The future belongs to young people with an education and the imagination to create. Barack Obama

Rivers of the World is the Thames Festival Trust's flagship, year-round, international education programme, delivered in partnership with the British Council's Connecting Classrooms.

With the help of professional artists, led by Shona Watt, students create magnificent works of art that are publicly displayed beside rivers across the globe, the programme annually links thousands of young people in river cities around the world through exploring a common theme: their waterway.

In 2014, the programme is on target to have engaged with 80,000 young people, 5,000 schools and 10,000 teachers in London and internationally since it began.  This year, young teenagers from schools across London will collaborate with students in New Orleans (USA), Taipei (Taiwan) and Jhelum (Pakistan).

An estimated one million people see the artworks every year through open-air exhibitions in London and participating cities around the world. In London, they are displayed by the Thames on the South Bank during the Mayor's Thames Festival.

Please click on these links for more details on participating schools, education resource packs, and previous exhibitions around the world.


Rivers of the World champions art in schools, celebrates cultural exchange, helps build appreciation of rivers and their waterfronts, promotes cross-cultural learning and supports professional development.