Applications for this opportunity have now closed.

British Council Visual Arts is offering grants of up to £10,000 to UK and eligible international biennials/festivals to support visual artists’ participation. Applications are welcome from UK biennials/festivals wanting to support contemporary international visual artists, and from international biennials/festivals wanting to support contemporary UK visual artists.

The majority of the funds will support projects engaging with organisations and artists based in countries which are Official Development Assistance (ODA) recipients. A small proportion of funds will be available for projects not engaging with ODA recipient countries (non-ODA). A full list of eligible countries can be found below in Further Resources.

Visual arts organisation which are not biennials/festivals can apply if they partner with a biennial/festival.

We encourage UK and international biennials/festivals to partner on applications – for example, by co-commissioning an artist. If you are considering making a joint application, we encourage you to speak to the Visual Arts team in advance, please email to organise a call.

Organisations can apply for a maximum of £10,000 or for a smaller grant (e.g. £5,000 or £8,000), the value of the grant being applied for must be stated in the application.

We recognise that the core activity or biennial/festival presentation may take place after the end of March 2024, but the final activity and evaluation must take place before March 2025.

We are hosting Q&A sessions on Tuesday 26 September, 2 – 2:45pm (BST) and Monday 2 October, 10 – 10:45am (BST). If you would like to attend, please contact

Please see the link to applyHEREThe deadline for applications is Monday 23 October 2023, 11:59pm (BST).

About the Biennials Connect Grants

British Council Visual Arts has supported biennials through its Global Biennials Fund since 2016. This updated offer, Biennials Connect Grants, builds on the legacy work of the Global Biennials Fund. It has been devised as part of the Visual Arts global programme ‘Biennials Connect’.

The grants will directly benefit artists through biennial partners by facilitating opportunities for travel, the production of new work, networking, skills building and showcasing. The programme promotes cross-cultural exchange and collaboration by providing opportunities for artists and biennials to connect, collaborate and build meaningful partnerships across the globe.

This programme will facilitate long-term, sustainable partnerships between curators and biennials based in the UK and across the globe.

You can read more about previous recipients of Biennials Connect grants here.

Key Dates

  • Open call for applications - Monday 11 September 2023
  • Application deadline - Monday 23 October 2023, 11:59pm (BST)
  • Shortlisting decisions to be communicated to all applicants - week commencing Monday 6 November 2023
  • Core activity or biennial/festival presentation to take place between - December 2023 and February 2025 
  • Evaluation deadline - March 2025


If you need this information in any other format or if you need to make your application in another format, please email 


Application Contents 

  • Who can apply? 
  • Eligibility requirements  
  • Submitting your application
  • Selection process 
  • Further resources 
  • About the British Council 

Who can apply? 

  • This grant is for biennial organisations to specifically support travel, artwork production, networking, professional development and skills building activities, or public programme for artists such as residencies and events as well as access requirements.
  • The lead applicant must be a biennial/festival based in the UK or internationally, or art organisations partnering with a biennial/festival, not individual artists.
  • Activity may take place online and/or in person.
  • If face-to-face activity is planned, you must follow latest guidance provided by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office for the relevant country/countries:
  • We are particularly interested in applications by biennial organisations supporting artists whose practice is collaborative, cross-cultural or community based.

Eligibility requirements 

Applications must be made by biennial/festival organisations that: 

  • Are UK biennials/festivals supporting international visual artists’ participation, international biennials/festivals supporting visual artists’ participation from the UK or other visual arts organisations collaborating with a biennial/festival.
  • Are based in eligible countries (please see Further Resources below for the full list of eligible countries).
  • Are supporting artists over the age of 18 who can travel internationally on valid passports (organisations must arrange travel, transport, accommodations and visas themselves).
  • Are supporting artists you have either not previously worked with or supporting new projects with artists you have worked with before.
  • Share the British Council’s commitment to EDI and will embed best EDI practices into your activity.
  • Share the British Council’s commitment to paying artists fairly and will ensure artists are fairly compensated for their participation.
  • The core activity or biennial/festival presentation may take place after the end of March 2024, but the final activity and evaluation must take place before March 2025.
  • Grant applications can be made for projects involving multiple artists, but only one application per biennial organisation can be submitted.
  • Are primarily visual art biennials / festivals. Multi-arts biennials / festivals can apply but they must demonstrate a focus on visual arts.

Submitting your application

Please apply HERE

To apply, you must answer the following questions (max 350 words for each):

  1. Please outline the planned activity, specifying how it will be delivered (both online and/or in person).
  2. Please outline how you envision the activity will promote cross-cultural exchange and develop long term collaboration/partnerships.
  3. Please explain how this grant will benefit your organisation.
  4. Please explain how this grant will benefit the artist).
  5. Equality, diversity and inclusion runs through our work around the world. Our goal is to develop inclusive programmes and projects that bring together people with different experiences and backgrounds. We hope this will make everyone's experiences richer, and ultimately lead to more inclusive societies. Please explain how your project aligns with our EDI goals. You can find details of our EDI strategy and policy listed below in Further Resources.

And you must provide the following:

  • A statement about the biennial organisation, planned programme and estimated audience engagement online and in person (Max 500 words).
  • A statement about the artist(s), links to examples of their work and confirmation of their participation (Max 500 words).
  • A detailed budget outlining how the requested grant amount will be spent. State the value being applied for. Please include any support you will receive from other funders for this activity, including in kind support.
  • A detailed schedule outlining how the project will be delivered.
  • Completed equality and diversity monitoring form, although answers will not be used to inform any decision regarding your application.

Selection process  

The deadline for applications is Monday 23 October 2023, 11:59pm (BST).

No assessment will be made of the writing style. Applications will be assessed against answers to the application questions and eligibility requirements. They will be reviewed by a panel comprised of British Council Arts staff.

Successful applicants will be notified the week commencing Monday 6 November 2023. We regret that due to the number of applications received, we will not be able to provide feedback for unsuccessful applicants. However, all applicants will be contacted even if they have not been selected.

Further resources 

  • Access the full list of eligible countries here.
  • Read the British Council’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Policy here. 
  • Successful applicants are required to evaluate and report on activity to the British Council. You can access the British Council Visual Arts Evaluation Framework for grant recipients here.