian artists with diaspora communities in England

  • Build skills and have a real impact

  • Use digital technology









Organisations can apply from January 2015 for smaller sums to develop new ideas and explore different partnerships and ways of working, or for larger grants to realise those project ideas and ambitions. There will be a second round of funding in 2016 and we expect activity to peak during 2017 to mark the 70th anniversary of Indian independence.


In addition to this £1.5m investment by Arts Council England, the British Council has committed £5million to the Re:Imagine Arts programme which runs from 2013-2017.


Speaking during a visit to India, UK Secretary of state for culture Sajid Javid said: "This is a brilliant project, not simply because of the creative links that will be formed but also because it will reach artists and audiences in communities that are sometimes overlooked, but whose passion for culture burns just as brightly as for those in the big cities. I look forward to seeing the fruits of this five-year programme grow and prosper long into the future."


Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair Arts Council England said: "This programme is an exciting opportunity for artists and cultural organisations to exchange ideas and influences and to make new work together. It will open up opportunities not just for the individual artists involved but also for audiences both here and abroad - we will all see the benefits these cultural exchanges bring to our enriched creative sector."


Graham Sheffield, Director Arts, British Council said: "The British Council is delighted to be working with Arts Council England to provide this opportunity for new artistic collaborations between India and the UK. Both our countries have vibrant creative sectors and we hope that these grants, alongside our ongoing Re-Imagine programme, will lead to new links between artists, institutions and businesses in both our countries."


Notes to editors:

Re-Imagine is a five-year arts and culture initiative (2013-2017) led by the British Council and involving partnership working between key stakeholders in India and the UK, including the UK Arts Councils, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI).


Funding for this scheme forms part of the £18 million from resources returned to the Arts Council following the dissolution of the Olympic Lottery Distributor (OLD) which will be invested over three years to enable arts organisations and artists to earn money overseas. More details will be released from January 2015.


About Arts Council England:

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people's lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2010 and 2015, we will invest £1.9 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1.1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.


About the British Council:

The British Council is the UK's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.


The British Council was established in India in 1948. The British Council is recognised across India for its network of 9 libraries and cultural centres. We offer a range of specialised projects in arts, education, exams, English language and society to audiences across India and more than 100,000 members. We also provide access to English language training and learning for both students and teachers, offer UK qualifications in India and enable opportunities to study in the UK.


Contact information:

Alison Millar

Arts Council

+44 (0)207 268 9648

For press background on Arts Council England

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