August saw a visit to Scotland by 15 Cultural Diplomats, organised by Visiting Arts in partnership with the Scottish Arts Council, with additional support from British Council and DCMS.
The three-day visit, coincided with the Edinburgh festivals and gave the diplomats the opportunity to make contact with representatives of the main Edinburgh festivals and other key institutions in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The participants explored options for creative exchange, and gained an overview of arts and creativity in Scotland.
The participants included: the Cyprus High Commission, Embassy of Belgium, Taipei Representative Office in the UK, Embassy of Finland, Embassy of Panamá, Lithuanian Embassy in the UK, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Embassy of Belarus, Korean Cultural Centre, Québec Government Office, High Commission of Canada, Embassy of Costa Rica, Raitu Foundation UK / Romanian Cultural Centre, and the Mozambique High Commission.
The visit began with a welcome and context setting from Scottish Arts Council, followed by a meeting with Scottish Executive staff. The group also met Linda Fabiani, Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture at the Scottish Arts Council’s reception. Arts and cultural operators were met in groups focussing on festivals, performing arts, visual arts, craft, literature, museums and dance. Performances seen were Scottish Dance Theatre’s tenderhook and Dog and the Palestinian National Theatre’s Jidariyya.
“The visit was extremely well organised. We met with all the major players and institutions, and they were all very well prepared.” – Stein Iversen, Minister Counsellor, Head of Press, Information & Cultural Affairs, Royal Norwegian Embassy