Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Access

Change in Leadership and Direction

In July 2022 Kim McAleese took over as Director of Edinburgh Art Festival, so this year will be the first festival with new leadership. Over the past 11 months the organisation has been undergoing a learning and evaluation process, and over the coming 18 months we will be rethinking our approach, vision and mission.

Our festival in 2023 will be the start of a new approach to working with artists, audiences, partners and people. At the heart of what we do is intersectionality. As a result, and in line with a newly developing mission, we are currently writing new milestones in our Equity and Inclusion Policy as part of a commitment and ongoing process to create a diverse and inclusive organisation, which will be published in the autumn of 2023.

What we do

We are a collaborative partner, working with artists as they explore and develop new projects, contexts and ways of working. 

Art and artists are at the core of what we do. We work with communities and collaborators in the development of creative work and conversations. 

We cultivate connection, with and in-between artists, communities, programming partners and funders with commitment and with empathy.

How we do it

We work on projects that find the right context. Some are artist-led, and some are conceived and led by Edinburgh Art Festival. We work to develop and produce these projects and, with festival partners, bring them to audiences locally and globally. 

We value projects that have a position on what we care about: social justice, equity, empowerment. We want the work that we produce to have a social relevance, and be unafraid to address the difficulties with the world in which we live.

Our Programme
We work across these main areas: 

Festival Projects — We curate, develop and produce works with artists that connect with audiences locally, nationally and internationally  

Engagement — We develop and deliver ongoing series of annual programmes, located in our locale at the intersection of art and communities

Place — Our home is in Edinburgh, and in dialogue with our core partners in the city. We collaborate and co-present projects in this festival city. 

Platforms — We make space to uphold Scottish-based practice and expertise. We develop projects with early-career practitioners across many art forms, and recognise the talent in our region, while giving opportunity for national and international relationships.

Our Team

The Festival is managed and delivered by a small, friendly and dedicated core team of four staff, with additional production, technical, learning & engagement and marketing freelancers brought in to assist with delivery in the lead up to and during the Festival. Everyone’s contribution is valued. However, we acknowledge both that Edinburgh Art Festival is currently a majority white organisation and we want to become an organisation that reflects the diversity of the country around us. 

We are committed to addressing equality, diversity and inclusion across all our work. Our current staff team is predominantly white, cis-gender and non-disabled. We want to open our organisation up to those people facing intersecting barriers – this includes but is not limited to people from the global majority*, people with disabilities or long-term health conditions, people from low socio-economic backgrounds,. 

 *In using the term ‘Global Majority’ we refer to people who identify as Black, Asian, Brown, dual-heritage, indigenous to the global south, and or have been racialised as ‘ethnic minorities’.

If you have access requirements for our programme, or the projects more widely, please let us know and we will accommodate these. Tools available to create access documents include Access Docs for Artists. 

This is an on-going process and we will keep listening and welcoming your feedback. Please contact us via email, phone or post:

Kim, Director – [email protected]

Phone: 0131 226 6558