The Venice Fellowships Programme
'The programme offers a live space for fellows to essentially learn and develop, be inspired through a groundbreaking opportunity where they get to invite dialogue with so many different cultures and walks of life and experience the power of creativity and the arts.' - Skinder Hundal Director Arts at British Council
British Council is proud to introduce our Venice Fellowships Programme, a scheme which activates and enriches our world-renowned exhibitions at the Venice Biennale. The Fellowships Programme is a key part of the British Council’s presence in Venice, supporting the exhibition programme as well as being a platform for the development of new creative careers and future leaders. The Fellowship offers a unique opportunity for emerging creatives to represent the UK on an international level whilst broadening their perspective, making connections and developing their creative practice.
The Fellowships Programme enables creative students and professionals to spend a month in Venice during the world’s most important art and architecture biennials. As exhibition ambassadors at the British Pavilion, the Fellows enrich and activate our exhibition programme. They engage visiting members of the public and expand the impact of the show. Alongside this practical residency, Fellows have the opportunity to develop their own research or practical creative projects and use the Biennale as a platform for artistic and professional development. Through these contributions, Fellows elevate the Pavilion to an important reference point for universities and creative organisations around the world.
How to become a Fellow
Fellows are selected via a competitive application process which is run in collaboration with a partner organisation, institution, or university across the UK. To apply, check whether your institution or university is a current Fellowship Programme Partner listed here. If you have connections with an institution or organisation that isn’t listed, you could encourage your institution to apply to become a Fellowship Programme Partner, more information on becoming a partner can be found here.
The Fellowships Programme in summary:
- Spend one month in Venice as part of the Programme residency during the art or architecture Biennale.
- Participate in 15 hours of online training and collaborative workshops to know more about Venice, La Biennale and British Pavilion exhibition content and network to the cohort of Fellows.
- Act as Exhibition Ambassador at the British Pavilion interacting with visitors and supporting the exhibition.
- Develop or exhibit your own independent research or creative project.
- Receive a grant to help support the cost of travel, accommodation and living costs in Venice for the full month.
- Expand a creative and professional network across the UK, Venice and beyond.
Through their training and experience in supporting the exhibition at the British Pavilion, Fellows learn techniques for enhancing a visitor’s understanding and expanding their perspectives on the show. The stewarding experience provides them with valuable work experience and confidence in contributing to a gallery setting.
'The Venice Fellowship has allowed my creative world to expand. Collaborating with artists of many disciplines was an invaluable experience.' - Past Fellow
'This was an incredible opportunity that helped me develop a network and better understand my practice.' - Past Fellow
The programme also offers the opportunity for young artists, architects and creatives to develop their own practice and position their own work within an international context. There have been some incredible exhibitions and presentations of work made on the Fellowships Programme. Connections are formed which continue to this day, with Fellows interacting on creative and academic projects for years to come. Many of the benefits to participants are intangible, comprising personal confidence, new perspectives and more refined ambitions for their own career trajectories.
'The Fellowships Programme was hugely significant part of my personal and professional growth; creating a springboard into my career which I will always be thankful for. Being surrounded by the energy of the Venice Biennale inspired me to challenge myself by undertaking the opportunities that were presented during this period. Engaging with the British Council created a foundation to take a step forward and realise my potential in the art world. It is a truly a programme that allows you to get out what you put into it!' - Past Fellow
To learn more, have a look through our 2023 Fellowships Programme Magazine:
Fellowships Programme Magazine