The Connections Through Culture grants programme is designed to nurture fresh cultural partnerships between East Asia and the UK. These grants are instrumental in supporting new ideas and collaborations from artists and cultural organisations at any stage of development.

The grants supported in this round of Connections Through Culture programme have focused on two distinct areas: diversity and inclusion, and addressing climate change. The collaborative efforts across borders and artistic disciplines will lead to new thoughts and ideas created to address global challenges.

The grants support new connections, exchanges and collaborations. These grants help build long-term relationships and collaborations between artists, cultural professionals, creative practitioners and art and cultural organisations, hubs, networks, and collectives.

Connections Through Culture grantees 2023

Darwin Drag

UK: Sainsbury Centre

NZ: Yuki Kihara

This project focuses on the creation of a new work by Yuki Kihara to be premiered in an exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre in 2025. Titled Darwin Drag, the work continues Kihara’s re-evaluation of twentieth century European figures from a Queer, Indigenous perspective, revealing Charles Darwin’s hidden research on non-heteronormative and same-sex attraction in animals, and introducing fish species with ‘Fa’afafine traits’. 

Earth, a Cosmic Spectacle

UK: Louise Beer

NZ: Tūhura Otago Museum

Under Otago’s dark skies, Louise Beer will explore the cosmic significance of life on Earth through the perspectives of scientists at Tūhura Otago Museum and Ōtepoti high school students. An enduring presence of starry skies can help us to understand the gravity of the climate crisis. Louise will create and display a body of photographic work, and a series of events at Tūhura.

Equal Voices - the place where our stories meet - a cross cultural and cross linguistic exchange

UK: Kaite O'Reilly

NZ: Equal Voices Arts

Public presentations by renowned UK-based disabled artist Kaite O’Reilly and Deaf and hearing theatre company Equal Voices Arts will explore what O'Reilly calls ‘alternative dramaturgies informed by Deaf and disability perspectives’. The presentations will be followed by discussions facilitating cross-lingual and cross-cultural exchange between internationally gathered Deaf and disabled artists to share practices and processes to support cultural expression

Faovale Imperium

UK: National Museums Scotland

NZ: Helena-Jane Kilkelly

Re-developed in partnership with the National Museum of Scotland, and touring the UK in August/September 2024, Faovale Imperium (James Nokise, DJ Don Luchito) is a purpose-built counter-narrative spoken word and poetry performance performed over a live soundtrack. Built for, and performed in, museum and art gallery spaces, the work challenges the purposes of those spaces, and the audiences within.

Our Culture, Our Climate - Voices from Across the Pacific

UK: Hot Poets

NZ: Auckland Writers Festival

'Our Culture, Our Climate - Voices from Across the Pacific' brings together two organisations of international renown: Auckland Writers Festival Waituhi o Tāmaki and Hot Poets in an innovative collaboration that uses poetry, film and performance to bring together and showcase some of the most urgent and authentic voices in climate activism from the region of the world most at risk.

Research and Professional Development Residency

UK: Delfina Foundation

NZ: Te Tuhi

Te Tuhi, Delfina Foundation and Metroland Cultures offers a residency in London for a curator from Aotearoa New Zealand interested in testing and developing new approaches to a collaborative practice bridging artists and communities. The residency provides opportunities to gain training, skills and experience, while embedded in the curatorial workings of Metroland Cultures and through private research at Delfina Foundation.

Te Tūmahanatanga Tawhiti - An International Exchange of Knowledge, Art and Culture

UK: Te Maru o Hinemihi

NZ: Ngā Kohinga Whakairo o Hinemihi

UK-based Te Maru o Hinemihi will lead the programme "Te Tūmahanatanga Tawhiti - An International Exchange of Knowledge, Art and Culture" in London, UK, mid 2024, alongside their partners Ngā Kohinga Whakairo o Hinemihi and the National Trust. The programme includes discussions on Māori carvings, woven tukutuku panels and traditional protocols, within the context of Hinemihi, a Māori meeting house, as well as Māori language courses.

The London Waka

UK: University College London

NZ: University of Auckland

This project between the University of Auckland, and University College London, will explore the sophisticated navigation and exploration traditions of South Pacific ocean voyaging vessels through the co-design of a single, hybrid canoe designed to be rowed and sailed on the River Thames in London.



UK: Mimosa House

NZ: Rosanna Raymond

A research residency for Pasifika artist Rosanna Raymond to travel to Mimosa House, London to develop, create and present THE VĀNITY ROOM - a new chapter of SaVĀge K’lub, as part of ‘transfeminisms', a major survey touring show that bring to light a multiplicity of urgent, pressing and ongoing issues faced by women, queer and transgender people across the globe.