You are here

About us

Contact us

A white horse sculpture by Mark Wallinger

Arts is a cornerstone of the British Council’s mission to build bridges of trust and understanding between peoples of the world. Our global network places us in a unique position to achieve significant impact and change by finding new ways of connecting and seeing each other through the arts.

We believe a direct experience of the arts contributes vitally to the development of society, shared prosperity and mutuality which strengthens cultural relations through inspiration and understanding.

Our arts programme lives and breathes the aspiration to inspire and transform – to offer creative artists, participants and audiences across the world life-changing and life-enhancing experiences. 

Our programmes are diverse and specific to need in different regions or countries, but always aim to achieve our overall outcomes:

  • Artists and institutions prosper
  • Skills develop
  • Audiences grow
  • UK reputation grows

If you are interested in our work in a specific country around the world, you can select your country from the homepage map.

Main photo credit: Mark Wallinger’s White Horse (2013) exhibited outside British Council Head Quarters, Spring Gardens, London. Image © Peter White

Art form directors

Led by Director Arts Graham Sheffield CBE, we have seven central teams based in our London office, which serve different disciplines and sectors. They are headed by art form directors:

Architecture, Design, Fashion 
Vicky Richardson

Creative Economy 
Beatrice Pembroke

Briony Hanson

Cortina Butler

Cathy Graham

Theatre and Dance 
Neil Webb

Visual Arts 
Andrea Rose

Regional arts leads

Our artform directors and their specialist teams work with arts colleagues in nine regions, each with a Regional Arts Lead:

Americas David Codling
(Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago, United States of America, Venezuela)

East Asia Katelijn Verstraete
(Australia, Burma, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philipines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam)

European Union Silke Pillinger
(Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Irish Republic, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland)

Middle East and North Africa Stephen Stenning
(Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen)

South Asia Shreela Ghosh
(Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka)

Sub Saharan Africa Lisa Phasha
(Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe)

United Kingdom Simon Dancey
(Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland)

Wider Europe Gregory Nash
(Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Georgia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan)


Sponsorship of the British Council Arts programmes offers a unique opportunity. We can work with you across countries, regions and artforms to create an original way to meet your objectives.

To discuss how we can work together, please contact:

Su Moore,

Head of Sponsorship Development, Arts

Our work in arts