Grant Call for Creative Collaborations

We are initiating Creative Collaborations Grants to support collaborations between UK creatives and arts and culture institutions in Kazakhstan.

The grant is designed to support artists and arts institutions based in Kazakhstan to make and develop creative and artistic partnerships with UK peers and to encourage new projects and innovation.

Successful applicants will receive up to £10,000 to develop creative collaborations and encourage innovative and artistic productions among artists and arts and culture organisations in Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom.

The aims of the grant call are to:

  • encourage collaborations between artists and producers in Kazakhstan and the UK by connecting them to each other to create exciting projects
  • support showcasing of the most exciting and relevant artistic ideas and voices today, creating a safe space for experimentation and dialogue between artists and audiences
  • foster greater appreciation and awareness of UK arts in Kazakhstan and vice versa and help to develop local audience taste for diverse, experimental, multidisciplinary and experimental artistic work
  • support creative professionals and organisations in Kazakhstan to work internationally, while UK practitioners and organisations develop a greater awareness of practice and opportunities in Kazakhstan.

Applicants are encouraged to develop projects that address contemporary themes including climate change and other global challenges around diversity and inclusion.

We are looking for new and innovative projects – this includes projects that demonstrate new forms or content; that work with new partners or that approach audiences in a new way.

Applicants can submit their proposals for projects in the fields of contemporary art, theatre, cinema, music, literature, etc., which can take the form of – but are not restricted to – performances, residencies, exhibitions, festivals, showcases, screening programmes, panel discussions and talks, and workshops.

Projects can be delivered face-to-face, online or in hybrid form. We welcome projects incorporating digital innovation. Creative technology (including games and immersive, mixed, augmented and virtual reality projects); cross-art form and multi-disciplinary projects (e.g. art + science, art + technology).

Application criteria

The grants are open to arts and culture organisations in Kazakhstan. An ‘organisation’ is defined as a legally registered entity or individual entrepreneur with a registered bank account in Kazakhstan, and can include collectives, consortia, community, charity, private and public.

  • The application must showcase an activity with UK artistic content. This may be part of a programme or event featuring artistic content from Kazakhstan, from any genre.
  • Applicants who don’t currently have connections with the UK artists should indicate in advance that they require the British Council’s recommendations for UK artists in the application form.
  • The proposed project/event should take place by 31 March 2024.
  • Each applicant can submit one proposal only.
  • Applicants can request a grant of up to £10,000 (including VAT where applicable). However, applicants may not receive the full funding amount applied for.
  • Grantees should get prior approval from the British Council for the choice of airline and hotels for the UK participants.
  • Successful applicants will be asked to submit a Summary Report after the delivery of the project covering budget, audience, press coverage and visuals. The template will be shared during the contract phase.
  • Payments will be made in two (2) instalments via bank transfer to the applicant’s bank account: 75 per cent to be paid within 30 days upon contract signing and 25 per cent to be paid upon submission of the Summary Report.
  • It is expected that the grant will act as co-funding, where the grant participant will cover between 25 per cent to 50 per cent of the whole budget from other sources (including cash and/or in-kind contributions).
  • A budget plan should be provided which shows a full cost breakdown and sources of anticipated income or project support including in-kind contributions.
  • The event should take place in an accessible space or on a digital platform.
  • The British Council should be mentioned in all communication materials and spaces as a project ‘supporter’. The British Council’s approval must be obtained for all written and visual materials to be used in external communication. Grantees will be expected to market the activity effectively and will be asked to share a comprehensive marketing plan demonstrating how they plan to attract and measure good audience size for the event(s).

The marketing plan will cover the following:

Social Media Promotion: Grantees should actively promote their collaborations and artistic productions on social media platforms. They are required to tag the British Council’s official social media accounts to create visibility and reach a wider audience.

Content Creation: Grantees will be expected to produce engaging and high-quality content, such as videos, blog posts, articles and/or interviews, highlighting the collaboration process, behind-the-scenes insights and the impact of the project. Where possible, they should feature British Council representatives and/or artists from the UK, emphasising their involvement and contributions.

