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British Council

British Council Wales is planning to commission research into Showcasing in Wales to help inform Wales’ overall international strategy 

Applications now closed

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.

Objectives

• conduct a literature review of research regarding International showcasing carried out by other organisations in Wales (e.g. ACW, WAI, Welsh Gov) and beyond (Thundering Hooves 2.0, Hull UK City of Culture)

• consult widely with the Welsh sector around what showcasing platforms and opportunities they would find most valuable in terms of increasing their level of international engagement and exposure  

• map the international landscape; what opportunities and models are there  for Wales? What has recently been done by the sector internationally. This could take in both Wales based platforms for incoming international delegates, international platforms (such as WOMEX, BDE) and outward delegations to external showcases. 

• consult with the organisers of successful showcase platforms (to be identified by British Council, the Arts sector in Wales and other stakeholders) to understand models of best practice

• provide a suite of recommendations for a sector led, industry focused Welsh showcasing strategy, aimed at international exposure 

• provide topline feasibility studies – including financial modelling 

• identify potential ROI

Methodologies

• The research will ideally be carried out by a research capable creative or academic institution/Individual which has significant cross-sector understanding, and which understands the value of international showcasing. 

• The research will be primarily qualitative and will need to represent the wider Welsh arts sector, providing unbiased recommendations. 

• The work will be mainly desk based research and not require travel This research will feed into recommendations by the researcher as to future showcasing strategy options for Wales.

Audience

The research will be conducted and shared widely with the sector, Government and local Government to help inform future showcasing strategy. 

We are also planning to share this brief with the National Assembly Wales International Cross Party Group on 20 March 2018 who have indicated an interest in this area.

Timeline

This is to be discussed with the successful applicant but we would anticipate the research will be commissioned and completed within the next two to three months.

Proposals

Deadline for applications is 11 March 2018, 12am and we will let successful candidates know on Monday, 12 March. We ask that whichever candidate is successful is ready to quickly provide payment information. 

To apply for this research opportunity please provide; 

• a topline structural outline of the final report

• research design/methodological approach proposal, including key milestones 

• a short (300 words max) application detailing any relevant experience and your thoughts on the topic

Contact: rosa.bickerton@britishcouncil.org