Towards Sustainable International Cultural Collaboration

Published: 18 Nov 2021

Govan Hill Baths exterior by Michal Klajban

Image: Govan Hill Baths exterior by Michal Klajban

Shetland Arts, Glasgow’s Govanhill Baths and Hawick’s Alchemy Film & Arts are all set to embark on brand new international cultural projects.

The British Council announced seven projects will be delivered through the Cultural Bridge Pilot Programme, which aims to promote more sustainable approaches to to international exchange and collaboration opportunities for the cultural sector.

With investment from The National Lottery through Creative Scotland, in partnership with British CouncilFonds Soziokultur, Arts Council EnglandArts Council Northern Ireland,  Wales Arts International and Goethe Institute, the programme will build new relationships to support intercultural exchange and dialogue in the field of participative arts and culture between Scotland, Germany and the rest of the UK.

The projects are receiving up to £20,000 to work in partnership with at least one participating German organisation and with one partner from Scotland, Northern Ireland, England, Wales. The projects kick off in November 2021 to share learning, exchange expertise and develop new approaches to socially engaged practice.

The programme is supporting the following Scottish partnerships:

  • Northsea Neighbours: Shetland Arts, Shetland Islands + Das Letzte Kleinod, Schiffdorf, Niedersachsen
  • Ensemble Upvention: Govanhill Baths, Glasgow + S27, Berlin
  • Bridgit - Building Better Bridges: Alchemy Film & Arts, Hawick + Fine Arts Institute Leipzig (FAIL), Leipzig + Folkestone Fringe, Kent

Creative Scotland’s CEO, Iain Munro said: “International collaboration and exchange is vital for new ideas and new connections between nations to flourish. From Shetland to Glasgow and the Scottish Borders, Cultural Bridge creates a unique opportunity for local communities in Scotland to take part in, enjoy and be inspired by a range of creative projects developed collaboratively between Germany and Scotland.  Similarly, Scotland’s musicians and artists have always had strong ties with German audiences and this initiative is key to strengthening those relationships, and further extending our shared creative voice.”

Mechthild Eickhoff, Managing Director Fonds Soziokultur said: ‘The Cultural Bridge pilot programme is an important step in strengthening cross-border collaboration with Germany. With support from the seven lead partner organisations the participating exemplary local cultural institutions have discovered valuable common ground to forge new connections through this pilot. The programme and each of the new partnerships are based on the strong belief that cultural democracy in our societies is needed more than ever. Shared learning and development of new approaches to socially engaged arts practice through the Cultural Bridge is likely to be of benefit to us all.’

Today’s announcement represents one of a series of collaborations between the 4 UK nations arts councils and agencies, including the £100,000 Four Nations Fund designed to encourage innovative models of international collaboration, and the Arts Infopoint UK initiative offering advice on practical issues relating to artist mobility led by Wales Arts International.

Notes to Editors

Culture Bridge compliments activity being undertaken across Scotland supported through the Culture Collective, which focuses on community engaged creative activity, supporting participatory approaches and projects where creative practitioners and communities work collaboratively.

The National Lottery has raised more than £41 billion for more than 565,000 good causes across the UK since 1994. Thanks to National Lottery players, up to £600 million has been made available to support people, projects and communities throughout the UK during the Coronavirus crisis.