Online and in-person, broadcast from Leith Theatre.
(Doors open 1.30pm)
The coronavirus pandemic shut Edinburgh’s arts and cultural sector down completely overnight. Now we are emerging from successive lockdowns, the sector is beginning to reopen, and we are approaching what can only be a much-reduced Festival offer this August.
At this key moment in the city’s development, can we take this opportunity to collectively reimagine Edinburgh’s cultural ecosystem and its future?
Future Culture Edinburgh is a hybrid event intended to inspire creative thinking and collective action towards a more equitable and inclusive future of culture as we begin the journey to recovery post-pandemic.
Invited speakers and presenters will be joined by a mix of online and in-person participants at the event, held in the Main Auditorium of Leith Theatre and broadcast online via Zoom. Limited in-person participant places will be allocated at random from a self-elected pool of names. Future Culture Edinburgh is hosted by independent creative ex-producer Morvern Cunningham and Vikki Jones, PhD Researcher at Edinburgh College of Art.
The afternoon will take the form of provocations from speakers, workshop activities using the whiteboard tool Miro, and breakouts to establish collective solutions-based approaches to addressing challenges and seizing opportunities for the nourishment and benefit of Edinburgh’s cultural ecosystem.
Recorded outcomes from the event and workshop activities will contribute to research conducted by The University of Edinburgh into the communication of value and values across the city’s cultural infrastructure. Data will be analysed by the event hosts to determine the actions required across Edinburgh’s cultural ecosystem in the immediate and longer terms.
If you would like to take part in the event in person, please tick the box on Eventbrite when booking your place. Participants invited to attend the venue will be selected at random and contacted at least one week before the event.
The event will be held in line with all applicable COVID-19 safety protocols and specific details will be sent to all in-person participants in advance.
For those unable to attend, a recording of the event will be made and released online at a later date.
Future Culture Edinburgh is supported by the Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI), a major strategic initiative of The University of Edinburgh. EFI offers a new approach to research, education and innovative partnerships; collaborating with industry, government, and communities to build a challenge-led and data-rich portfolio of activity that has demonstrable ethical, social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts.
Additional support is provided by the Centre for Data, Culture and Society at The University of Edinburgh.
Rob Hopkins is co-founder of Transition Network and Transition Town Totnes, and author of several books, including ‘The Transition Handbook‘, ‘The Power of Just Doing Stuff’ and most recently, ‘From What Is to What If: unleashing the power of imagination to create the future we want‘. He presents the ‘From What If to What Next’ podcast, and does a lot of public speaking and writing. He is also a founder Director of the New Lion Brewery in Totnes, the UK’s first 100% community-owned brewery, and of Totnes Community Development Society. He holds a Phd from the University of Plymouth, as well as two honorary doctorates, from University of the West of England and from Namur in Belgium. His blog is robhopkins.net and in his spare time he gardens, draws and makes lino prints.
Leah Black is Chief Executive at WHALE Arts in Wester Hailes, South West Edinburgh. WHALE Arts, entering its 30th year of working in the area, is a community-led cultural hub and community-anchor organisation working from a purpose built centre and working across the area co-producing creative programmes with local people for adults, children and young people. Leah has been working in her current role for the last 3 years. Previous to this role, Leah worked in the Creative Industries Team at Creative Scotland as a craft specialist having trained and worked as a jeweller and silversmith. Before working in a funding role with Creative Scotland, Leah was Director of Upland CIC in Dumfries and Galloway and has been a board member of Craft Scotland, The Stove Network and is currently a Warden of the Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh.
Rosie is a queer and neurodivergent interdisciplinary artist and researcher based in Edinburgh. Rosie graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2009 with a degree in Art History and has since been carving out a career exploring the arts through creative engagement practices. Having spent time freelancing for organisations such as The Edinburgh Art Festival, WHALE Arts, Heart of Glass, Polmont Prison and The Edinburgh International Book Festival, Rosie returned to university in 2017 to study an MA in Arts, Festival and Cultural Management, writing her research thesis on the social impact of participatory art practices and continued their studies in an MSc of applied social research culminating in a thesis exploring the institutionalisation of communities within Scottish cultural venues.
Arusa is an award-winning writer, journalist and editor from Edinburgh, and a passionate advocate for diversity and accessibility within arts and culture. She is the former Editor of The List and writes mostly about music, most recently Flip the Script – a book about women in UK hip hop, published by 404 Ink. Her work has appeared in Bella Caledonia, Clash, The Guardian, GoldFlakePaint, Time Out and more. Arusa currently sits on the board of the Scottish Music Centre and is a member of the SMIA’s newly formed Advisory Group.
Oli is one of the founding members of the Future Fringe campaign and the Artistic Director of The Greenhouse, the UK’s first zero-waste theatre. Through the power of performance and storytelling, the company helps people build personal, emotional connections with the climate crisis. Then, through hands-on workshops and events, they share the skills people need to take action. Artistically, Oli makes intimate, site-specific work, and is particularly interested in myth, magic, and fairytales. When he’s not directing, he likes being outside, riding public transport, and playing table-top games.
Josie Dale-Jones is co-director for Staging Change. She is also a theatre maker, producer & performer. Josie mostly works under ThisEgg. ThisEgg is Josie who self-produces, co-creates and performs shows with a variety of artistic collaborators. Responding to the world we are living in, ThisEgg invites audiences to imagine a potentially better future. ThisEgg’s work is firmly rooted in the hope that theatre can be a motivational force for social change.
Morgan Currie is a Lecturer in Data and Society in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Her research interests include open and administrative data, automation in the welfare state, data justice, GIS and cultural mapping. She leads the Culture & Communities Mapping Project and co-leads the Digital Social Science Research Cluster at Centre for Data, Culture & Society.