British Council, the United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities has announced support for the creative industry by offering its venues to artists and exhibitors as part of its Creative Economy Showcase Programme till 31 March 2023.
According to the organisation, this is part of its engagement with the arts and creative industries in Nigeria, where it supports creatives with access to British Council-owned exhibition spaces and other venues in prime locations in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Kano states.
The artists are using the British Council venues for art displays, showcases and performances for free between one and three consecutive days.
Lucy Pearson, British Council Nigeria’s Country Director, said this initiative by the British Council is assisting performance artists and art exhibitors, many of whom were adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant economic challenges.
Pearson noted that many creative businesses, particularly those involving art forms that require live performances, are still recovering from the long-term harmful effects of the crisis.
The British Council appointed four curators to review submissions from artists and creative entrepreneurs following a widely advertised call for applications that ended in July 2022.
The curators for the four venues in the different states are Creative Arts and Visual Imagery Centre (CAVIC) in Abuja, TASCK in Lagos, StartUp South in Port Harcourt and StartUp Kano in Kano.
The curators selected the best entries for venue support and work with the exhibitors to deliver their work and draw audiences to attend.
Brenda Fashugba, head of Arts West Africa and Creative Economy Lead SSA at British Council said all profits made through the sale of tickets or other financial rewards, including sponsorships, will go to the exhibitors.
“As an intervention, the Creative Economy Showcase Programme helps resolve several challenges for creative entrepreneurs, such as offsetting the massive cost of renting a premium venue space, providing communication support through publicity for the programme, offering exhibitors access to the British Council network of art enthusiasts and stakeholders as well as affording exhibitors access to our organisational knowledge of event management, programme management and planning”, she said.
One of the most memorable art showcases curated by TASCK and recently hosted in Lagos on the 19th November combined the Red Button Fashion Showcase and African Beer with Oma Soft spot music, dance and poetry performances.
Red Button, a fashion design house whose designs focus on African stories, powerful women and sustainability, displayed their new fashion collection: green cover.
At the same event, Sir Dauda performed some of his hit songs together with ten other performers, including Winny, Emaxee, Mani Lapussh, Phaemous, Phola Preye, and others who also took the stage.
A week ago, British Council, in partnership with curators TASCK, StartUp Kano and StartUp South, brought Rivers of Art creative performances, The Paintbox Experience and Incredible Sessions music performances, that featured Nigerian rapper and record producer MI Abaga, an alumnus of the British Council Arts Programmes.