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Crossing the River project launch March 2013

Date: 17/12/2012

New culture-meets-digital project, ‘Crossing the River’ announced to exchange knowledge and forge relationships between cultural organisations in UK and China.

‘Crossing the River’ is a new initiative developed by the Creative and Cultural Economy (CCE) team at the British Council in partnership with Nesta and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

The project aims to demonstrate the ways UK cultural organisations are using digital platforms to engage with new audiences and share their creative output globally, and the research which is informing activity and investment in this field.

Building on the success of the UKNow 2012 festival - the largest festival of British arts and creative industries ever held in China – ‘Crossing the River’ will focus on creative economy development in China and involve a prestigious UK delegation visiting Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong over a nine day period in March 2013.

A key element of the tour will be a Sino-UK Creative Economy forum in Beijing in March 2013, ‘Arts and Cultural Organisations in the Digital Age’, hosted by the British Council and co-organised with the China Millennium Monument Museum of Digital Arts (CMoDA).

The forum will focus on art form innovation, audience development and new business models in the digital age, and involve representatives from notable UK cultural organisations including Tate, Royal Shakespeare Company, Roundhouse, Sage Gateshead, Culture24, the Literary Platform and Philharmonia Orchestra.

The delegates will present their recent digital work, take part in discussions and panels, and share views on methodologies and developments in the field.

In addition to the forum, the delegation will visit cultural organisations, meet digital agencies and attend networking events in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Notes to editors

  • For further information, please contact: Danielle Moore-Chick, AHRC: 01793 416021 d.moore-chick@ahrc.ac.uk
  • The recent Nesta report – Crossing the River by Feeling for Stones’. – suggests that there are strong opportunities for the UK's creative industries to increase their collaborative work in countries like China and develop bigger audiences for UK content.
  • The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK.


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