Media Release: International Teaching Artists Conference gets underway in Edinburgh


THE third International Teaching Artists Conference: Best, Next and Radical Practice in Participatory Arts (ITAC3) gets underway in Edinburgh tomorrow, Wednesday 3 – Friday 5 August.

The three-day conference will take place at the University of Edinburgh’s John McIntyre Conference Centre.

This year’s conference is hosted by Creative Scotland, in partnership with Paul Hamlyn Foundation, ArtWorks Alliance and previous hosts of the conference.

ITAC3 has attracted 220 delegates from 16 countries including Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea while the programme includes 88 speakers and 50 workshops across the three day conference.

Speakers include 2015 Turner Prize winning artist collective, Assemble, internationally-renowned choreographer Royston Maldoom, Patrick Fox from St Helens-based community arts project Heart of Glass and Yasmin Fedda from Syria’s Mobile Phone Film Festival.

Other international speakers include Bruce Phillips from New Zealand-based Te Tuhi Gallery, Thomas Cabaniss from Carnegie Hall, New York and Puneeta Roy from New Delhi-based social change project, The Yuva Ekta Foundation.

The conference programme will explore Best, Next and Radical Practice in Participatory Arts with critical reflection and hands-on exploration in response to the three conference questions:

* How can we collectively strengthen support for artists working with people?

* How is participatory arts practice evolving to meet the challenges of the 21st century?

* What can the world learn from radical approaches to socially engaged art-making?

Aimed at artists, employers and organisations working in socially-engaged, participatory, community arts, and arts in education and learning, the biennial ITAC events offer a dynamic platform for actively sharing practice, learning and research; showcasing best and next practice for the host and visiting nations, generating new connections and building a palpable energy towards an international community.

Joan Parr, head of Creative Learning, Creative Scotland, said: “We look forward to welcoming arts practitioners working in social settings to the International Teaching Artists Conference.

“ITAC3 will bring together artists, organisations, funders and researchers from all over the world to explore key issues relating to participatory arts practice through an inspiring mix of curated conversations, practical workshops, keynote speeches, seminars and round-table discussions.”

The third instalment follows two previous International Teaching Artist Conferences, the first held in Oslo in 2012 and the second in Brisbane in 2014.

The three-day conference is a partnership between the previous hosts, Eric Booth, Marit Ulvund of SEANSE, Norway, Brad Haseman and Judith McLean of Queensland University of Technology, Australia, alongside ArtWorks Alliance and current funders Creative Scotland and Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Régis Cochefert, director – Grants & Programmes, Paul Hamlin Foundation, said: “Paul Hamlyn Foundation is delighted to support Creative Scotland in hosting ITAC3. Our funding for this international gathering and exchange builds on a programme that supported the initial education, training and continuing professional development of artists working in participatory settings: ArtWorks: Developing Practice in Participatory Settings (2011/2015).

“Together with Creative Scotland, we look forward to welcoming delegates from all over the world to ITAC3 and to introducing them to the ArtWorks Alliance, the new UK umbrella for organisations with strategic or development interests in any branch of participatory arts.”


Notes to editors:

1. Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and

2. Paul Hamlyn Foundation was established by Paul Hamlyn in 1987. Upon his death in 2001, he left most of his estate to the Foundation, creating one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK. Its mission is to help people overcome disadvantage and lack of opportunity, so that they can realise their potential and enjoy fulfilling and creative lives. We have a particular interest in supporting young people and a strong belief in the importance of the arts.

3. ArtWorks Alliance is the new UK umbrella for organisations with strategic or development interests in any branch of participatory arts, including community arts, socially-engaged arts, voluntary arts, and arts in education and learning. ArtWorks Alliance was created by the six national art form organisations that worked together through ArtWorks Navigator.

4. ITAC3 is produced by Red Bridge Arts, a new company set up by Alice McGrath, to provide a supportive structure to stimulate and sustain artists’ development and practice. The company’s mission is to nourish creativity and encourage curiosity.

5. Assemble are a collective based in London who work across the fields of art, architecture and design. They began working together in 2010 and are comprised of 18 members.

Assemble’s working practice seeks to address the typical disconnection between the public and the process by which places are made. Assemble champion a working practice that is interdependent and collaborative, seeking to actively involve the public as both participant and collaborator in the on-going realisation of the work.

Assemble are the first architecture or design studio to receive the prestigious Turner Prize, for its work on the Granby Four Streets project in Liverpool. The project is a collaboration with the residents of a rundown council housing estate to clean up the neighbourhood, paint empty houses and establish a local market.

6. Royston Maldoom OBE, has been the initiator and leader of numerous dance projects all around the globe for the past 30 years. His work was especially honoured by the movie, Rhythm is it!, which received the German Lola Movie Award for best documentary film in 2005 and reached large audiences worldwide.

When he was 20 years-old, he entered the world of dance studying at the Stella Mann School, Benesh Institute, Rambert Ballet School, London School of Contemporary Dance and the Royal Ballet School as a Apprentice Choreographer, funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Rosyton played a significant role in the development of Dance in Scotland. From 1980 to 1983, he was dance-artist-in-residence for Fife. During that time he organised numerous workshops, summer schools and dance festivals, founded community dance groups for teenager and adults and began to develop his philosophy of Community Dance. In 1986, he founded Scotland’s first permanent theatre based contemporary dance company, Scottish Dance Theatre, originally titled the Dundee Rep Dance Company. In 1994, he acted as dance research officer for Stirling District Council, setting up a Dance Artist in Residency scheme along similar lines led by long-time colleague, Tamara McLorg.

In the last four years, Royston has mounted large scale dance productions in Lima, Moscow, Bucharest, Auckland (NZ), Shanghai and Occupied Palestine Territories as well as delivering workshops and lectures for artists, teachers, psychologists, industry managers and cultural  and community providers. Much of his work now is focussed on mentoring young community artists around the world.

Media contact:

Eilidh Walker

Media relations and PR assistant

Creative Scotland


T: +44 (0) 131 523 0019

Switchboard: +44 (0) 330 333 2000

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Contact: Eilidh Walker