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 which supports organisations and individuals to develop skills, build networks and create opportunities.
The British Council Cultural Skills initiatives span various creative disciplines including museums, performing arts, visual arts, film, cultural heritage and festivals. Activities range from practice-based visits, workshops, seminars, master-classes and continued professional development. This latest British Council programme is designed specifically for Hong Kong performing arts sector managers, and will take place online, with provisional dates from the week of 24 May to 14 June 2021. Activities will be delivered to participants in Hong Kong via an online platform, through a combination of workshops, seminars and recorded UK performing arts content. 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 performing arts contacts and organisations; these have been 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 online sessions, from which future cultural relations and collaborations between the UK and Hong Kong will be strengthened.
This May-June 2021 programme for Hong Kong performing arts managers will be themed around children’s theatre. This theme has been chosen in recognition of a desire in Hong Kong to enhance accessibility to the performing arts for young people, to diversify the audience base, and to support innovation and development of both programming and venue facilities for younger audiences.
Within this overarching theme, the following areas of interest have also been identified. The programme will be split into individual day sessions based on these three areas. Some, but not all, of the questions that may be addressed in each session are also listed:
Day 1 (26 May): Venues and facilities
How can venues be built or facilities adapted to suit young audiences and programmes?
What experience do UK practitioners have of presenting and adapting their children’s programmes in the diverse range of theatre types in the UK and abroad?
What restrictions or innovations have UK practitioners encountered in devising their programmes in venues that are very old or limited in their provisions?
Day 2 (2 June): Festivals
How do children’s theatre festivals in the UK collaborate with non-arts partners in their community to develop content for children?
How does cross-sector collaboration enable festivals to reach audiences in the local community? For example, what role can education institutions like schools and libraries play? Or is there also room for collaboration with health or social care professionals to ensure that festivals take into account the well-being of young audiences/programme participants?
Day 3 (9 June): Programmes
What role can technology play in creating innovative programmes that engage children and their care-givers?
How have new or existing online platforms allowed UK children’s theatres to reach their audiences at a time when Covid-19 has forced the closure of auditoriums? How can programmes be created specifically for these online platforms, rather than just filmed recordings of past performances?
What approach can theatre makers take to produce programmes that are not just for children, but appeal to a wide audience of both adults and children?
Day 4 (16 June): Evaluation
De-brief and evaluation session, summarising the previous three weeks of the programme and evaluating outcomes
Programme Fee and delivery
The programme fee for each participant is GBP1,000; including:
- Professional fees for UK speakers and workshop leaders, covering in-depth preparation, production, test-runs and final delivery of material
- Consultancy with UK digital professionals on delivery of the course online
- British Council expertise and network utilisation (UK and Hong Kong) for preparation, production and delivery of the programme
- Research into the UK sector including local issues and expertise, and alignment with the expectations of the training recipients
- Legal fee for contracting with UK practitioners
- Performance viewing materials, including licensing fees/rights payments for video and performance screenings
- Venue hire (both in Hong Kong and for counterparts in the UK, where applicable)
- •Office technology infrastructure, and IT support, ensuring connectivity for all sessions
- Online software for workshops and meetings between UK partners and Hong Kong
- Workshop materials
- Computer hardware (e.g. laptops) for participants
- Travel to and from the training venue at the British Council offices in Admiralty
Programme participants will be expected to travel to the British Council offices at 3 Supreme Court Road, Admiralty for each day of the programme. Programme participants must also provide their own laptop, with the ability to connect wirelessly to the internet.
Nb. Training at British Council offices will be subject to Covid-19 gathering restrictions; if it is not possible to deliver training in the building then participants will be asked to join the programme remotely.
Applicants should have spent at least 10 years working in the Hong Kong arts and cultural field, including proven experience in a senior position(s), and preferably with knowledge and experience in the performing arts sector or a closely related field;
Applicants must have an excellent command of spoken and written English.
Applications will be received and assessed by the British Council. The key criteria for consideration in the assessment of suitability for this programme will be as follows:
- Applicant’s work experience and qualifications;
- Applicant’s knowledge and understanding of the local performing arts sector;
- Potential for the programme to benefit the applicant’s professional development.
Applicants are required to complete the PDF application form (downloadable from the link at the bottom of the page), which must include the contact details of one referee with in-depth knowledge of the applicant’s work performance. The application form should take approximately 40 minutes to complete.
Please submit the application form via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 18:00 on Friday 5 March 2021. The British Council will not be able to accord any extensions beyond this deadline.
Please be assured that all submitted applications will be treated in the strictest confidence. All applicants will be informed of the outcome by Wednesday 10 March.
If you have any queries, please contact Timothy Wong email@example.com