Visiting Arts training programme supporting professional development and international mobility for the creative and cultural sectors in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific culminates in the UK for a week of networking and exchange this August during the Edinburgh Festivals and Visiting Arts annual International Producers Breakfast in partnership with Creative Scotland. 

11 participants from the programme have been selected as Ambassadors from Ethiopia, Malawi,Trinidad & Tobago, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Tonga. They will receive a special welcoming reception with key stakeholders on arrival in Edinburgh and have the opportunity to share learnings across disciplines and respective geographical contexts during a professional exchange day with Scottish artists and cultural managers. 

Experiences from the programme will be shared at the International Producers Breakfast alongside a discussion with Artistic Director of Holland Festival Ruth Mackenzie, Festival Director of Edinburgh International Festival Fergus Linehan and the training participants about the role of festivals in promoting, fostering and inspiring the work of artists and culture­makers on the margins.

Intensive workshops, followed by a series of virtual presentations and surgery sessions with experts spread out over several months to support participants’ self­directed learning and strategic planning, took place in Port of Spain, Addis Ababa, Lilongwe, Suva and at the Festival of Pacific Arts in Guam, with trainers including Step Afrika! Founder Brian C. Williams, British Council Director Arts, sub­Saharan Africa Tom Porter, Artistic Director of Melbourne Festival Jonathan Holloway, October Gallery Director Chili Hawes and freelance creative strategist and training consultant Kate McBain. Peer learning and collaborative working were integral to these sessions. 

The training programme is part of a larger project, Culture Works Connections, connecting artists across Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific to international networks, led by Visiting Arts, in partnership with The Africa Centre, South Africa, The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, Trinidad and Tobago, and The Pacific Arts and Culture Foundation in Suva, Fiji. The initiative is funded by the ACP Cultures+ ACP­EU Support Programme to ACP Cultural Sectors, financed by the European Union and implemented by the ACP Group of States, and aims to build a community and lasting network of creative businesses in more than fifteen countries in the Pacific, the Caribbean and Africa over three years from  2014-­2017.

The workshops were aimed to increase artists’ and creative practitioners’ awareness and knowledge of the platforms, tools and opportunities that exist for communicating and promoting their work to local and international audiences & partners, giving the participants the opportunity to reflect on their current practice and explore: 

- how to access local and international markets   

- how to progress professional development, marketing and business plans   

- the benefits of digital tools, networks and innovations   

- new opportunities for connecting and collaborating with audiences and partners   

Participants have been encouraged to explore the benefits of World Cultures Connect, a new digital hub for international arts and cultural professionals from Visiting Arts, to promote their work, discover new ideas and intelligence, and connect with new partners, audiences and markets. It is intended that the group will feed back the knowledge, experiences and connections gained from the opportunity in Edinburgh to their local networks, expanding the potential of international collaboration within the arts and cultural sectors, enhancing sustainability of creative industries and contributing to job creation and the alleviation of poverty. 

PRESS CONTACT: Sophia Victoria | +44(0) 208 123 9950 | 

To request access to the Edinburgh programme activities contact

August 3, 2016
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