January 15, 2008
Craigmillar World Community Arts Day
A global arts festival that began in Edinburgh last year is poised to treble in size after being flooded with interest from across the globe. Organisers behind the Craigmillar World Community Arts Day said they had been "inundated" with calls and e-mails from community groups.
A global arts festival that began in Edinburgh last year is poised to treble in size after being flooded with interest from even more countries across the world. Organisers behind the Craigmillar World Community Arts Day said they had been “inundated” with calls and e-mails from community groups.
Artists from Europe, the United States, South Africa, India, Brazil and Australia have already signed up for the second festival, which will include art shows and a range of community projects set up over the internet.
Andrew Crummy, one of the organisers, said scores of events would be taking place – in Edinburgh and around the globe – during the one-day extravaganza on February 17.
He said: “We were surprised by the success of our first world arts day, but this year will be much bigger. We’re looking at having at least 300 events in countries all around the world, so we’re absolutely delighted by the response.
“There are African Aids charities and groups working with street children in Brazil who have contacted us about hosting events. The organisers behind the Brazil project even likened their work to the kind of thing we are doing here in Craigmillar, so it’s nice to see the event spreading further.
“In our first year we had groups from the United States, Mexico and Australia joining in, and they have all been back in touch about this year’s event.”
The inaugural world arts day was set up to commemorate the death in 2006 of Theatre Workshop creator Reg Bolton, who suffered a fatal heart attack at his home in Australia.
Mr Bolton, 60, was best known for his theatre and circus work in Craigmillar during the 1970s, as well as his vision of bringing performing arts to the city’s most deprived areas.
Among the installations planned for the 2008 festival will be a photography and folk music exhibition called Migrant Voices, which will be staged in Singapore by artist Sha Najak, and a special performance by acclaimed Indian dancer Saroja Vaidyanthan.
Both the Children At Risk Foundation, based in Brazil, and community groups in Slovenia, will run art projects for impoverished children in their respective countries during the arts day.
Closer to home, festival organisers have encouraged children from around the world to create paper boats containing positive messages.
The boats are expected to be displayed at this year’s Three Harbours Festival in Prestonpans.
Deidre Brock, the city’s arts and culture leader, said she was delighted to see that the event was growing in popularity.
She said: “It’s great to see this locally-based arts initiative growing and developing on a global stage.
“With a fantastic imaginative approach, word seems to be spreading fast, so I’m sure next year’s event will be a huge success.”