Learning & Engagement

DIY Art – Home Creativity Kits

DIY Art is our new free series of activity packs specially designed by artists, inviting you to get creative at home. The instructional creativity kits give insight into an artist's practice, showing how you can use their processes and techniques to create your own unique artwork. Keep an eye out as we release more activities over the coming weeks.


Making a Dream World by Tamara MacArthur
Recommended for ages 8–12


What you will need:

  • A small area of clear wall with some space in front of it, to set up your filming device
  • Phone/ tablet/ laptop
  • Paper (about 20 sheets)
  • Card (cereal boxes are perfect!)
  • Colourful drawing pencils/ pens/ pastels
  • Shiny scraps (kitchen foil/ sweet wrappers etc.)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Blue tack
  • Tape


Alongside the piece It’s All Over But the Dreaming presented as part of our August offering, artist Tamara MacArthur has created a special DIY Art activity which invites you to imagine your own dream world, and turn it into a paper theatre set at home. You can find costumes for your characters using everyday things from around the house. Then, using a filming device like a phone or laptop, you can create your own show.

Watch your magical dream world become a reality!


HELLO Postcards by Peter Liversidge
Suitable for all ages.

Peter Liversidge's HELLO Postcards creativity kit invites you to greet and connect with people by sending mail art, especially to those who have played an important role for you and others during the Covid-19 pandemic. The art pack corresponds with Peter's Flags for Edinburgh project, originally from Edinburgh Art Festival 2013, and revisited as part of our artist responses this year. The project invites organisations and communities across the city to fly a white flag that reads HELLO – sending a collective greeting to each other and the wider world. Before you post your mail art through the postbox or letterbox, take a picture and share it with Edinburgh Art Festival by tagging @EdArtFest and including #SayHello. Download here.


WOW ORANGE by Naomi Garriock
Recommended for ages 5–11

Artist and educator Naomi Garriock’s WOW ORANGE art pack invites young people, their family/carer or teachers to focus on colour, patterns and shapes from the natural world and drawing as a way of exploring therapeutic and meditative creative processes. The WOW ORANGE art pack is part of Children’s Art Week 2020 – a UK-wide programme run by Engage, the National Association for Gallery Education. Download here.


Recommended for ages 16+

Artist Alexa Hare presents WAITING PAINTING, an art pack asking you to slow down and use the act of listening as a starting point for creating your own visual statements combining writing, paint and collage. This process will help you get lost in making, ordering your thoughts in a visual way to create a series of collages. Download here.


Housemates by Sofia Niazi 
Recommended for ages 4–10

Artist and illustrator Sofia Niazi has created Housemates, an art pack inviting young people and their family/carer to explore their homes in new ways, identifying interesting patterns, and using books, newspapers or magazines to combine collage and drawing to create colourful creatures, animals and people to populate and brighten your home. Download here.


Creativity kits including art materials have been distributed to participants of WHALEArts, SCOREscotland and other organisations in the Wester Hailes area including Heathervale Young People's Residence.

Special thanks to Edinburgh Art Shop.

Communities, Schools and Year-round Engagement

Keep up to date with our activities on our Community Engagement Blog, dedicated to showcasing the process and outcomes of our year round work with communities, schools and young people in Edinburgh.

Between 2019 and 2021, we’re working in partnership with WHALE Arts, and will commission an artist/s to engage and co-create with communities in Wester Hailes, developing a piece for our 2021 Commissions Programme.

In the lead up to this, January 2020 sees the beginning of an 18 month partnership project with WHALE Arts, pupils & staff at Sighthill Primary and S3 pupils at WHEC, focussing on creative skills and confidence through weekly sessions in and out of school, exploring art making and programming.

In addition, workshops and days-out facilitated with local community organisations and youth agencies are engaging adults, children and families throughout the 2 years, exploring art making and programming, and the developing Wester Hailes 2021 commission.

This work is supported by the PLACE Programme: Platforms for Creative Excellence; a partnership between Edinburgh Festivals, Scottish Government, City of Edinburgh Council and Creative Scotland.


Art Early

Inspired by our popular Art Late series of after-hours gallery tours and performances during the festival, Art Early invites families with children of all ages to explore our festival commissions and partner exhibitions. Families join us for a morning tour of festival venues, with art activities along the way; taking the art onto the street and exploring ideas in a fresh light.



Explorers is our programme of weekly workshops and events for children, families and young people, taking place throughout the festival. Explorers Outdoors uses Johnston Terrace Wildlife Garden and Bobby Niven’s 2017 commission Palm House, as a venue for nature-inspired art activities and exploration. Explorers at the Central Library offers a two-hour workshop making and exploring through a range of artists’ ideas and processes.



Each year we deliver an Audio Described Tour for visually impaired audiences incorporating support for physical access needs, which takes participants on a tour of some of our partner galleries and commissions. We also offer a Deaf-led BSL Tour for British Sign Language users. Hearing loops can be provided on request for any bespoke tour.

In 2019 we began work on programming events for adults with additional support needs and hope to build on this in the coming years.  If you would like to attend or arrange an event with us for an ASN group or client base, please get in touch.

If you would like to be added to our direct mailing list for a specific access event, please get in touch by emailing learning@edinburghartfestival.com, or phoning our office on 0131 226 6558.

As part of our partnership with Euan’s Guide, we launch a dedicated page each year for the Edinburgh Art Festival bringing together accessibility information on all our partner venues and Commissions Programme.  You can find out more, and read our annual accessibility statement here.


Bespoke Tours, Workshops and Days Out

Every year, we tailor events for community groups and organisations to visit the festival. Usually this includes a tour of one or two commissions and partner exhibitions, followed by a creative hands-on or discursive workshop.

Annually, we work with WHALE Arts and North Edinburgh Arts to co-deliver a summer programme of festival themed workshops for children and families, culminating in a creative, Art Festival day out for all ages. To request an Edinburgh Art Festival tour &/or workshop event for your group in 2020/21, please contact learning@edinburghartfestival.com.