A weaver working with tranditional loom at Kbang District, Gia Lai Province

1. Background  

Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth (CH4IG) is a British Council’s action research programme exploring ways in which local culture can improve the lives of individuals around the world. From 2018, through pilot projects in Colombia, Kenya and Viet Nam, the programme explores cultural heritage for inclusive growth as a global concept with local solutions. The projects are community- and people-led and are devised and managed with local partners on the ground, supporting local communities to promote their own cultural heritage, leading to economic growth and improved social welfare. 

In Viet Nam, the in-country Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth project – known as Heritage of Future Past (HoFP) – works with music and film heritage, in particular valuable aspects that are under-represented or at high risk of disappearing. By employing innovative approaches that enable a variety of communities to contribute to and benefit from the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage, Heritage of Future Past seeks to create inclusive and sustainable growth opportunities in the heritage sector. The project is implemented across two closely-linked programming strands: Community Culture Heritage and Film-Archive-Music Lab (FAMLAB). While activities in the former focus on the safeguarding of cultural heritage within the project’s target communities, FAMLAB reaches out to the creative industry at large – in particular to artists, creative practitioners and audiences – to serve as a catalyst for collaborative works that engage with Vietnam’s music and film heritage via contemporary pathways. The strand of Community Cultural Heritage has been focusing on building capacity and creating opportunities for members in target communities to plan and implement activities to preserve and promote their heritage, including heritage tourism. From 2018 to 2021, with a focus on Vietnamese traditional music, activities have been implemented in four locations: Gia Lai, Kon Tum (working with the gong music of Bahnar people), Ninh Thuan (Cham ritual music), and Ho Chi Minh City (cai luong theatre). These activities aimed to ensure that communities and heritage owners could benefit from their efforts, in a comprehensive and community-based way, in preserving and promoting their cultural heritage. From 2021-2023, Community Cultural Heritage Challenge initiative has been developed as grant scheme to enable local communities to come up with ideas and receive support to design and implement actions aiming to preserve, promote and benefit from their cultural heritage. It is an opportunity for communities that had received training in the previous years to apply their new skills in the form of actions.

2. Scope of work

From the learning of Heritage of Future Past with people led approach, a symposium and showcase on Living Heritage and Sustainable Development will be organised discussing how the community participation contribute to the intangible cultural heritage (or living heritage) safeguarding and sustainable development in Viet Nam. Living Heritage and Sustainable Development Showcase is scheduled between 28 November 2023 and 05 December 2023 in Hanoi, as part of Living Heritage and Sustainable Development Symposium. Proposed activities include the followings activities. 

  • Exhibition launch on the same day with the symposium, last for 1 week. Interactive design
    Reach target: 2000 pax (1 week)
  • Workshop 1: Gong cultural space and the preservation – from a community perspective
    Reach target: 50 pax/workshop 
  • Workshop 2: Bau Truc traditional pottery workshop and people’s stories/initiatives 
    Reach target: 50 pax/workshop

The British Council is looking for a curator to review the content and stories generated by HoFP, help plan and stage the showcase and suggest options for making best use of the content after the exhibition. The objective of the showcase is to (1) presenting successes and learnings from Heritage of Future Past/ Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth from 2018 – 2023 (2) creating opportunities for raising the profile of community members who have been engaged with Community Cultural Heritage Strand of Heritage of Future Past (3) creating useful and engaging connections between the project and the communities with stakeholders, general audience (4) monitoring and evaluation of the exhibition including collecting stories from audience members.

The scope of work includes:

  • The curator to review project documentation, including photography, videos, reports, interviews, stories, and the digital heritage collection to incorporate a selection of these materials in the curatorial process of the exhibition. The curator would be granted with access to all the materials. 
  • The curator to engage with members of the community members and/or other artists, creative practitioners and cultural professionals who have been engaged with Community Cultural Heritage Strand of Heritage of Future Past to ensure their stories are being represented accurately, this may include collecting or re-creating objects, stories, audio and visual materials for the exhibition. It is understood that some materials will need to be re-created in consultation with community members. 
  • The curator to work with the venue partner (to be identified together with the British Council project team) in planning and staging the exhibition. Attention should be paid to ensuring that key elements of the exhibition are contributed and owned by the community members.
  • The curator to work with the British Council and the Production team in planning and producing communications and evaluation materials including flyers, leaflet, standees, brochures, stickers, standee, videos, interviews, trailers, etc to boost visibility and understand impact of the showcase.
  • Suggest other creative ways to make best use of the content and stories developed as part of Heritage of Future Past beyond the exhibition.

