Learning and Participation - Current Projects

Baila Venezuela Dance Group

Edinburgh Festival Carnival Workshop Programme

The EFC Workshop Programme, running from April to July, is our flagship participation project, with over 500 workshops and engaging 6,400 participants. Facilitated by a blend of Scottish creatives, UK practitioners, and international artists in residence, the programme offers a diverse array of workshops spanning music, dance, and costume making.

We collaborate with a broad spectrum of individuals, organisations, and communities, ensuring equitable access to high-quality arts initiatives, with a particular focus on those typically underrepresented in the arts. Our approach empowers local communities to actively shape activities, placing people at the forefront of cultural decision-making processes. Through our engagement initiatives, we foster connections across diverse backgrounds, enriching arts education citywide and fostering a sense of inclusivity, enabling the citizens of Edinburgh to fully embrace the carnival as both participants and audiences. 

Some of our arts engagement partners include:  

Arts in the Afternoon, Dance Ihayami, Edinburgh Gambian Association, Edinburgh Caribbean Association, Edinburgh Palestinian Association, Edinburgh Chinese Arts Association, Fantanka Diaspora, Goodtrees Neighbourhood Centre, Latin American Association of Edinburgh, Latin Inclusive Disability Youth Dance Group, Passion4Fusion, Multicultural Family Base, Nepal Scotland, St Augustine High School, Vally Park Community Centre. 

GD Jam

GD Jam is a community orchestra that is open access and free to participate in. The aim of GD Jam is to create a non-judgemental and safe space for people of all ages and abilities to experience the joy of music making with other people.

GD Jam

The sessions take place in St Bride's Centre, Edinburgh. The sessions usually consist of musical warm up games, a rehearsal of that term’s repertoire and a social element too. GD Jam creates a welcoming and inclusive environment for a broad spectrum of individuals, fostering a community orchestra that is accessible to all ages and abilities. Its impact lies in its ability to build confidence and community among its participants. It offers a space that not only nurtures musical skills but also strengthens social connections, enhancing well-being through music. The project's participatory nature encourages creativity and leadership, with performances that validate the effort and talent of each individual. The shared experiences foster a supportive network that extends beyond the music sessions, contributing to a vibrant local community music culture. 

Art of Inclusion

Art of Inclusion

The Art of Inclusion builds on our experience in the delivery of creative and performing arts skills and competences in international contexts, enabling learners and cultural organisers to work within an ever-increasing globalised cultural sector.

We provide immersive wraparound experiential learning, with unique opportunities for personal and professional development, culminating in a series of international residencies with cultural sector operators outside of Europe.  

Our project builds the capacity and capabilities of around 60 emerging artists per year, enabling them to learn, work and contribute to a vision of global Scotland. International partners include: Banda Dida (Salvador Brazil), Santiago de Cuba Carnival (Cuba), Circo Fantazztico, San Isidro (Costa Rica), Artscape Theatre - Artsabilty Festival (South Africa).

Funded by the Turing Fund and delivered in partnership with Edinburgh College

Edinburgh Napier Jazz School

Edinburgh Napier Jazz School is a five-day long summer school led by saxophonist Sue Mckenzie and her team of tutors.

Summer School 2022

The course promises a cross-generational, intensive immersion into the practical aspects playing jazz. As part of the experience, participants are given complimentary access to number of selected concerts across the jazz festival and have a chance to showcase their new skills as part of the festival programme.

Delivered in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University.

Find out more about the 2024 Edinburgh Napier Jazz School and sign up here.


H.A.I.R (Heritage, Attitude, Identity, and Respect)

The project aims to enable young people of colour to explore, create, present, and perform aspects of Black history using dance, music, carnival costume creation, spoken word and digital creation.

The final performance will centre around new carnival costumes, accompanied by dance/choreography, digital films and spoken word inspired by black hair styles.  

H.A.I.R is delivered in partnership with St Augustine’s RC School and Intercultural Youth Scotland.