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Leith Academy Residency Logo

Leith Academy

Edinburgh International Festival is partnering with Leith Academy in a three-year residency designed to enrich the life of the school.

As well as creating cultural opportunities for the school community, the Residency will look beyond the work the International Festival presents on stage; equipping students with personal, social and vocational skills.

We began our relationship with the school by consulting with students and staff at Leith Academy to develop plans which reflected the interests and needs of the school community. Emerging through the consultation work, and in connection with the International Festival programme, an overarching theme of identity marks year one of the Residency; exploring who we are as individuals and as a community.

Artists in Residence

Over the three-year Residency, the International Festival will place artists in residence within the school, engaging different groups through a variety of artforms.

Artists in Residence: Ashley Jack, Heather Marshall and Aly Wight
Find out more about the current artists in residence

Ashley Jack
Ashley Jack is an Edinburgh-based hip hop dancer and choreographer. Ashley teaches children and adults in studios, dance colleges and schools, and under her brand, House of Jack. She also organises regular workshops by international and local dancers.

Heather Marshall
Heather Marshall is a multi-award-winning artist who creates accessible socio-political performance and live art for people that may not traditionally attend mainstream arts events. She often works under the company name Creative Electric.

Aly Wight
Aly Wight is a photographer and film-maker based in Edinburgh who works with a range of clients in the arts, charity, corporate and design industries. Aly was an artist in residence for the Castlebrae Community High School Residency, capturing the pupils emotional and physical transformation over the course of three years.

Beatboxing at Leith Academy

In a partnership project between the Edinburgh International Festival, the Traverse Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre, students from Leith Academy explored the art and skills of beatboxing, culminating in a performance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August.

Working with artists from the BAC Beatbox Academy alongside Scottish singer-songwriter Josie O’Neill, pupils were introduced to beatboxing through a week long in-school residency in June. These sessions were followed by a Summer School in July where students created their own beatboxing curtain raisers which kicked off each performance (excluding 10pm) of Battersea Art Centre’s Frankenstein. Inspired by Mary Shelley’s original tale, and re-imagined with songs, soundscapes and sonic trickery, Frankenstein was performed at the Traverse Theatre from 6-25 August.

Find out more about when Leith Academy met Beatbox Academy over on the blog.

The Residency Brand

In collaboration with the International Festival’s Marketing and Communications team, we are setting third year students the task of designing a brand identity for the Residency which reflects the values of the relationship between Leith Academy and the International Festival. The chosen concept will be used throughout the three-year Residency.

Culture Club

This programme will provide social trips for staff and students to engage in a variety of cultural experiences – from music and drama, to visual art and dance - encouraging an appetite for the arts and breaking down any barriers which might inhibit many from engaging.

So far, we have been on Culture Club trips to:

Mouthpiece – Traverse Theatre
Touching the Void – Lyceum Theatre
RSNO: The Music of Harry Potter – Usher Hall
Scottish Ballet: Spring! – Festival Theatre
Us/Them – Festival Theatre Studio
Scottish Opera: The Magic Flute – Festival Theatre

School of Rock

We supported Leith Academy to stage School of Rock, their biannual school show, in the Festival Theatre Studio this year.

Festival Ambassadors

We have assembled a group of students from S1-5 who will work closely within the Residency, overseeing all projects and acting as ambassadors of the partnership. The group will work together to develop community projects, developing their skills in project development and events management.

Students and teachers from Leith Academy and Tynecastle High School at the 2019 International Festival launch | Photo: Ryan Buchanan

Personal Development Award: Festival Residents

We will support two students to gain a Personal Development Award at level 6 which will see candidates gain workplace experience with the International Festival and build a range of personal, social and vocational skills.

Find out more about the Leith Academy Residency:

Leith Academy

Edinburgh International Festival Announce residency in Leith Academy

Beatbox 1

Leith Academy meets Beatbox Academy

Project R E B E L © Mihaela Bodlovic 32

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