The British Council exists to foster international partnerships and to present an accurate picture of contemporary UK society overseas.
British Council arts work overseas is part of our broader role as the UK?s agency for all forms of cultural relations. To that end the British Council globally doesn?t just work in the arts but also in education, science, health, human rights, technology and English teaching. All the different programmes are trying to achieve the same things: to build or develop relationships between the UK and the rest of the world thereby fostering partnership, mutual understanding and tolerance.
As part of that process of relationship-building there is a need to present a truly accurate, warts-and-all, picture of contemporary UK and a need to address, and hopefully change, any out-of-date perceptions of the UK and its culture. This is a need which art is uniquely well suited to address: artists and their preoccupations often being the first reflectors of change or even the catalysts for it.
We have offices in over 110 countries, offices in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and annually manage or support over 3,000 arts events globally.