To support arts and culture organisations and practitioners during the Covid-19 pandemic, the British Council offered several grant opportunities across multiple art forms. These grants were announced on the British Council website and on its social media channels.

Women of the World (WOW) Festival Grants are focused on innovative arts and cultural projects that promote gender equality. As part of WOW grants, projects include capacity building workshops in science and technology, business and enterprise, and creative endeavours in photography, film and music. WOW festivals celebrate women’s achievements and provide a forum to take a frank look at the obstacles they face. WOW festivals have taken place across the globe reaching more than two million people to date.

For the heritage sector, British Council offered three opportunities under the South Asia Heritage Month programme. Grants supported activities focusing on heritage, language and identity to help build connections between artists, speakers and young people across the UK and South Asia, including Pakistan. 

In collaboration with Saffron Music, a female led UK organisation, the British Council will be offering grants that redress the gender imbalance in the music industry. The recipients of this programme will receive mentorship and access to online workshops and relevant resources.

As part of the Architecture Design and Fashion-ADF grants, an award was given for developing zero carbon structures for rural communities in Pakistan and Bangladesh. This project brings together university students of both countries to explore and implement sustainable solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change. Local festivals and Biennales have also been supported through an additional ADF grant.

Under the Transforming Narratives programme, digital collaboration grants were announced for creative and cultural practitioners and organisations in Birmingham, Pakistan and Bangladesh to come together. The project offers a range of platforms for new artistic voices and exchanging narratives around contemporary lived experience across the three countries and presents an ideal opportunity to build meaningful and enduring relationships.

To support international artistic collaboration, the British Council recently launched its Digital Collaboration Fund, a series of grants supporting organisations in devising new virtual ways of working internationally. These grants included restarting old projects, research opportunities and developing new projects.

Through these collaborative and creative grants, we hope to support the arts and culture sector in the areas of gender equality, heritage, contemporary art, architecture and design.