Community Connections Hub Call Out FAQs

Who is the Edinburgh International Festival?

The Edinburgh International Festival unites people of different cultures and viewpoints together through the performing arts. Every August, we present a curated programme of the world’s leading performers in dance, opera, music, theatre. Across our 77-year history, we have deepened our commitment to artistic excellence, cultural curiosity and global reconciliation.

During and beyond August, the International Festival is underpinned by a real social mission to positively impact the lives of people who live and work in Edinburgh through the arts. Our year-round work creates meaningful connections and opportunities between the Festival and the rich and diverse communities that make up the city.

Our vision is simple: to deliver the deepest experience of the highest quality of art to the broadest possible audience.

Do you work with the other Edinburgh festivals?

Founded in 1947, the International Festival inspired the formation of Edinburgh’s vibrant community of festivals. There are now eleven festivals which take place across the year in Edinburgh, and six of these happen in August, including the International Festival. We are each distinct festivals with our own objectives and each festival enriches the city in its own unique way.

What is Community Connections at Edinburgh International Festival?

Our Discovery and Participation (formally named Learning and Engagement) work offers year-round opportunities that empower the discovery of the arts, leading to a lifetime of opportunities to participate. From primary school pupils to emerging artists, we devise bespoke experiences to inspire our audiences to unlock their creativity and cultural curiosity.

The International Festival is committed to developing deep, long-term relationships with communities in Edinburgh. We deliver several different programmes aimed at exploring our values of discovery and connection with local communities, building relationships and improving accessibility.

How can I get involved in Community Connections opportunities in 2024 if I represent a non-building based community group?

Our Discovery and Participation work involves several different opportunities and programmes, some of which are directly offered to groups and others which you can register your interest in.

Across 2024, the International Festival will run several opportunities, the following which may be of interest to non building-based community groups:

  • Culture Clubs: Taking place each August, Culture Clubs bring 3-4 community groups from across the city together to share a meal and conversation, before attending an International Festival performance together.
  • Festival Fridays: Taking place in August, these are pop-up performances which happen in community spaces for a local audience.

Is this the first time the Edinburgh International Festival has created a Community Connections Hub?

Community Connections Hubs is a new initiative for the International Festival and is part of our Discovery and Participation strategy. We have delivered two school residency programmes (Leith Academy 2019-2022 and Castlebrae 2015-18), and we are applying our learnings from this model into our planning for this Community Connections Hub. This will be the International Festival’s first Community Connections Hub and in partnership with the community centre, we’ll explore how similar connections could be created with different Edinburgh community organisations working across the city.

Why are you only working with one community centre?

We will work with one community centre for the first Community Connections Hub for 18 months across 2024/2025. We want to build strong relationships and allow for time for understanding to build and mutually beneficial opportunities to be identified. We will focus on one partner initially so we can fully focus on developing a strategy for this way of working. At the same time we will continue to work with community groups in Edinburgh through our other Community Connections programmes.

How will you support the community centre?

We will work with the Community Connections Hub to ensure that the partnership works for your existing commitments and resources. The International Festival will pay for all room hire and associated activity costs created through the partnership. We’ll work with you to identify local suppliers to ensure investment in the local community.

Will the relationship end after 18 months?

We want to dedicate 18 months to working with our Community Connections Hub partner and will continuously monitor the effectiveness of the partnership across this time. After 18 months, we will plan what a lighter touch relationship with the partner might look like and are committed to continue a relationship with the centre into the future.

Will there be more Community Connections Hubs?

We will work with one Community Connections Hub in 2024/2025. We will work with this partner to evaluate the experience and from here plan an approach to identify future Community Connections Hubs. Our ambition is to work with a network of Community Connections Hubs by 2030.

I have a question about your Community Connections work. Who should I speak to?

Great! We love having conversations and making new connections. Please email our Discovery and Participation team: [email protected]

We look forward to hearing from you!