Are you a d/Deaf or disabled performing arts practitioner looking to grow your international connections?

IETM Valencia Plenary

IETM Valenica Plenary. Photograph: © Vincent Chartier

The British Council is offering bursaries for artists and producers to contribute to the costs of attending IETM, a major performing arts networking event in Europe.

We are also offering to provide access support for bursary recipients, delivered by our partners in this bursary programme, Unlimited.

As part of our mission to represent the UK in all its diversity, at the British Council we are offering bursaries for a number of  d/Deaf or disabled artists and producers to attend IETM Brussels, an important international performing arts networking event, 23-26 November 2017. This is a chance to experience the cultural conversations taking place across Europe, to develop new networks, and to share information about your own practice and work. This is also an opportunity for you to share your experiences with other UK artists upon your return.

IETM (Informal European Theatre Meeting) is a network of over five hundred performing arts organisations and individuals working in contemporary performance in Europe and all over the world. It commissions publications and research projects, and advocates for the value of performing arts. Its events are a great opportunity to meet international colleagues and to broaden your understanding of the global opportunities and challenges for performing arts in the 21st century.


“It’s an incredible network of artists that is completely new to me!” 


The British Council is an associate member of IETM and there will be friendly faces from our Theatre and Dance team on hand for the successful participants. We will provide support: making introductions, steering the group through events and helping everyone to make the most of the experience.

In advance of IETM Brussels we will offer training to support those new to international networking of this kind. We will also be providing a coach during the event to support you to achieve your aims in this alien professional environment.

“At the British Council, it’s a vital part of our work to make sure the UK performing arts sector truly reflects the diversity of our society,” says Ben Evans, our Head of Arts & Disability for the European Union Region. “There are very real barriers which prevent d/Deaf and disabled professionals from accessing international networks, and this means they are at a disadvantage in getting to know what works internationally and how best to build connections. We’re offering these bursaries to help redress the balance.”


"It's vital to make sure the UK performing arts sector truly reflects the diversity of our society"

At a glance:

Where and when?
IETM Brussels takes place in Belgium on 23-26 November 2017. 

What does the bursary cover?
We will provide you with a bursary of £500 which you can use towards the costs of travel, accommodation, daily expenses and tickets for performances. Any additional costs will have to be covered by yourself, as an investment into making international connections.

The bursary also offers free registration (usually €100).

What about access?
IETM are working to make the IETM meetings as accessible as possible, in partnership with the local host organisations.

To enhance access to event, British Council is working with both IETM and Unlimited to support individual access needs, and, as far as possible, to meet those access requirements: these might include BSL interpretation, personal assistant travel costs, additional taxi fares etc. as agreed with you, in advance.

Who is eligible to apply? 
This opportunity is open to d/Deaf and disabled artists and producers working in performing arts who are based in the UK. Previous British Council IETM bursary recipients are eligible to re-apply, but not current members of IETM (who are eligible for IETM’s own bursary scheme). Our policy is that we will support one person to attend IETM a maximum of two times through this scheme.

How do I apply? 
Please complete this form and send an email to

What are your criteria for selecting bursary awards?

We will be looking for applications that demonstrate that attendance at IETM Brussels will be useful, at this particular moment, to the career of the bursary recipient. That might include being part of your wider international strategy, or, equally, might represent a first and important foray into international networks following success in the UK.

We are also looking for applications that demonstrate a willingness to disseminate your experiences / observations with other artists in the UK upon your return. How you achieve this is up to you, but your ideas will be taken into consideration when assessing applications.

The applications will be assessed by a panel including:

  • Steven Brett, Programme Manager, Theatre and Dance British Council
  • Ben Evans, Head of Arts & Disability European Union region, British Council
  • Unlimited Senior Producer Jo Verrent
  • An independent producer with experience of the IETM network (TBA)

When is the deadline?
9AM (BST) Monday 4 September 2017

Support with completing the application form.

If you have any questions, or need support completing and/or submitting the application form, please contact:

Clara Giraud, Unlimited Project Manager, / 020 7247 5102