The UK is recognised across the globe as a leader in skills, expertise and policy within the arts and creative industries. In collaboration with a list of selected leading arts and cultural organisations and institutions in the UK, the British Council has initiated a Cultural Skills programme designed specifically for Hong Kong arts organisations and professionals to develop skills and leadership, build networks and create opportunities.
Activities will be delivered in the UK in partnership with leading UK arts institutions and will be composed of a mix of practice-based visits, workshops, seminars, master-classes and open forums for creative exchange.
The provisional dates for the programme are Monday 19 February to Saturday 24 February 2024 (dates not including travel). The programme will be led by a British Council member of staff from Hong Kong.
Programme and theme
Through the British Council’s contact network and knowledge of the UK performing arts sector, participants will gain access to specially tailored sessions with leading UK arts contacts and organisations; these will be designed specifically to address subjects directly relevant to the work of the delegates in Hong Kong.
The programme will provide an interactive environment for sharing practice, exploring common challenges and opportunities, and building strategic networks and connections through visits and meetings, from which future cultural relations and collaborations between the UK and Hong Kong will be strengthened.
This February 2024 programme for Hong Kong arts professionals will be themed around arts and well-being; there will be a core focus around the performing arts but the multi-disciplinary nature of this area means that the programme will also be suitable for visual arts professionals. As the world recovers from Covid-19 there is a heightened awareness of the importance of both physical and mental well-being and this programme will examine how arts activities can be used to enhance well-being and foster new approaches
- For the purpose of this delegation programme, ‘arts and well-being’ can be defined as any arts or cultural activities relating, but not limited to, the following areas:
- Well-being as a concept with physical, mental and social dimensions, with emphasis on developmental growth, quality of life, social bonding and human connection
- Mental and/or physical health
- Aging, youth and/or intergenerational work
- Inclusion and reaching audience groups for whom well-being might be a relevant issue, but where arts engagement opportunities are not so readily available, e.g. people with disabilities, older people, young people from disadvantaged backgrounds
- Research conducted by the British Council Hong Kong has found that there is a strong belief in the positive value of arts and well-being activity and an eagerness to further explore this practise in Hong Kong, but existing practices vary in both perspectives and quality and there is more theoretical and practical development required in understanding how arts and well-being programmes might work or fail.
- So while there has been acknowledgment in Hong Kong of the role that the arts and creative activities can play in supporting individual health and well-being, this role has not been concisely defined nor strongly recognised at a mainstream level. The UK is recognised as a place where this type of work is well-established and so this delegation visit will aim to exchange best practise and explore mutually beneficial opportunities to collaborate in the future