Masarat: Grants for artists and cultural initiatives
Monday, 18 January 2021 to Sunday, 07 February 2021

Masarat Grants call for application is now closed. We would like to thank all those who applied. We received over 800 applications and we are now in the process of reviewing them. Awarded grantees will be contacted starting 22 February by email.


The British Council is pleased to announce an open call for applications for the Masarat: Grants for Artists and Cultural Initiatives programme. 

The deadline for applications is Sunday 7 February 2021 - 11:59pm (GMT / UK time) 

About the Programme

At a time of significant challenge for artists and the cultural sector globally, the British Council remains committed to supporting the development of diverse and creative expression and mutual cultural exchange between the UK and the rest of the world. 

The Masarat Grants programme seeks to respond to the needs of artists and cultural practitioners in Iraq, Jordan Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Yemen, providing financial support to enable continued production and project work in very difficult circumstances.  

Masarat provides grants of between 4000 and 10,000 GBP to support local emerging artists in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Yemen. This grant programme is designed to support the professional development of emerging artists, creatives and cultural practitioners in the region.

Masarat aims to strengthen artistic practice through supporting production, training and/or showcasing activities. Selected grantees will also be given opportunities to build their professional networks and make new connections with the UK and the Arab world.  

As part of the British Council’s focus on supporting the development of socially-engaged creative practice globally, the Masarat grant will support artists and cultural initiatives that are responding to a local or global challenge faced in their countries and communities. This could be something social, economic, environment or all of the above. What matters to us is that the work seeks to engage audiences and generate debate and reflection about the world and the communities we live in.  

This programme is open to applications from all art forms including but not limited to; Architecture, Design, Fashion, Film, Literature, Music, Theatre, Dance and Visual Arts. 

In total, Masarat will award 20 grants of between 4000 and 10,000 GBP, with a minimum of 3 grants awarded in each of the eligible countries.

Who can apply?

This grant scheme is open to Iraqi, Jordanian, Lebanese, Palestinian, Syrian and Yemeni artists, creatives and cultural practitioners to support creative projects in these countries. 

Applications will be accepted from individual artists, groups or collectives and registered organisations.

In the case of organisational applicants, please note that this grant is designed to support artist development so only projects that directly support and work with local artists are eligible to apply.  

Both the artist and the creative project should be based in one of the six eligible countries. Artists from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Yemen can apply with projects based in any of these six eligible countries. For example, a Syrian artist based in Lebanon or a Yemeni artist based in Jordan is eligible to apply.  

We are looking for a diverse range of artists and creative practitioners to participate in this grant programme. We encourage disabled and/or deaf artists and creative practitioners to apply. Access provision and costs will be met in addition to fees. 

In the selection process, priority will be given to young and emerging artists who have had limited access to project support funding in the past. We strongly encourage applications from women and disabled artists, as well as those from marginalised and vulnerable communities. 

Essential Criteria

  1. The proposed project must be based / take place in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria or Yemen
  2. The proposed project must respond creatively to a local or global challenge faced in the country or community where it is being delivered
  3. The proposed project must work directly with artists and support the development of creative work
  4. The proposed project must take place between 1 April and 31 October 2021.
  5. The project budget must be no less than 4000 GBP and not exceed 10,000 GBP 

What can the grant be used for? 

We are expecting to fund the following kinds of projects (this is not an exhaustive list): 

  • Production of new artistic work   
  • Exhibitions and showcasing events 
  • Arts education projects (training artists, courses for amateurs, community members)  
  • Digital creative projects and platforms

We expect that grants will be used for the following purposes (this is not an exhaustive list): 

  • Payment of artists and key individuals involved in the project
  • Costs of studio or venue rental
  • Costs of running physical and virtual events, workshops, activities
  • Purchase of materials, equipment and software

What is the grant NOT for?

Applications are not accepted for the following: 

  • Creative projects taking place outside Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Yemen  
  • Applications for funding to support completed work or second iterations of already completed projects  
  • Applications to fund international travel and accommodation 
  • Projects led by academic institutions and funding bodies  

Application Process

  • All applications must be submitted via the online application portal – see links below.
  • The application can be submitted in Arabic or English.
  • Please make sure you read and answer every question in the application before submitting. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • If you are applying as a group/collective or organisation, please submit only one application form on behalf of the group.
  • Supporting documentation and links can be uploaded or pasted before submitting.
  • Please note only successful applicants will be notified and the results will be published via our social media platforms.
  • Successful applicants will be asked to write a narrative report with project evaluation at the end of their project, further guidance will be provided.

To apply in Arabic, click here. For English click on the "Click to apply" button at the top of this page.

Selection process

All received applications will be reviewed against the following criteria: 

  • Eligibility – does the application meet all the essential criteria?  
  • Feasibility – is the proposal clear and well developed? Is the timeline and budget reasonable? 
  • Creativity – does the project respond creatively to a local or global challenge 
  • Location – a minimum of three applications will be supported in each of the six eligible countries   

Application Timeline

  • Open Call launched on Monday 18 January 2021 
  • Application deadline: Sunday 7 February 2021 (Midnight, GMT). Any applications sent after this date will not be considered 
  • Anyone seeking further Grant information or queries need to email us at by Friday 22 January 2021 
  • Answers to all submitted questions will be published via our Facebook pages and websites on Wednesday 27 January 2021 
  • Successful grantees to be notified and published from Monday 22 February 2021 
  • Funds to be released in April 2021  
  • Successful project and activities to be completed with report and evaluation submitted by Sunday 31 October 2021.