British Council invites applications for South Asia Festivals & Culture Academy (SAFCA 2024) Intermediate Course

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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.

Orlando Edwards, Director British Council in Sri Lanka said: “The significance of strong festival management skills cannot be overstated. We know from the UK’s extensive and vibrant festival scene, that better managed festivals, and more skilled festival managers results in greater sustainability and more possibilities for growth across the arts festival sector. The South Asia Festival Academy presents an exceptional opportunity for artists, performers, and individuals engaged in or interested in the festival industry to cultivate their business acumen within an inclusive setting while benefiting from the expertise of international festival professionals. 

“Festivals are universally acknowledged as platforms for artistic expression, cultural enrichment, and inclusivity, with a substantial impact on local economies. They hold immense cultural significance in both the UK and Sri Lanka, and make a significant economic contribution to local economies. We look forward to receiving a number of Sri Lankan applications for the Academy.” 

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.

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.

For detailed information about the South Asia Festival & Culture Academy and to apply for the Intermediate Level course, kindly visit

About the British Council 

The British Council is the UK’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education, and the English language. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall, including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.

About South Asia Festival & Culture Academy 

The South Asia Festival & Culture Academy is a unique partnership between the British Council and Edinburgh Napier University, designed to enhance and strengthen the festival and arts industry across South Asia. Through a range of innovative online courses, the Academy fosters the growth and development of arts professionals, whilst bridging cultural gaps and facilitating international exchange.

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