Culturally sustainable development brings together economic, social, and environmental dimensions and underscores the importance of growth, equity, and the value of culture. Recognising culture's role as a facilitator and agent of change for sustainable development, the British Council announces the opening of applications for the 2024 Circular Culture Programme selection process. 

Circular Culture is an initiative by the British Council developed in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela. It provides financial and training resources to promote artistic exchange between Latin American, Caribbean (LATAC) countries, and the United Kingdom, strengthening cultural festival offerings and promoting the development of a sustainable cultural sector. Additionally, Circular Culture is committed to professionalising the LATAC cultural sector and offers a training scheme for managers with UK experts to integrate sustainable development skills into their cultural management practices. 

The Circular Culture Grant offers a total fund of £350,000 (GBP) and is aimed at cultural and artistic festivals - both in-person and digital - taking place in the aforementioned countries. Festivals interested in collaborations, artistic exhibitions, or training activities with British professionals, as well as fostering changes in attitudes, narratives, and practices related to sustainable culture, are encouraged to apply. 

The programme reinforces our commitment to promoting festivals, recognising their importance in the dynamics of cities and the promotion of contemporary artistic creation and the expansion of sustainable practices, always championing: 

  • The exchange between artists, creators and local managers 
  • Public access to international artists/creators/researchers/scientists 
  • Opportunities to provide technical skills for sustainable development through training 
  • The development of knowledge networks 
  • Global cultural exchange

Did you miss our Q&A? Watch it here:

Requirements to be a beneficiary of the Circular Culture funds

  1. The proposal must demonstrate a commitment to implementing sustainable practices that reduce the festival's environmental impact. 
  2. A partnership with a United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales) counterpart is mandatory, and a letter of intent to collaborate from them should be included in the application. It is the responsibility of the festival applicant to establish contact and reach an agreement with the British partner. The British Council does not maintain a central artist directory, and festivals have the freedom to approach relevant artists or organisations. However, here you can find tips on how to find this partner. 
  3. The British partner should actively contribute to the festival activities, such as performances, talks, workshops, etc. The involvement will depend on the nature of the intended activity within the festival. 
  4. The proposed projects can be multidisciplinary, encompassing at least one of the disciplines mentioned in the call (visual arts, film, dance, architecture, design, fashion, literature, music, or theatre). 
  5. Only individuals who can issue tax receipts and whose main activity is related to the cultural area of the main product presented in the proposal may participate in this call. Please  review the document with specific considerations for your country.

What’s new? Our categories now consider the audience size!

One of the main objectives of the programme is to train festival managers in sustainable practices.  This year, we're taking a fresh approach to ensure a more equitable distribution of funds by focusing on festival reach. Our categories now consider the audience size, whether it's face-to-face, online, or a mix of both.  

Group 1 (Categories A to F) encompasses festivals expecting up to 10,000 attendees and applying for up to £12,000 

Festival proposals within this group should include an artistic collaboration with the UK and a commitment to participate in the training and mentoring activities provided by the programme. While demonstrating initiatives to improve sustainable practices is desirable for festivals seeking funds in this category, there is no specific requirement to allocate a certain percentage of received funds to such activities. These can be proposals that can be worked on with Circular Culture mentors to implement in the future. 

Group 2 (Categories G and H) caters to festivals expecting over 10,000 attendees and applying for £15,000 to £20,000 

Proposals within this group must incorporate an artistic collaboration with the United Kingdom and a commitment to engage in the training and mentoring activities offered through the programme. Additionally, festivals in this category are required to allocate 20% of their funds towards sustainable operations, like: transport, food, water, energy, waste management, local biodiversity, air quality, or responsible marketing initiatives. 

Activities 2024/25 Description
Start date of the call April 22, 2024
Closing date of the call May 31, 2024
Announcement of selected festivals June 20, 2024
Fund transfer Up to 90 days after the announcement of selected festivals