Man on step ladder painting scenic picture

£415,000 international funding awarded to organisations in the North

Posted on 26 July 2016

Four organisations across the North are benefitting from the Arts Council’s £18 million international programme.

Black and white photo of audience watching band
Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival © Richard Mullany

The programme enables more UK artists and cultural organisations to collaborate with artists and partners across the world as well as to showcase and export their own work in new markets.

International relations have never been more important. With Arts Council support the successful applicants in these schemes will show that culture has a vital part to play in the contemporary world. Nicholas Baumfield, Senior Manager, Arts Council England

Two organisations in the North have been awarded funding through our International Showcasing programme:

Manchester-based Comma Press has been awarded £56,167 to lead the Northern Fiction Alliance, which includes two other National Portfolio publishers (And Other Stories and Peepal Tree Press) and emerging indies such as Dead Ink Books, to four international book fairs in Frankfurt, New York, Beijing, and Buenos Aires. They will showcase and sell the work of several exciting and diverse authors to help build the cultural identity of strong British writing as well as British publishing based in the North.

Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival will receive £160,000 to produce an international showcase of British contemporary, new and experimental music across the closing weekends of both the 2016 and 2017 festivals. Twenty international delegates will be invited to attend the programme of concerts by leading artists and composers, with a view to brokering partnerships and enabling the creation of new works.

Book cover
Cover of ‘The Stone Thrower’ by Adam Marek © David Eckersall

Funding through our Reimagine India programme has also been awarded to two organisations in the North:

Manchester City Galleries will receive £100,000 to develop a series of new commissions, exhibitions and performances by mid-career Indian artists in partnership with Indian arts organisations. The commissions will be shown across Manchester Art Gallery, the Whitworth and Manchester Museum as part of UK-India Year of Culture. The project will connect to Manchester City Galleries’ large South Asian diaspora audiences and be complemented by a separate programme of work with Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan artists.

The AV Festival based in Newcastle has been awarded £98,823 to work with partners such as Project 88 and the Clark House Initiative in Mumbai to develop ambitious new works by three major contemporary artists working in India today. Work by Raqs Media Collective, Pallavi Paul and Prabhakar Pachpute will be produced and developed at locations across India in response to George Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier and his legacy in India and will be presented as major solo exhibitions at the next edition of AV Festival in Newcastle and Northumberland.

Man in elaborate costume looking straight to camera
MIF 2009: Marina Abramović Presents, Nikhil Chopra © Joel Chester Fildes

Nicholas Baumfield, Senior Manager for Arts Council England in the North said:

“This is great news for the arts in the North. The development of international partnerships means audiences in this country and overseas get the chance to experience the best art from all over the world. Artists will be commissioned to make work in their own countries for exhibition here and at home. These projects will be the beginning of long-term relationships."

Indian women talking
Pallavi Paul, Long Hair, Short Ideas, 2014. Courtesy the artist and Project 88, Mumbai

The awards are accompanied by an evaluation of the Arts Council and British Council’s Artists’ International Development Fund. It shows how this fund helps individual artists develop their careers, build networks and access markets internationally. You can read the evaluation here.