Strengthening intercultural understanding through the arts – advocating creative changemakers across the world…
What we do
Visiting Arts fosters understanding and compassion between cultures through international artistic exchange and opens doors to opportunities for artists and creative businesses around the world. Our three main strands of work involve information and knowledge sharing, creating new connections for artists and cultural professionals and providing training and professional development.
Since 1977 Visiting Arts has worked with some of the world’s most innovative emerging contemporary artists in programmes that engage and inspire young people, communities and future professionals. Originally established as a department of the British Council, working to bring international and culturally diverse work from overseas to UK audiences, Visiting Arts became an independent charitable organisation in 2001 and has developed its role to facilitate high quality international relationships between artists and cultural professionals.
We have a wide group of associates representing some of the most experienced and diverse cultural operators in the UK and beyond, cultivated over decades of support to the sector, through which we develop our work and believe that high quality intelligence about placement of artistic work abroad exists in the expertise and experience of this vibrant and growing community. Working with a range of partners including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, British Council, Gulbenkian Foundation and Ministries of Culture across the globe, Visiting Arts has conducted research around international cultural leadership including trends in and barriers to international working and needs analysis.
Regrettably we are not able to award funding for artists or artistic projects outside of our current programmes.
“Visiting Arts through my career has picked me up and given me wonderful insights to artists and cultures round the world, most recently in an unforgettable trip to Iran. They have changed my world…” Ruth Mackenzie CBE, Artistic Director
“In my experience Visiting Arts plays a key role in promoting and supporting cultural understanding and collaboration in increasingly innovative ways. Its small team is skilled and knowledgeable and the organisation is “light on its feet”…” Jodi Myers, independent arts consultant
“Visiting Arts has been crucial to us at Hay and to many of my colleagues in nurturing global perspectives. It should be called taste-crazing, ideas-mashing, thrill-blending, stranger-mating, mind-opening arts…” – Peter Florence, Director, Hay Festivals
“I have over many years found Visiting Arts to be a really constructive and productive organisation to work with. I have done so in many different contexts, ranging from support for research and development of incoming exhibitions, through being able to capitalise on incoming touring work, to benefitting from the attention brought by visiting curators and critics. It seems to me that Visiting Arts has really done a lot in nurturing and promoting international contact, often from ‘hard to reach’ communities around the world, and often in a really positive relationship to work with British diaspora communities. This has enabled real bridges to be built between organisations, international perspectives and local communities. I also think that Visiting Arts has done a terrific amount to ensure that incoming international cultural projects and personalities move beyond London and the obvious centres. This has been really beneficial in affirming the goals of organisations and communities in having local roots reinforced and challenged, as appropriate, by international perspectives. There is great potential for this to continue into the future, and I hope to be able to develop the work with visiting Arts in our plans. ” – Michael Tooby, Cyfarwyddwr, Dysgu, Rhaglennau a Datblygu, Amgueddfa Cymru/ Director, Learning, Programmes and Development, National Museum Wales