Edinburgh Culture Conversations
The University of Edinburgh Culture Conversations is an online event series bringing together members of the public, artists, academics and cultural leaders to debate how the arts and creative sectors can help society recover from the effects of Covid-19.
People from around the world are being encouraged to take part in a series of online discussions to examine how the arts and creative sectors can help society recover from the effects of Covid-19.
The Edinburgh Culture Conversations bring together members of the public, artists, academics and cultural leaders to debate the future shape and purpose of the culture sector.
The 10-week series – hosted by the University of Edinburgh – is taking place against the backdrop of the cancellation of most of Edinburgh’s Festivals, which had been due to take place this month.
Janet Archer, the University of Edinburgh’s Director of Festivals, Cultural and City Events, chairs the weekly conversations which debate the value of creativity, not only to the arts, but also to society and the wider economy.
The online debates began on Monday 13 July, with the first conversation considering the question “How can we keep the Festival spirit of internationalism and interculturalism alive?” Since then, a wide range of cultural topics have been explored and debated by an eclectic array of contributors.
Distinguished guests include singer-songwriter Karine Polwart, the Edinburgh International Festival's Fergus Linehan, Scots Makar Jackie Kay. Jackie Wylie Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the National Theatre of Scotland and David Greig, Artistic Director and Joint Chief Executive, Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre.
Members of the public are being encouraged to submit questions during the debates, which are being streamed live. The resulting recordings are available online for people to watch after each event.
The Conversations are being staged in conjunction with the University of Edinburgh’s new centre for interdisciplinary learning and research. The Edinburgh Futures Institute – which will be housed in the city’s iconic former Royal Infirmary building – will showcase the University’s expertise in the humanities, social sciences and arts, alongside its sector-leading work in data science.
The University, its students and staff play a key role in the Edinburgh festivals each year. In 2019, 1.2 million Fringe goers visited venues on the University campus, which hosted 65 individual theatre spaces, bars and offices.
BSL/English interpreters will be available at all events.