Announcing the Artists' International Development Fund winners

In partnership with Arts Council England, the British Council helps talented individuals explore work with collaborators outside the UK and kickstart their international careers

10Trina Haldar's workshop with Thespo Theatre in Mumbai, supported by AIDF. Photograph: Thespo Theatre

We're excited to announce the 19 theatre and dance artists who have received awards from the Artists' International Development Fund (AIDF) in the latest round of applications. 

AIDF is an initiative from the British Council and Arts Council England to help artists in England collaborate with other countries and forge international contacts. The fund allows creative practitioners to travel overseas to develop their skills and connect with local organisations, artists and audiences.

One of the aims of the British Council is to help UK creatives to build international careers. It can often be difficult to build links with other countries and AIDF provides support to begin the process of working with partners in another country. We want to increase the amount of international collaborations between artists and creative practitioners in the UK and other countries.

The programme is open to creative producers, curators, editors and artists as well as architects, fashion designers and designers based in England. Applications open four times a year and we are also working with Arts Council Northern Ireland on AIDF Northern Ireland, which runs annually. 

"My ideas and views on sustainability as an artist have changed"

Artists who have previously been supported by AIDF return to England with a different perspective. "I feel I have now been challenged to not make work that sits within my comfort zone but to be bold and experiment more", says Rachel Nanyonjo who collaborated with Tabuflo, Ndere Dance Troupe and Mackerere University in Uganda in 2015. "My ideas and views on sustainability as an artist have changed."

If you're an artist thinking of building your international connections, the deadline to apply for the next round is 13 December 2017. You can apply for up to a maximum of £5,000 plus additional access costs if you're disabled. 


Successful theatre and dance applicants for AIDF Round 16:


Abigail Butcher will travel to Chicago to learn about shared and differing cultural experiences of queerness in collaboration with the co-founder of Anatomical Theatres of Mixed Reality (ATOM-r), Mark Jeffrey at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Joseph Ravens.

Zinzi Minott will travel to Tanzania to showcase her practice and undertake a collaborative exploration with Nafasi Arts Space and the Arts Council of the African Studies Association.

Daniel Smith will travel to Singapore to work on the Huayi 2018 Chinese Arts Festival, forge links with international artists and companies, and to explore opportunities for creative collaboration between Sheffield and Singapore.

Fadi Tavoukdjian will travel to Lebanon to exchange practices with Zoukak Theatre in Beirut and to see how he can incorporate their practice in his own work.

Francesca Hyde will travel to Australia for a four week research project with BigCi, present her work at the BigCi open day and attend a masterclass with circus practitioner Skye Gellman.

Hardeep Singh Sahota will travel to India to learn from acclaimed Bhangra artist Avtar Channa and undertake a one week residency with researcher Tomohiro Kurita in Tokyo to develop a greater understanding of the impact of Bhangra in the far East.

Helen Edwards will spend time meeting artists in Warsaw and also attend the Porous Borders Symposium in Prague — developing work and exploring future collaborations and cultural exchanges between European and UK artists.

Jeremy Goldstein will attend a five week research and development residential with Leeuwarden European Capital of Culture 2018 — building new relationships with Dutch and international partners, resulting in bespoke participatory theatre events in Leeuwarden and Amsterdam.

Johnny Autin will travel to Tanzania to create two new works for Ibuka Dance and MUDA Africa including a four week creation period with professional dancers in the cities of Arusha and Dar.

Julia Grime will establish a network of German theatre contacts to explore how theatre works in Germany. She's especially interested in how German theatre contributes to the debate around current socio-political developments across Europe relating to displaced/marginalised people.

Julia Robert will undertake a four week cultural exchange with Ten Drum Cultural Creative Group in Taiwan, engaging with the local artistic community through conversations and workshops.

Laura Kriefman will spend three weeks in Japan working with local experts (YCAM, Kyoto Experiment, Rhizomatiks, GAKKO) to explore augmented dance and digital arts.

Nancy Hirst will travel to Chile to research and develop plans for an international co-production with the Universidad de Chile Theatre Department.

Rachel Kay will undertake a four week exchange with Tom Leamon from The Beekeepers in Portugal to explore new models of artist development for her international artist development programme A Love Letter to Humanity.

Rudi Cole will complete a four week cultural exchange with Ten Drum Cultural Creative Group in Taiwan. He will research and develop rhythmic understanding and approaches to choreography whilst engaging with the local artistic community through workshops.

Sarah Shead will undertake creative residencies and networking in India, travelling to Darpana Academy (Ahmedabad), Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts (Bangalore), Summet Nagdev Dance Arts (Mumbai) and Gati Dance (Delhi).

Simon Magnus will travel to New York to work with American interactive theatre artist and director Mahayana Landowne. Simon will develop new audiences for his work and develop his practice in new contexts.

Sorcha Mae Stott-Strzala will complete a residency with Bildmuseet in Sweden for six weeks to research the presentation of theatre in contemporary art spaces and to further develop her practice as a cross-cultural performance curator. 

Tamsin Fitzgerald will visit China with BOP Consulting — who will act as partner and host organisation. She wants to build relationships with other Chinese organisations, venues and festivals who might act as commissioners, collaborators and presenters of her work.


Find out more:


> Apply for the next round of AIDF

Read Rachael Nanyonjo’s blog about her AIDF supported trip to Uganda

See a case study about Luke Pell’s AIDF funded research in the USA

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