Festivals, Cultural and City Events

4. Have the arts helped communities stay connected and safe in a time of social distancing?

Video: 4. Have the arts helped communities stay connected and safe in a time of social distancing?
Have the arts helped communities stay connected and safe in a time of social distancing?

Culture and society

Some people have felt a profound sense of loss during the lockdown. Has online arts activity helped them retain their sense of community? Is there a longing for shared live cultural experiences, or have people adjusted to the new normal?


Cliff Hague OBE

Cliff has been Chair of the Cockburn Association since 2016. He is Professor Emeritus at Heriot-Watt University, a Past President of the Royal Town Planning Institute and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Science. He was active in the Senior Selections screenings at the Filmhouse before Covid-19 arrived.

Jackie Kay CBE, FRSE

Jackie is the Chancellor and Writer in Residence at the University of Salford, Scots Makar and a Board Member of the Edinburgh International Book Festival. She is a poet, playwright, and novelist known for her works The Other LoversTrumpet, and Red Dust Road. Kay has won a number of awards, including the Guardian Fiction Prize in 1998 and the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book of the Year Award in 2011.

Dani Rae

Dani is General Manager of Assembly Festival and has worked with some of the UK and Europe's leading arts organisations including: Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, Aurora Nova, Imaginate, Tron Theatre, Scottish Opera, Stellar Quines and Live Theatre.  Assembly is the Edinburgh Fringe’s longest running multi-venue operators, hosting over 200 shows in 23 spaces across the city, including their year-round home Assembly Roxy.

Jan-Bert van den Berg – Director, Artlink Edinburgh

Jan-Bert has worked for Artlink for over 30 years. Artlink supports the right to participate in cultural life regardless of disability and promotes diversity by drawing on lived experiences to inform arts responses which are relevant and enduring. He is a member of a number of arts and third sector forums and firmly believes that creativity and art has important role to play in constructively and assertively contributing to building a better

Katey Warran

Katey is an Arts & Health researcher and Sociologist, currently completing her doctoral research at the University of Edinburgh, funded by the AHRC. She also coordinates the Arts Health Early Career Research Network, is on the committee for Arts Culture Health & Wellbeing Scotland, and co-leads a series of online discussion groups for those working across arts and play, formed in response to the Covid-19 lockdown.

Robert Softley Gale

Robert is an Artistic Director of Birds of Paradise Theatre Company, Scotland’s touring company that promotes the work of disabled artists in partnership with non-disabled artists and mainstream theatre venues and companies. For BOP Robert created ‘Purposeless Movements’, a dance theatre piece for which he was nominated for a CATS Best Director award, and he wrote and performed in ‘Blanche & Butch’, a camp musical comedy about disabled drag queens. He recently directed and wrote ‘My Left / Right Foot – The Musical’ which won a Fringe First and Herald Angel at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe and which recently toured to Japan.


4. Have the arts helped communities stay connected and safe in a time of social distancing?

Fourth in the series of talks to take place on Monday 3rd August at 6pm. Produced by the University of Edinburgh's Festivals, Culture and City Events Team and hosted by Director, Janet Archer. Watch the recording of the event here now.