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British Council’s Crafting Futures programme to boost UK-India collaboration in the Indian crafts sector

New Delhi, 29th August 2019:British Council, the United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations, has brought its coveted global programme – Crafting Futures: India-UK Collaboration Scheme– to India.

Crafting Futures supports the future of craft around the globe. This British Council programme strengthens economic, social and cultural development
through learning and access. Crafting futures’ projects
support practices and people, through research,
collaboration and education.

The Crafting Futures: India-UK Collaboration
Scheme is aligned to the Indian government’s agenda
of supporting local artisans and giving them global
exposure; along with UN’s Sustainable Development
Goals of education and training to develop skills,
entrepreneurship and improve the creative quality
of crafts. Applications are now open for project proposals
from India and UK.

Six winning organisations will be chosen and will benefit
from monetary and technical support, while getting
access to potential partners in the UK to collaborate
and exchange ideas with, resulting in substantial cultural, social and economic impact in India.Submission is open to organisations across textiles, jewellery, sustainable fashion, handicrafts, furniture, pottery and more.

The India-UK Collaboration Schemewill bring together Indian and UK partners to co-develop and collaborate on 12-14-month long projects which explore new futures for craft in India and investigate the following:
• The new ecosystems for craft and how traditional skills, contemporary design and enterprise can come together to create new systems
• The role of craft as a route to women’s empowerment and leadership
• How craft can address global environmental challenges
• What role tourism can play to ensure craft is widely appreciated
• What digital technology can bring to craft

Jonathan Kennedy, Director Arts, British Council Indiasaid:“India has a vibrant art and craft sector and we are excited to bring the Crafting Futures India-UK Collaboration Scheme here. Through innovative collaboration and the infusion of entrepreneurial digital technology, we aim to have a positive impact on the social, cultural and economic aspects of the Indian craftspeople and design organisations. We are looking for project ideas that can elevate economic opportunities for women and other crafts entrepreneurs in India. The programme will help in capacity building, improving quality of creative practice and creating new opportunities and networks through international partnerships between India and the UK. The British Council’s Crafting Futures programme will enable innovative artisanal communities and designers to connect, create and collaborate.”

Organisations eligible to apply for Crafting FuturesIndia-UK Collaboration Scheme:
o Crafts organisations, associations, cooperatives and unions of artisans
o National representative bodies for craft, such as crafts councils or government ministries
o Organisations which work with designers, craftspeople and artisans, including NGOs
o Universities, educational institutes and technical or vocational schools with art or design specialisations
o Museums or other cultural heritage bodies which present craft work
o Media platforms (traditional and/or digital) who feature craft and design
o Non-craft focused platforms who work in related fields and have a desire to extend their partnerships in craft, such as fashion weeks, design events, youth/women’s organisations, arts and culture festivals, cultural heritage organisations, etc.

Eligibility criteria
• Each proposal must have one Primary Applicant from India and one Secondary Applicant from the UK. Only joint applications will be considered;
• Applications must come from organisations and not individuals; and
• Projects must take place in India.

Last date for submission of proposals is 11 November 2019.

More information about the process, eligibility, submission and judging criteria can be found on www.britishcouncil.in/programmes/arts/crafting-futures

The Crafting Futures project will focus on business processes, economic conditions and subsequent livelihood of India’s artisans and craftspeople through infusion of digital technology over the next three years. More information is available on www.britishcouncil.in

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