Home  /  Stories  / 

$10K Grants Back On The Table With Connections Through Culture

10 Jul 2024

Everything you need to know about how to access funds to take your work to the world through the British Council's latest opportunity.

Earlier this year, New Zealand creatives and arts institutions grabbed a $90,000 slice of a $1.3m funding pie.

Now that window of opportunity opens for a second time.

The British Council has announced that New Zealand will be part of the latest funding round of the Connections Through Culture grant - a coup given the high demand for this pool across so many parts of the globe.

Director of the British Council New Zealand and the Pacific Natasha Beckman enthuses "We are delighted to be able to offer this unique opportunity again - one primary reason being that the open call model gives us an opportunity to develop exciting new relationships both across Aotearoa and the UK.

"This opportunity demonstrates the essence of what we do at the British Council. As a cultural relations organisation, cultural exchange is at the core of our mahi and this ongoing ability to offer support to collaborative artistic projects between Aotearoa and UK exemplifies that kaupapa."

Grants of up to £5,000 ($10,437 NZD at time of publication) are being offered to bring to life projects that build new cultural collaborations between New Zealand and the UK, no matter what stage of development they are in. 

What that entails is up to you - the open call spans across all artforms that can include anything from residencies to exhibitions, performances and showcases, publications, webinars, conferences and more.

Successful launching pad

Screen Shot 2024-07-10 at 12.07.59 PM.png
Our Culture, Our Climate – Voices from Across the Pacific performed during Auckland Writers Festival. Photo: Supplied.

Those who threw their hat in the ring for the last Connections Through Culture funding round have made a strong impression (you can see the last tranche here).

Beckman states "The feedback that we have received so far has been very positive. One of the first projects who have already submitted their final report from the last round was the Hot Poets as part of the Auckland Writers Festival."

Chris Redmond and Liv Torc from Hot Poets UK. Photo: Supplied.

Our Culture, Our Climate – Voices from Across the Pacific was a hit at AWF. Liv Torc, part of UK group Hot Poets explains "Chris and I felt so humbled and appreciative of all the poets - and really felt the importance of their voices to tell the stories of climate impact on their communities, culture and heritage. I really do hope there is more space to hear their poems. 

"Anything we can do to offer support and a platform for poets voices on the impact of climate is incredibly valuable because the human stories really engage people with the very real issues." 

AWF's Kate Meere describes it as "a fabulous project" and "an inspired creative collaboration", adding "We are delighted it went so well and that the impact has been so positive."

Other successful grants include internationally acclaimed NZ/Pacific creatives Yuki Kihara (Darwin Drag with UK's Sainbury Centre in 2025), Helena-Jane Kilkelly (touring the UK with Faovale Imperium in partnership with the National Museum of Scotland) and Rosanna Raymond (a residency with Mimosa House in London).

Te Tūmahanatanga Tawhiti programme tukutuku panel workshop, held at University College London, May 2024. Photo: Supplied. 

The last Connections Through Culture grants also enabled academic endeavours like the London Waka collaboration between University College London and University of Auckland and associations positively enhancing local institutions Te Tuhi (with Delfina Foundation), Ngā Kohinga Whakairo o Hinemihi (with Te Maru o Hinemihi), Tūhura Otago Museum (with Louise Beer) and Equal Voices Arts (with renowned UK disabled artist Kaite O'Reilly).

It's part of a growing stable of collaborative projects that Beckman and Arts Programme Manager Richard Knowles have supported out of the locally-based British Council office.

Beckman details "I have recently returned from a work trip to the UK and was thrilled to learn what a widespread impact the projects were already having. For example, Te reo courses offered on the Te Tūmahanatanga Tawhiti programme were being taken by Professors from the University of Cardiff who we met at Focus Wales and whom we are in communication with regarding a Māori/Welsh language revitalisation project through music which we worked on earlier this year with APRA; as well as a curator from the National Museum of Scotland who is working with Helena-Jane Kilkelly’s Faovale Imperium.

"It is great to see the cross-pollination of projects across these extensive communities."

Tips for applying

Natasha Beckman (right) with Dame Jane Goodall at a recent event supported by British Council, hosted by the Governor General at NZ Parliament. Photo: Supplied.

Beckman's excited about what the next batch of collaborative concepts may entail, especially given the new parameters creatives have to work with.

"One change that we have made from last time is to extend the timeline to allow a longer window for submissions and also the decision-making process," she notes, with applications open from now until 2 September, an extra two weeks on last year's window.

There's no doubt having connections can help - but if you don't have any existing relationships with the UK, that's not a barrier to entry. The British Council has a directory of UK Arts that you can use to seek a potential collaborator.

"I would encourage applicants to consider collaborations from across the motu and not just the main centres. For example, one of the successful recipients from last year was for a project between a Kent-based artist and Tūhura Otago Museum.

"Equally, we would like to see projects outside of London and further into the devolved administrations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

"Projects centred around our key priority areas of climate and diversity are also more likely to be successful."

This is a golden opportunity to take your mahi to the world - or bring other worldviews here to Aotearoa. With networks and connections more important than ever, the chance to go global shouldn't be overlooked.


Written in partnership with British Council New Zealand and the Pacific. The Connections Through Culture Grant programme closes at midnight (GMT), 2 September 2024. Click here for more details.