Supporting Edinburgh’s Creative Communities to innovate with Creative Tech

Lung Ha Theatre Company perform onstage.

Last year we were delighted to launch the Community Creative Tech Fund, open to organisations working on EDI focused projects and for the benefit of local and marginalised communities. Thanks to support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), we were able to allocate £150,000 of funding for inclusive capital projects across the Edinburgh and South East Scotland region under the Community Creative Technology Fund. 

Working with the Creative Communities Hub, based at WHALE Arts, a series of workshops were held across the city to raise awareness of the fund amoung targeted communities, and to support and advise organisations in making their applications. These sessions led introduced a large number of grassroots organisations and established charities to the Creative Informatics network, who are now in the position to benefit from the programme’s activities and opportunities, as well as the support of the wider Creative Informatics community.  20 applications were received, the majority from organisations previously unconnected with Creative Informatics, of which 12 received full or partial funding.

In addition to funding, several organisations have been offered bespoke data planning consultancy sessions with members of the Creative Informatics team to ensure their purchases are being used to create maximum impact, efficiency and with a lasting legacy beyond the end of the Creative Informatics programme.

The Community Creative Tech Fund was developed thanks to support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, which helped us to develop a range of Inclusive Capital Projects.

About the awarded organisations:

Collective Text:
A Disabled and Deaf artist led integrated and creative captioning company, who also work in audio description, translation and advocacy. Award for hardware to extend their captioning and audio description capacity and create further employment and engagement opportunities.

Community Wellbeing Collective:
A group of people living in or connected to Wester Hailes, Edinburgh, who have transformed a disused unit in the Westside Plaza Shopping Centre into a Community Wellbeing Space, offering free wellbeing activities by local members from yoga to creative writing and free community meals.  Award to purchase projection equipment for community events, printing hardware to increase access to support materials, and redevelopment of accessible toilet facilities.

Craigmillar Now:
An arts and heritage organisation in Craigmillar which is home to the Craigmillar archives and hosts a year-round programme of creative activities, including artist residencies, workshops, exhibitions and events. Award for projection equipment, computing hardware and content creation software to improve their ability to collect and present archive material, as well as deliver community events.

Euan’s Guide: is the disabled access review website where disabled people, their families, friends and carers can find and share the accessibility of venues around the UK and beyond. Award for marketing and communications tools, and software which will allow their website to be accessible to BSL users.

A friendly arts and community hub in North Edinburgh where people can meet, participate, learn, create and enjoy a range of great activities. Based in the beautiful and historic Madelvic House, they have a growing archive of materials and objects connected to the history of the local area, and are home to a community garden that’s open for all to visit and enjoy. Award for computing hardware and secure archiving materials to further develop a digital local history walking tour and create a publicly accessible local history resource for the community.

Leith Theatre:
Community and arts space based in Leith Theatre, a stunning 1930s semi-derelict building at the hearts of its community. Leith Theatre Trust is working to restore the building and its various spaces, and produce and house creative projects including Hidden Door and Edinburgh International Festival events. Award for content creation software and hardware to support in the collection of local history material and creation of a publicly accessible archive.

Lung Ha Theatre:
Scotland’s leading theatre company for actors and theatre makers with a learning disability and autism. Lung Ha produces award-winning productions and work with a year-round, large ensemble to develop their practice and remove barriers to participation into the arts. Award for accessible rehearsal space, marketing software and computing hardware.

North Edinburgh Arts:
Offers local residents a place to relax, explore, learn, meet, share, volunteer and have fun in. Over 30 hours of creative workshops are on offer each week, most with a family focus, alongside a wide range of other events including exhibitions, dance shows, circus skills workshops, community theatre and film clubs. The venue is also home to Muirhouse Link Up and Tinderbox Collective, all connecting creatively with children, families and adults of all ages living across the area. Award for digital display equipment, content creation hardware, and marketing software to improve and expand current Box Office services and community communications.

Produced Moon:
A creative XR theatre lab based in Glasgow. We create playful, unsettling and magical experiences with audiences at the centre. Their work ranges from escape rooms to game theatre, participatory digital storytelling to 360 degree film and more. Award for Virtual Reality headsets and accessories to expand their capacity to share their creative work with young people and new communities.

Screen Education:
Screen Education Edinburgh is dedicated to filmmaking for all, delivering high quality learning, training and production programmes that develop skills, knowledge and opportunities for young people, adult learners, schools, communities, and film talent. Award for marketing and project management software to improve data collection and community communications.

Tinderbox Collective:
Tinderbox aims to ignite a spark in young people – one which fills them with confidence, imagination and sense of possibility, and which enables people to achieve things they never thought possible.  Their work uses music and the arts to bring people together and strengthen communities, providing exciting opportunities to those who need them most, and supporting young people to build their confidence, skills, self-esteem, and professional experience. Award for computing hardware, and art and audio software to support and expand their Tinderbox Lab music creation activities with young people.

Since being set up by local people in 1992 WHALE Arts has firmly established itself as the cultural anchor organisation for Wester Hailes. As a community-led arts charity and social enterprise, WHALE Arts’ mission is to be the creative heart of a vibrant, thriving community. WHALE acts as a conduit between their community and creative opportunities through the direct delivery of projects, programmes and events and by connecting our community with city and national cultural partners. Award to support upgrading their facilities, computing hardware and marketing software to improve communications with their community.

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