High Level Shot of Venice City

Venice, Italy. Photographer: Gerhard Bögner 

How does it work?

Approximately 70 Fellows will be supported with a grant, funded by participating institutions, to cover their travel, accommodation and living costs in Venice for one month. Candidates are selected via a competitive application process initiated and shortlisted through their institution, with the final selection made by the British Council. 

Successful candidates will spend one month in Venice working within the British Pavilion as exhibition ambassadors alongside developing their own personal project. As Fellows, they will have the opportunity to engage with a global community of artists, researchers, art entrepreneurs, young leaders and change makers, while developing their own personal practice. 

We welcome new partners each year – if you are interested in becoming a partner please contact venicefellowships@britishcouncil.org 

The Venice Fellowship Programme Experience

The programme is an exciting opportunity to be a part of a wider arts community while connecting with new people, engaging with an international public and obtaining invaluable work-experience within a global exhibition and renowned arts and/or architecture biennale. Alongside this, Fellows are working on their own practical or research lead contribution to the cultural-creative sector. 

As part of the programme, Fellows will gain a full month, of  approx 24h per week, exhibition work experience inside the British Pavilion. The work rota system will be set out by the Pavilion Stewarding Manager and could vary from half to full day shifts throughout the week, as the biennale is open to public from Tuesday to Sundays, from 10am to 6pm. 

Alongside the exhibition work, Fellows will have time to work on a personal project, proposed in response to a brief or theme set by the British Council and partners. The themes change from year to year in relation to the exhibition title and the wider arts/cultural context. The Fellows projects can be practical or research led and an individual or collective endeavor, we just ask that progress is shared throughout the residency in Venice. 

Fellows Induction

To prepare Fellows for their time in Venice, the British Council host an online induction school which the final selection of Fellows attend. The induction school includes: 

  • Practical advice and support from the British Council 
  • An intensive and interactive introduction to the exhibition from both the British Council and the artist(s) or curator(s) of that year
  • Practical workshops and training focused on exhibition invigilation, public engagement and accessibility 
  • An important chance for Fellows to meet each other as a group and build relationships with peers across borders and institutions
  • Fellowships introduction pack including resources and further reading. 

Why did the British Council set up Venice Fellowships?

The Fellowships programme was initiated in 2014 by the British Council to strengthen the British Pavilion contribution as a platform for ideas and research. This programme aims to enrich the biennale exhibition, making it a reference point for universities and arts institutions. The Fellowships offers a way of viewing and experiencing art and architecture that provides a new outlook on issues of public and private space, artistic process and display. 


See also