A unique new events fund to mark the 75th anniversary of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has been launched, with a host of multicultural organisations from across Scotland set to bring their own special events to life in their communities this September.
Launched by BEMIS Scotland, Scotland on Tour and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the £50,000 funding pot was opened up to groups led by minority ethnic communities, musicians and singers to stage exciting and diverse concerts, celebrations and performance opportunities for people in their local areas.
Eight recipients are set to benefit from the Multicultural Celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Fund and will stage community events over the last two weekends in September, showcasing music, dance and storytelling.
A concert to build the resilience and sense of belonging amongst Ukrainian communities, and a performance from Nigerian-born, Glasgow-based BBC Scotland Introducing Artist of the Year Bemz, are just some of the activities set to be showcased in Scottish neighbourhoods for local residents to enjoy.
The programme is set to engage Scottish people from a range of cultural backgrounds including African, Bengali, Caribbean, Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern, Pakistani, Polish, Romanian, Syrian and Ukrainian communities.
The organisations to receive funding are:
- Africado Events
- African Caribbean Society of Scotland (ACSS)
- Ando Glaso
- Healed Scars Trauma and Abuse Recovery (HSTAR) Scotland
- Isaro Community Initiative
- PKAVS Minority Communities Hub
- Tarang Dance Academy
In Glasgow, Africado Events is set to stage a one-day festival showcasing world music and performing arts at Spiers Wharf on Saturday 17th September.
ACSS is an organisation that provides a platform to celebrate unique African and Caribbean culture and provide safe spaces and support for mental health, education and access to financial sustainability. They will use the funding to host Afro Vision, a celebration of African and Caribbean music covering a multitude of genres from a diverse line up, at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh on Sunday 25th September.
Ando Glaso, who celebrate and promote Roma cultural heritage, will put on an evening of traditional and modern Gypsy music at Awestruck Academy, Clydebank on Saturday 17th September.
On Friday 23rd September at the Mayfield Community Centre, Stirling, HSTAR Scotland will host a concert in aid of Ukrainian communities, in order to use culture and music as a way to help people heal and recover.
Isaro Community Initiative aims to develop empowered communities with mutual cultural understanding and greater global awareness. They plan to stage a family-friendly event at Dalmuir’s Golden Friendships Community Hall on Saturday 17th September, with a wide range of food stalls and entertainment from a diverse range of artists.
In Perth and Kinross, PKAVS Minority Communities Hub helps hundreds of people from minority ethnic communities access local services and plays an active role in their community. On Saturday 17th September they will host an interactive and participative concert at North Inch Community Campus in Perth.
Tarang Dance Academy specialise in the classical Indian dance Kathak and seeks to overcome cultural, language, mental and physical barriers through dance. The Academy will host a showcase of Scottish and Indian music at Maryhill’s Community Central Hall on Saturday 24th September, bringing together Highland dancers with the music of Bollywood.
Scottish music, culture and media organisation Up2Stndrd provide a platform for underrepresented young people and hip-hop musicians in Scotland’s creative industries. Using the fund backing, they will put on a celebration of contemporary Scottish hip-hop, featuring performances from Bemz, AiiTee and a host of other talented artists, at Box Hub on Sunday 25th September in Glasgow.
Rami Ousta, Chief Executive of BEMIS Scotland, highlighted that such collaboration with Scotland on Tour and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe presents a distinctive and responsive initiative for all to participate and showcase our diverse multicultural heritage and talents at several levels.
Rami Ousta said: “BEMIS strongly believes that our multicultural heritage in Scotland continues to offer a cherished platform to showcase our active citizenship and inclusive national identity as equal Scottish citizens. We are definitely committed to enhancing and nourishing our collaborative relationships with the Scotland on Tour and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to facilitate and progress equal participation of the diverse communities regularly for the coming years.”
Shona McCarthy, CEO of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said: “As the Edinburgh Festival Fringe enjoys its final week, it’s great to hear about the local community groups who will be continuing our 75th anniversary celebrations into September. Those announced today represent performance from a variety of multicultural organisations. Through the work of BEMIS, new events which celebrate diverse cultures across Scotland will be across our communities this autumn.”
Director of Active Events, Lisa Whytock said: “Teaming up with BEMIS and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe means together we can provide meaningful opportunities for communities across Scotland to develop new events which celebrate the rich and diverse cultures that make up Scotland. We can’t wait to see the variety of events the groups put on which bring unique performances to their communities as part of this milestone year of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.”
Culture Minister Neil Gray said: “I am delighted to see the addition of the Community Fringe Fund to the hugely successful Scotland on Tour initiative.
“The partnership between BEMIS, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Scotland on Tour has inspired many under-represented groups, musicians, artists and more to create events in their own local communities to showcase a Multicultural Celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. I would encourage everyone to take advantage of these many exciting community events.”
The community events programme is available to view now at https://scotlandontour.com/community-fringes/.