Five dancers wearing colourful clothing performing in a field with crowd watching
National Dance Company Wales perform Rygbi: Annwyl i Mi / Dear to me by Fearghus Ó Conchúir, National Eisteddfod 2019. Courtesy of National Dance Company Wales    ©

Iolo Penri

International showcasing action research programme

Our latest research into the international showcasing of Welsh culture has developed several recommendations.

In 2018, British Council Wales commissioned the International showcasing strategy for the arts of Wales: research report. It produced recommendations for the Welsh arts sector and Welsh Government to consider and develop. 

Two of the recommendations were to: 

1. Explore existing international platforms and events in which the Welsh sector is interested. 

2. Build an international delegate programme around a major showcasing event in Wales.

In March 2019, we began an interactive inquiry process looking at how Wales could best use its arts and cultural assets to promote Wales and its cultural and creative industries. This action research directly supported these two recommendations. We worked with external consultant Ruth Garnault and individuals across the Welsh arts sector to co-create a programme of visits to international events and to evaluate and present the results.

The International Showcasing Action Research explores the effectiveness of a Welsh presence at different international events by supporting Welsh practitioners to attend and then reflect on the value of the experience. We believe that by investing in international showcasing, Wales will build an enhanced reputation and international networks, fostering long term, mutual partnerships with specific countries, and that collaborative work will be produced between Wales and the world. 

Our showcasing research has produced these recommendations

The research has produced several recommendations for increasing the effectiveness of attending showcases in order to raise Wales’ international profile. 

These include:

  • Ensuring adequate preparation is undertaken by delegates.
  • Establishing protocols for what is expected of delegates in return for financial support.
  • Working with other bodies to provide mentoring, training and skills development.
  • Keeping the choice of showcasing event under review.
  • Sending the same people more than once.
  • Sending more than one person and rigorously interrogating reasons for sending more than three.
  • Increasing membership of worldwide and EU networks by Welsh companies and individuals.

Year two - working to develop digital showcasing networks between Wales and Sub Saharan Africa

This initial research was undertaken pre Covid-19 so plans for the next phase of work will take restrictions into account. It will focus on the digital initiatives and responses of the arts and creative industries sector to the pandemic, as well as mapping new opportunities and new innovations in ways of sharing and showcasing artistic work and practise. 

We will work with the Sub Saharan Africa region to research opportunities, and we will enable artists to connect online, instead of travelling to meet up. We will also support artists and cultural organisations to attend networking events, festivals and showcases online. Event attendees will reflect and report on their experience of online events and which of the many available digital tools were most valuable during the action research.

An open call in spring 2021 will invite the Welsh arts sector to apply for funding to collaborate digitally with their Sub Saharan Africa counterparts. 

Read the report summary below:

  • International showcasing action research programme_report summary (Adobe PDF 2MB)