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International arts management conference makes debut in Scotland at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

Posted: 26th May 2017

Dr David StevensonAn international arts management education conference will be staged in Scotland for the first time in its 36 year history this summer.

The Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE) Annual Conference will take place at Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh, from 31st May until 2nd June.

Over 120 arts management experts from the USA, Canada, Europe, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Colombia and across the UK will come together for the first time in the Scottish capital to discuss the latest research, policy and practice in arts and cultural management education, as well as address the future of the industry.

The theme of this year’s conference is New Places, Spaces, and Faces: Exploring Possibilities and Crossing Borders.

Keynote speakers will be Shona McCarthy, CEO of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society; and JP Singh, Director of the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for International Cultural Relations. Featured speakers will include Lynne Halfpenny, Director of Culture for City of Edinburgh Council and QMU graduate; and Lindsay Robertson, Service Manager – Arts, Festivals, and Events for City of Edinburgh Council.

Cultural activities and workshops will take place across the Capital, including an exclusive pre-conference Festivals Workshop delivered by Festivals Edinburgh, an opening reception at Dovecot Studios, and special site visits to Summerhall, Stills Photography Studio, the Festival and King’s Theatres, Creative Scotland and The Hub.

QMU was chosen as the host venue for this landmark event due to its widely recognised expertise in creativity and culture, including its internationally popular postgraduate programme, MA Arts, Festival and Cultural Management.

Dr David Stevenson, Head of Division for Media, Communication and Performing Arts at QMU, and programme leader for MA Arts, Festival and Cultural Management, said: “We’re extremely proud to have been selected to host this landmark cultural management event in the UK for the first time.

“We hope that the conference will establish an ongoing conversation among thought leaders and leading networks in cultural arts management education and related fields, as well as reinforce QMU’s international reputation for expertise in creativity and culture.

“The conference will also help to strengthen and build the University’s links with a variety of arts sector partners around the world.”

QMU is currently working in partnership with Arts Council Malta to influence the future of the cultural sector in Malta as its capital city, Valletta, prepares to become European Capital of Culture in 2018. QMU’s Dr Stevenson recently visited Malta to deliver a programme of training with a diverse range of cultural organisations, including the Valletta Film Festival; BLITZ: a contemporary art project space; and Opening Doors, an arts association that promotes the active involvement of adults with learning disabilities in the arts. All of the organisations involved were part of Art Council Malta’s Cultural Partnership Agreement, which is part of its five-year training strategy focusing on partnerships with a number of national and international organisations.

Katy Coy, Executive Director of AAAE, said: “We’re thrilled to be in Edinburgh, a world renowned cultural hub, for this year’s conference.

“As the arts and cultural management field internationalises, it’s critical to cross borders and create opportunities for connection and exchange, as the theme of our conference suggests. We’re delighted to partner with QMU to provide an exceptional opportunity for our members and colleagues to do just that with this event.”

For more information on the AAAE Annual Conference at QMU and to book tickets, visit:

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