Edinburgh’s creative community adapting to reach audiences digitally

Out of the Blueprint exhibition opening. Credit: Out of the Blueprint
Out of the Blueprint exhibition opening. Credit: Out of the Blueprint

Edinburgh based creative projects Neu Reekie and Out of the Blueprint are amongst 68 projects across Scotland who have received a total of £1.6million from The National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund, to reimagine work and create new opportunities during COVID-19.

Neu Reekie has been rethinking its year-long 10th anniversary programme, adapting and refocusing plans to reach audiences digitally.

Kevin Williamson, Co-founder, Neu Reekie said: “For our 10th year we organised our fullest, most diverse, and most ground-breaking programme of events to date in Edinburgh, with a year-long series of core shows, as well an ambitious tour of Scotland’s towns and islands.

“All of these have had to be postponed because of coronavirus. To this end we’ve marked Edwin Morgan’s centenary with a live streamed show on the weekend of his birthday which was conceptualised and programmed in the same unique way we do for our live shows. We’re hosting the Scottish leg of the BBC’s Words First talent development scheme over the summer months to help discover new spoken word talent; as well as launching a public appeal for new commissioned work from poets.

“We’ll be at the ready to re-organise our core events, our national tour, and collaborative events when the coast is clear.”

Social enterprise and print studio, Out of the Blueprint is developing Walk Don’t Walk, an exhibition of work by 20 young illustrators and comic-makers. Originally imagined as a summer presentation at Leith’s Drill Hall, plans are now underway to showcase work on the streets of Leith.

Johnny Gaily, Manager at Out of the Blueprint, said: “There’s a real need this summer to put art and community up front and central, and I can’t think of a better way than to showcase some of the amazing young talent we’re working with.”

Joan Parr, Director of Arts and Engagement at Creative Scotland said: “COVID-19 has had such a significant impact on artists and organisations working across the country that it is sometimes difficult to think positively at this time. We’re therefore pleased to share news of these projects where artists have been able to adapt their practices and work, finding new and engaging ways to connect with audiences and contribute to our national wellbeing in these challenging circumstances.”

Image: Out of the Blueprint exhibition opening. Credit: Out of the Blueprint