British Council Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Arts Cultural Exchange Programme 2021/ Apply Now

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British Council has developed the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Arts Cultural Exchange Open Call to provide grants to cultural organizations, festivals, artists, and creatives between the countries of SSA* and the UK to create art, build networks, collaborate and develop markets​ , and share artists’ work with audiences.


The call for applications is open to:

  • artists,
  • arts organisations,
  • festivals,
  • arts professionals
  • creative sector researchers

Working across all art forms (Architecture, Design and Fashion, Film, Literature, Music, Theatre and Dance, Visual Art).

Individuals and organisations in participating countries (see eligibility criteria below) can apply for grants in three categories:

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Research: Grants to undertake research between SSA and UK arts and creative sectors. Research may take the form of meeting with potential arts partners; finding out more about the arts ecosystem in a particular country; gaining an understanding of artistic trends; meeting artists and/or attending events and festivals. Applicants should share research outcomes in a public format of their choice, for example, a diary, blog, photoblog, an event, or a film. (Grants up to £5,000)

New Connections: Grants to support new or early-stage collaborations between artists, arts professionals and partners in SSA and the UK. Projects can include research and development but must include at least one public event, online and/or in-person (in line with COVID regulations in the country). Applications from organisations or individuals who have little or no experience of working internationally and are establishing new connections are particularly welcome. (Grants between £5,000-£10,000)

New Art Co-Creation: Grants to support larger-scale collaborative projects by individuals or organisations in SSA and the UK. Projects should result in new art being created and shared with audiences online or face to face. Applicants should already have established working relationships with their partners and a track record of delivering collaborative projects. Projects must include public-facing activities in the eligible countries (£20,000-£30,000)

SEE ALSO: Hektoen Grand Prix Essay Competition | $5,000 Prize

Eligibility/ Requirements

  • The call-out is open to artists, cultural professionals, festivals, creative sector researchers working across all artforms/disciplines working with audiences predominantly from 18-35 years.
  • Applications may only be made in the eligible countries. There is no preference whether the lead partner that applies is in Sub Saharan Africa or the UK.  Partner organisations are seen as mutual applicants.
  • The grant will be paid to one organisation, however, to ensure equitable distribution of funds between partner organisations, the budget should ensure a split of around 50% / 50% of the grant award between 2 partner organisations, or no more than 60% / 40%.

Diversity: projects working primarily with Women, LBGTQ+ and/or Disabled artists will be favourably scored under the diversity section of the application.

Artforms/disciplines: Literature, Visual Arts, Music, Film (including Gaming, Virtual and Augmented Reality), Theatre and Dance, Architecture, Fashion, Design.

SEE ALSO: Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships 2022-2023 for Foreign Scholars and Artists/ How to Apply

Eligible Countries

Research: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, UK (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales), Zambia, Zimbabwe

Both the New Connections and New Art Co-Creation require having one Sub-Saharan Africa and one UK partner.

New Connections: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, UK (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales), Zambia, Zimbabwe

New Art Co-Creation: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, UK (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales)


Open call data launched: 28 July 2021

Applications open: in August


New Connections: 8 September 2021

Collaborative Artmaking: 8 September 2021

Research: Rolling application till 1 February 2022

Interviews: Shortlisted applicants may be invited to an interview at the end of September 2021.

For More Information: Visit the Official Webpage of the British Council Sub-Saharan Africa Arts Cultural Exchange Programme 2021

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