Bridging the gap between festival enthusiasts and industry experts

New Delhi (IANSlife) The British Council, in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University, is inviting applications to the South Asia Festivals & Culture Academy (SAFCA) in response to the growth of independent and established arts and culture festivals.

This pioneering initiative bridges the gap between festival enthusiasts and industry experts, facilitating an exchange of knowledge and insights online in India and neighbouring South Asian countries. The South Asia Festivals Academy’s Intermediate Course starts in January 2024, with applications open until November 19, 2023.

SAFCA features a series of short courses specifically designed to equip festival managers with the skills essential for success in the ever-evolving festival landscape. These courses cover international programming and curation, leadership and governance, financial management, operations and staffing, marketing and audience development, risk management and health and safety, equality, diversity, and inclusion, as well as environmental sustainability.

“Festival skills are important, and festival managers from around the world must have the knowledge necessary to increase the sustainability and growth of festivals worldwide. The South Asia Festival Academy is a fantastic opportunity for artists, performers, and those working in or interested in the festival sector to develop their business skills in an inclusive environment and learn from international festival experts. Festivals are universally recognised as avenues for artistic expression, cultural advancement, and inclusivity. They hold immense cultural value in the UK and India, and we are committed to enhancing the richness, excellence, and variety of festivals between these nations while strengthening the arts and culture festival sector through skills development, capacity building, and knowledge sharing,” said Alison Barrett MBE, Director India, British Council.

The intermediate course offered by SAFCA is the culmination of three years of experience, having evolved to align with academic BA Hons. courses and adapt to the unique South Asian festival and cultural context. The programme is taught by festival academics and experts from both the UK and South Asia. Designed for festival directors, founders, entrepreneurs, and senior managers of arts and cultural festivals across South Asia, this is a 10-week immersive, structured skills development programme.

“A course like South Asia Festival & Culture Academy helps you to slow down, consciously think about the individual components that make up a festival and how they integrate and, most importantly, connects you to other festival planners within the South Asian context so you can start to connect the communities each festival builds around it,” said Anushka Jadhav, Programme Curator, India

The Intermediate Level course is open to festival directors, founders, entrepreneurs, and senior managers in the arts and culture sector across South Asia. Applications will be considered from those who can demonstrate active experience in a senior leadership role and possess 5–10 years of experience working within the festival and culture sector. The full cost per student is £750, with the British Council providing a subsidy of £500 per student, reducing the total fee to £250.

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