New director to boost cultural ties with city

The former head of a national arts body and champion of social inclusion through culture is to oversee the University’s work with Edinburgh’s festivals.

Janet Archer

Janet Archer has been appointed as the University’s first Director of Festival, Cultural and City Events. She will take up the post at the end of May 2019.

Cultural leadership

Ms Archer’s new role will provide leadership across the University to extend its partnerships with the cultural sector, especially the city’s festivals, including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Science Festival. 

She will also create new opportunities to support the University’s research, education and service ambitions with other events throughout the year.

I am delighted to join the University of Edinburgh. I’m very much looking forward to contributing to the important role the University plays as a truly global institution, rooted in Scotland’s capital city. I am tremendously excited about the opportunities this new role offers. I can’t wait to start working with colleagues at the University, the city, and the wider cultural sector to realise them.

Janet ArcherDirector of Festival, Cultural and City Events

Arts leader

Born in London and brought up in Scotland, Japan, Brazil and Wales, Ms Archer studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the Rambert Academy and the London School of Contemporary Dance.

Ms Archer won the first Cosmopolitan Dancer of the Year Award in 1981. In 1991 she was appointed as the Artistic Director and CEO of Dance City in Newcastle where she raised £7.6m to build a new Dance House for the city, which was designed by Edinburgh-based Malcolm Fraser Architects.

In 2007, she was appointed Director of Dance Strategy for Arts Council England where she commissioned A Window on Dance, a major study mapping the range of dance activities across the country.

Creative Scotland

In 2013, she was appointed as the CEO of Creative Scotland. Over the course of her five-year tenure she championed artists, advocated for Scotland’s screen sector, promoted equalities, diversity and inclusion, and set out a firm commitment to creative learning and environmental sustainability.

Since stepping down from her role at Creative Scotland, she has joined the Ionad Hiort (St Kilda Centre) Advisory Board – and the Saltire Trust as a trustee. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

We’re delighted to welcome Janet Archer to the University. This new role will build on our already excellent relationships with Edinburgh’s cultural community, and forge new ways to help our staff and students make the most of the city’s creative energy.

Hugh EdmistonVice-Principal Business Development and Director of Corporate Services

Related links

The University at the Festivals