Festivals, Cultural and City Events

6. How do the arts affect societal and cultural behaviours? Why does creativity matter not just to the arts but to our whole existence as human beings?

Video: ECC Week 6
Edinburgh Culture Conversations Week 6

Culture and Society

Culture and creativity help build flourishing and inclusive societies as well as powering the economy. The arts foster individual talent, bring people together and inspire the innovation essential in today’s world. How does creative education benefit society? What do we need to do to enable more people to benefit from the arts?


Dr Clarence Adoo

Dr Clarence Adoo MBE, is a musician who studied trumpet at Royal College of Music. After a tragic car accident, he now performs and advises others on music and disability. He performed with Coldplay at the Paralympic closing ceremony in 2012, was a key access consultant on the Sage, Gateshead and is an ambassador for National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.

Leonie Bell

Leonie Bell leads on Future Paisley, putting culture at the fore of the town’s regeneration to transform the town culturally, socially and economically. Leonie was previously Head of Culture Strategy at the Scottish Government and Director of Arts at Creative Scotland. In Autumn 2020 she will take up post as the next Director of V&A Dundee.

Dr Drew Hemment

Dr Drew Hemment is an artist, curator and academic researcher. He is Chancellor's Fellow and Reader at Edinburgh Futures Institute and Edinburgh College of Art. He founded FutureEverything the UK's festival for digital culture in 1995, and was artistic director of the flagship digital culture festival for Singapore’s 50th anniversary. Recent projects include the award-winning GROW citizens' observatory.

Jemma Neville

Jemma Neville leads Voluntary Arts Scotland and has previously worked in a range of roles connecting the global and the local, including at the Scottish Human Rights Commission. She was the inaugural Community Fellow at The Institute of Advanced Studies in Humanities, University of Edinburgh, researching her debut book, Constitution Street, finding hope in an age of anxiety.

Dr Dave O’Brien

Dave O’Brien is Chancellor’s Fellow in Cultural and Creative Industries at the University of Edinburgh. He is the co-author of Culture is bad for you: Inequality in the cultural and creative industries published by Manchester University Press.

Tamara Rojo CBE

Tamara Rojo is the Artistic Director and Lead Principal Dancer for English National Ballet. She is a member of the Board of Creative England and Creative Industries Federation, the Anglo-Spanish Society, a Patron of the Ipswich-based DanceEast Academy, Patron of the Flamingo Chicks and Adviser to Spain’s Superior Council of Artistic Studies. She was awarded a CBE for her services to ballet in 2016.



6. How do the arts affect societal and cultural behaviours? Why does creativity matter not just to the arts but to our whole existence as human beings?

Sixth in the series of talks to take place on Monday 17th August at 6pm. Produced by the University of Edinburgh's Festivals, Culture and City Events Team and hosted by Director, Janet Archer. Recording of the event available here now