The curator is expected to meet the following requirements to be considered for the assignment:

  • Demonstrable knowledge in heritage sector preferably heritage assets of Viet Nam, preferably gong music of Bahnar people, Cham ritual music and Cai Luong theatre would be preferable
  • Relevant experience of working with storytelling and collaborating with community members across Viet Nam, preferably ethnic minority groups in Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Ninh Thuan, and Ho Chi Minh City 
  • Experience which demonstrates a commitment and ethos similar to principles and outcomes of Heritage of Future Past
  • A proven track record of extensive experience curating multi-media exhibitions in Viet Nam and working with production companies. 
  • Advanced qualification(s) in arts/culture curation, ethnology, cultural heritage, performing arts, museology, or similar fields.

3. Timeline

Activity Date / Time
Request for Proposal issued to bidding suppliers 30 August 2023
British Council to respond to clarification questions 8 September 2023
Deadline for submission of RFP responses by potential suppliers (Response Deadline) 11 September 2023
Supplier selected 18 September 2023
Contract start date 18 September 2023
Contract end date 31 January 2023

The following timeline will also be discussed with successful candidate, but we would be looking to complete this project by January 2024. Kindly note that these dates are subject to change based on the plan of the symposium. 

Activity  Date / Time
Curator engagement and contracting 18 September 2023
Exhibition design/layout - draft 10 October 2023
Exhibition design/layout - inputs from communities 20 October 2023
Exhibition design/layout - final 27 October 2023
Exhibition design/layout - license approved 17 November 2023
Exhibition materials developed/produced 24 November 2023
Showcase set-up 25-26 November 2023
Showcase 28 November onward
Workshops 28 November onward

4. Indicative Budget

The curator(s) will be offered: 

  • Professional fee, with daily rate ranging depending on experience and qualification, inclusive of all applicable taxes Your proposal should clearly indicate your professional fee corresponding with a work schedule for the entire assignment (i.e. daily rate x people x number of working days). Do not include other costs such as venue rental or production expenses, i.e. printing.  
  • UN/EU cost norms for development projects in Viet Nam will be followed. 
  • The rate should be included personal income tax and will be discussed and agreed with the candidate during an interview. 

5. Quotation Validity

 Your quotation must remain open for acceptance by the British Council for a minimum of thirty days from the date that it is issued to the British Council in response to this requirement.

6. Payment and Invoicing 

In consideration of the Recipient’s delivery of the Project, the professional fees shall be paid by the British Council to the Recipient by BACS transfer in accordance with the payment schedule, subject to the Recipient’s satisfactory compliance with the terms in the agreement.

7. Instructions for responding 

Please send your proposal to vnarts@britishcouncil.org.vn by 23.59 Viet Nam time, 11 September 2023, in which includes:  

  • An expression of interest briefing express why you are suitable for the assignment
  • A proposed workplan 
  • A portfolio of past exhibition
  • Total quote

8. Clarification Requests

All clarification requests should be submitted to vnarts@britishcouncil.org.vn before 31 August 2023.

9. Award Criteria 

Criteria Weighting Max Points 
Demonstrable knowledge of cultural heritage assets of Viet Nam 25 per cent 25 points 
Relevant experience of working with storytelling and community members 25 per cent 25 points 
A proven track record of extensive experience curating multi-media exhibitions in Viet Nam and working with production company 35 per cent 35 points
Advanced qualification(s) in arts/culture curation, ethnology, cultural heritage, performing arts, museology, or similar fields 15 per cent 15 points
Total 100 per cent 100 points

By issuing this RFP, the British Council is not bound in any way to enter into any contractual or other arrangement with you or any other potential supplier.