Media Outreach: Grantees will need to proactively engage with local and national media outlets to secure coverage of their collaborative projects. Where relevant, they should include quotes from or interviews with the British Council representatives, highlighting the British Council’s role in fostering artistic collaborations between Kazakhstan and the UK.

Events and Exhibitions: If there are going to be any public events, exhibitions or performances to showcase the outcomes of the collaborations, the events should include appropriate signage, banners and displays that prominently feature the British Council’s branding and highlight its support for the project.

Case Studies and Success Stories: Grantees will prepare case studies and success stories highlighting the positive impact of the collaboration and the support received from the British Council. These stories can be shared through various channels, such as websites, newsletters and other publications to demonstrate the long-term value of the partnership.

Collaboration Documentation: Grantees will document the collaboration process through photos, videos and/or a project diary. This documentation may later be shared on the British Council’s website and/or social media platforms, allowing audiences to witness the progress and outcomes of the collaborative projects.

Cross-promotion and Partnerships: Grantees will be encouraged to collaborate with other arts organisations, artists and/or cultural institutions in Kazakhstan and/or the UK to maximise visibility and impact. These cross-promotion initiatives will highlight the British Council’s involvement and contributions to fostering international artistic collaborations.

Impact Measurement and Reporting: Grantees are required to provide periodic reports on the progress, achievements and impact of the projects. This data may be used by the British Council to showcase the overall impact of their grant programmes in Kazakhstan and demonstrate the effectiveness of their support. In addition to this, Grantees are obliged to immediately report any concern or incident to the British Council during the course of the project and failure to do so may result in termination of the contract.

  • The following are not eligible for this grant scheme: a. Invitations to conferences or other non-performance events, unless they are part of a broader programme including live music performance, supported through this grant. b. Invitations to attend educational activities (e.g. courses, research, PhD or any other degree). c. Support for language learning.
  • The British Council is not responsible for organising participant invitations or visas or any other administrative matters related to the event/project.
  • Organisations applying for grants must be registered in Kazakhstan and act as legal entities or individual entrepreneurs.
  • The application must be submitted in English.

Selection criteria

Priority will be given to the projects that meet the above criteria and demonstrate the following:

  1. A strong project proposal that has been clearly researched, showing how this activity is beneficial to Kazakhstan creatives and the UK arts sector.
  2. The application demonstrates what difference the project/event will make to the arts sector in Kazakhstan.
  3. A proven track record in delivering high-quality projects/events.
  4. Additional sources of funding are identified (including in-kind support).
  5. Demonstrable evidence of interest from UK partners.
  6. If no UK partners have engaged in the project so far, demonstrate how they can be involved.
  7. Significant audience reach (including digital components such as recordings and broadcasts, where the artistic activity (e.g. performance or concert) is likely to be shared with a wider audience.
  8. A clear vision of how the grantee can implement an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and Safeguarding approach for the project.
  9. The grantee acknowledges the principles of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and the value of safe spaces for dialogue.

If your application is eligible, points will be awarded according to the table below:

  Points (out of 100)
Quality of the proposal and evidence that the requirements of the call are met 25
Applicant’s track record 10
Strength of the UK collaboration 25
Audience outreach and impact 20
Shared values of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion 10
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Safeguarding approach in organising project 10

Application process

To submit your application for the grant programme, complete the online form by Sunday 8 October (23.59 Astana time).

The British Council welcomes applicants who are older than 18 years old and are citizens of Kazakhstan who reside in country.

We particularly welcome and encourage applications from candidates with diverse experiences, different nationalities and social/cultural backgrounds to ensure we have a balanced cohort of participants. For more information please read our Equality Global Policy Statement and Anti-racism Action Plan.

Applications will be assessed by an evaluation panel formed of representatives from the British Council.

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted to schedule an interview (see the project timeline below).

Project timeline

4 September – 8 October 2023 Application phase
9–16 October 2023 Selection process
16–20 October 2023

Interviews with shortlisted participants

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted to schedule an interview.

If you don’t receive an email from us by 20 October at the latest, your application hasn’t been successful.

23 October 2023

Announcement of successful applications

Shortlisted participants: Please check your emails on this date.

November 2023 Contracting process
December 2023 – 31 March 2024 Project delivery