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UK and Brazil Exchange of Culture and Arts

Geraldine Ling (Artistic Director, The Lawnmowers Independent Theatre Company) is greeted by residents of Complexo Alemão, one of the biggest group of favelas in the North Zone of Rio de Janeiro. Geraldine was one of the twenty-fine representatives from UK arts organisations that participated on the first learning visit to Brazil as part of the programme Points of Contact in March 2010.
Credit: Ratão Diniz, 2010

The practice-based research has had a primary level of impact with individuals and small arts organisations. Over 200 Brazilian and UK artists and organisations have been involved in this research, with a high quantity of small scale impacts on individuals which are well documented in project testimonials. Significant cultural organisations in Brazil along with UK groups and organisations such as Southbank Centre have been involved and reported policy impacts. The British Council also announced a pilot project on Creative and Cultural Skills between UK and Brazil based on the learning-exchange of this programme.

Further funding has been leveraged from Professor Heritage’s research: over £3 million has been leveraged from organisations such as Arts Council England, British Council, British Academy, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Brazilian Federal Government, Rio State Culture Secretariat and others.  With a highlight placed on both countries by the Olympics, People’s Palace Projects ran a ‘Rio Occupation London 2012’ project which leveraged £600k of Brazilian economic investment in the UK’s London 2012 Festival as part of the Cultural Olympiad and reached over 37,000 audience members. In 2012 Professor Heritage and People’s Palace Projects were involved in The Agency with BAC and Contact, a further cultural exchange programme awarded the annual Gulbenkian Prize, described by the Independent and Huffington Post as ‘the world's largest arts prize’.

The research has not only influenced policy within cultural organisations but also had significant political impact. Senior UK and Brazilian ministers have been involved in and supported Heritage’s work. Nick Clegg invited Heritage to be part of a delegation of cultural leaders to Brazil in 2011 and he has also briefed various Secretaries of State regarding UK and Brazil cultural practices and current policy concerns. Finally, Professor Heritage was invited to speak at the World Economic Forum in 2013 reflecting on the impact art can have on social crises; he specifically highlighted the AHRC funded project ‘Encounters: Art transforming lives.’

For more information on the projects visit:



Gateway to Research Project Links:

The Art of Cultural Exchange: Translation and Transformation between the UK and Brazil 2014-16 (Nov 14 - Nov 16)

Favela to the World: a Knowledge Transfer collaboration between People's Palace Projects (QMUL) & the AfroReggae UK Partnership (Jun 09 - May 12)

Transforming Lives: young people, art and the city (Feb 11 - Feb 12)

Transforming lives: pilot project for multimedia exhibition that investigates how young people transform their worlds through the arts (Jul 10 - Jun 11)

Marginal Acts - new initiatives in performance action on the peripheries of Brazilian culture (Sep 07 - Dec 07)

Date 25/09/2015
Discipline/s Drama & Theatre Studies
Key Area/s of Impact Communities; Creative Industries; Culture and Heritage; Knowledge Exchange; Policy Influence
Funding Opportunities Follow-on-Funding


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