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The Culture Diary's monthly news and events roundup.
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Global Strength in Soft Power
Hello Culture Diary friends,
SXSW in Austin, Texas – taking place 13–22 March 2020 – hosts an annual UK government presence where we showcase British companies and creativity under the festival's Interactive banner. With trade stands in the Austin Convention Center and activity at the British Music Embassy (BME) venue – including immersive tech, AI and visual art as well as a handpicked selection of new UK bands – the Government showcases just some of the best of British at SXSW.

This year, alongside established programmes including the BME and the Arts Council England / British Underground 'Future Art and Culture' lineup, the Culture Diary is partnering with the Department for International Trade and Here East for the opening reception of the BME on Friday 13 March at Cedar Street Courtyard.

Are you attending SXSW? Then you're invited!
Let us know if you are attending SXSW and you can RSVP here to join us at the opening reception – only confirmed RSVPs will be able to access the British Music Embassy on Friday 13 March. The lineup includes:
  • 9pm – Hardwicke Circus
  • 10pm – Walt Disco
  • 11pm – DJ Ellie Prohan 
The Culture Diary is bringing AI visual artist Anna Ridler's work Mosaic Virus to the Lido Room, a metamorphosing piece on three screens. Artistic rendition of tulips bloom and develop in front of the viewer, hypnotic in their transformation. An artificial intelligence algorithm manipulates the tulips based on the global fluctuations in the price of bitcoin. As the flowers recall the global 17th century 'tulip-mania' – itself a phenomenon of supply, demand and speculation – they give rise to discussions on the nature of economic uncertainty, globalisation, and the all-encompassing potential of AI as a force for prosperity or otherwise.

The Culture Diary will also provide a daily blog on the weekend of 13–15 March detailing the best of the UK programme at SXSW, with recommendations and highlights. Keep an eye on the Culture Diary and our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn). 
Read more on the Culture Diary
UK named top 3 of 60 countries in Global Soft Power report
The UK comes third in the new Brand Finance Global Soft Power report, with the US and Germany first and second respectively. You can download the report here. PA Media reported, ahead of the official launch at the QEII Exhibition Centre on 25 February, that "the UK also ranked in the top three for culture and heritage, noted for its influence in arts and entertainment, as well as for having a rich history. An allure of Britishness and British culture was also seen as driving popular period drama such as ITV’s Downton Abbey and Netflix’s The Crown." Read more here.
Contribute to the next Culture Diary newsletter
Do you have a story, announcement, open call or blog you would like to share in our monthly newsletter? Upload the piece to the Culture Diary here and let us know by Wednesday 18 March for the April 2020 newsletter.

Editor's picks: UK culture on tour

From organisations that have uploaded their events so far for 2020, we feature our picks for the most significant and interesting UK cultural events of the month here. Add yours to the Culture Diary to be included.

Conrad Shawcross at the Armory Show

5 March 2020
New York, NY
Victoria Miro / Conrad Shawcross

The Revenger's Tragedy


11–14 March 2020
Madrid, Spain
Cheek by Jowl

Kuwait Calling

11–14 March 2020
Kuwait
59 Productions

London Philharmonic on tour

13–19 March 2020
Austria, Germany, Luxembourg 
London Philharmonic Orchestra

Outwitting the Devil

24 March 2020
Netherlands (more dates in Austria, Colombia, France, Germany, Spain)
Akram Khan Company

RPO / Vasily Petrenko

25–30 March 2020
Croatia, Hungary, Poland
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Industry Opportunities

Totally Thames 2020 - open call for entries
Thames Festival Trust has renewed calls for "creative and accessible events and activity" responding to one of the key themes for Totally Thames 2020, an annual season of arts and culture that takes place up and down the River Thames in September. Read more and apply here.
Apply by Friday 13 March 2020
Strategic Partner News
GREAT Britain Campaign
The GREAT Britain Campaign hosted the Roksanda autumn / winter 2020 collection launch as part of the first London Fashion Week of the year. See pictures from the show here. #FashionisGREAT
Arts Council England
Arts Council England has launched the Digital Culture Compass, an online tool to help cultural organisations follow a set of digital guiding principles and test their digital capabilities. Read more.
British Council
Sonia Boyce has been announced as the British Pavilion artist for the Venice Biennale in 2021. Sonia is known for her experimental approach to art-making, including performance and audio-visual elements. Read more.
Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)
A new Secretary of State and ministerial team has been confirmed for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. The new Secretary of State is Oliver Dowden and he is joined by an increased number of ministers, from four to five. Read more here.
Department for International Trade (DIT)
The Department for International Trade is encouraging businesses to join them at the Manchester Digital City Week 2020 on 9 March for matchmaking meeting sessions, including with a delegation of Indian businesses looking for innovative UK tech companies. Read more and register.
VisitBritain
VisitBritain will sponsor the new Best of British category for the Off to Work Event Photography Awards and is looking for nominations of spectacular hero images that captures the strength of UK events. Read more here.
Mayor of London
The new London Boroughs of Culture have been announced, with Lewisham for 2021 and Croydon being awarded the distinction for 2023. Find out more about their early plans here.
Coventry and the Midlands
Coventry UK City of Culture and British Council have partnered to offer bursaries to 'international changemakers'. The chosen changemakers will visit different countries to create "lasting cultural exchanges". Read more
Industry News
V&A Kimono exhibition opens
V&A's new Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk exhibition struts the line between history, art and fashion show, and is open now with scope to tour soon.
Read more on the Culture Diary
Africa Oye reveals first acts for 2020
Female pan-African supergroup Les Amazones D'Afrique is one of the acts that has been announced for Africa Oyé on 20–21st June.
Read more on the Culture Diary
Join the Season for Change 
Julie's Bicycle and Artsadmin have organised an environmental-themed Season for Change, and are asking for expressions of interest.
Read more on the Culture Diary
Grayson Perry wins Erasmus prize
Grayson Perry has been awarded the Erasmus prize, making Perry the first British visual artist since 1968 to win the award. 
Read more on the Culture Diary
59 Productions collaborate in Kuwait
A three-year creative partnership between 59 Productions and Kuwait continues with new production Kuwait Rising.
Read more on the Culture Diary
Art Basel opens online viewing rooms
Art Basel is launching a new digital platform connecting galleries with collectors from around the world on 20 March 2020.
Read more on the Culture Diary

Welcome new organisations to the Diary

Welcome to the 5 new organisations and artists on the Culture Diary since last month, including The Brighton Design Show, The Edge & Andrew Brownsword Gallery, The North London Makers Market, Sound Space Vision, and York Open Studios. A selection is featured below. Keep reading the Culture Diary to see events and stories from our new users.
York Open Studios
York Open Studios is an annual community arts event which celebrates the best artists and makers living or working within a ten-mile radius of the city. Each year York Open Studios provides an opportunity for the public to visit selected artists’ studios and exhibitions.
The Brighton Design Show
The Brighton Design Show is a brand new event that champions and celebrates established and emerging designers and makers, living in or connected with the city of Brighton and Hove. Part of Design Brighton, a newly created annual festival for the urban and built environment.
The Edge & Andrew Brownsword Gallery
The Edge is an arts and creativity hub informed by the context and research of the University of Bath that encourages and nurtures arts / research collaborations where people can find new perspectives and fertile ground to showcase new thinking and ideas. 
Sound Space Vision
Sound Space Vision provides communities with high-quality performance and unique gathering spaces specialising in guiding design teams to design and acoustical excellence. 

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