British Council Wales is planning to commission research into Showcasing in Wales to help inform Wales’ overall international strategy
Our main intention is to work with and consult with the arts sector in Wales. We wish to offer support to this area.
We will share this brief with the National Assembly Wales International Cross Party Group on 20 March 2018. We will also invite members of the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee who indicated an interest in this area following the British Council Wales evidence session to their inquiry into Selling Wales to the World.
Research Project: International Showcasing in Wales
Purpose of the research
Showcasing is a wide field, with various potential approaches and we appreciate that any successful international platform or strategy needs to be sector led in order to be successful.
Wales has hosted a number of major showcases such as the British Dance Edition and WOMEX, which have exposed Welsh artists to international industry and prompted significant economic return on investment.
Unlike many small countries and regions/cities, Wales does not yet benefit from hosting its own major annual or biennial international culture platform, although there are many excellent festivals and showcasing platforms that attract international attendance that could be developed with wider sector buy-in.
Edinburgh’s festivals are a powerful international cultural brand for Scotland and the UK. Forging international partnerships gives Scotland a voice on the world stage and its cultural reputation supports its global positioning. In 2011, it was estimated that festivals generated £261m of additional expenditure in the Scottish economy - a substantial return on £9m of public investment (in 2014/15). In addition to economic value, this type of regular international event can become a cornerstone of a country / region / city’s cultural offering, raising awareness and profile internationally and the opportunity to build on this.
While the festival market is becoming more competitive, we suggest that this research should enable us to identify different models that might support the development and exposure of Welsh artists and arts organisations to international industry. This could be an annual or biennial international showcasing event in Wales. Alternatively it could be the development of a roster of Welsh artists and performers that are ready to perform at other showcases such as TPAM, ISPA, Shanghai Performing Arts Festival, Dublin Theatre festival, SXSW etc.
The purpose of this work is threefold:
• to consolidate existing showcasing research
• map the current landscape inside Wales and best practice elsewhere
• provide recommendations based on sector consultation both inside and outside of Wales as to what is the best approach to sector led industry focused showcasing in Wales
It is our ambition to provide research, which is inclusive of the whole sector and that is able to look beyond art form, identifying the best opportunities for Wales and providing evidence based recommendations as a starting point for conversations.