British Council Festival Connections
An annual programme of expertise, knowledge, and networking between India and UK.
British Council launched Festivals for the Future in 2019, a three-year arts project focused on supporting the long-term development, economic empowerment, and systemic change of India’s emerging festivals sector. Festival Connections was one of the two primary strands of the programme with the other being Festivals Academy.
Festival Connections is a series of thematic hub events linked to Festivals for the Future and the Festivals Academy, across British Council areas in India.
From August 2019 to March 2020, the Art X Company ran a series of 8 events exploring diverse aspects of festival management. The sessions ranged from audience development strategies to diversity and inclusivity in cultural festivals. One particular series which looked into leadership and governance in the festival sector was reformatted into webinars due to the Coronavirus outbreak in the country.
The programme was able to engage on ground with festival professionals of four different cities - Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata - through its creative programming strategies. Through a pivot to digital platforms, the webinars were attended by professionals across the globe. Festival managers, consultants, project coordinators, festival directors and a whole lot of professionals from a wide ranging age group participated in the events.
Between April and October 2020, the series continues as webinars, and explores topics from financial health management, to digital formats, gig workers in the cultural festivals universe, fundraising, and health and safety for festivals.