Public seats announced for international culture summit


How do the arts enrich peoples’ lives around the world and what role does culture play in building successful communities?

Members of the public are invited to hear answers to these questions and many more when the future of culture and the arts is debated at the Edinburgh International Culture Summit from 24 to 26 August. A number of tickets are available for members of the public to observe the summit.

Taking place at the Scottish Parliament, the Summit sees Culture ministers and leading commentators come together in Edinburgh to discuss why culture is important, explore its contribution to social and economic development and compare international approaches to promoting and supporting culture.

The Summit is a collaboration between the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Government, the UK Government, the British Council and the Edinburgh International Festival.

Each of the sessions will take place in the Debating Chamber and will be chaired by the Presiding Officer, Ken Macintosh MSP.

Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Ken Macintosh MSP said:

"We all gain so much from living in a country with such a rich and varied cultural heritage and we could both share and learn from others too. Following on from the Edinburgh International Festival and our own Festival of Politics, this summit brings together cultural voices and policy makers from around the world.

“I see the role of the Scottish Parliament as a vital one in supporting culture and providing a platform for debate. This is a unique opportunity for members of the public to be involved in this important debate.”

The sessions that are open to members of the public are listed below.

Wednesday 24 August

17.30-18.30: Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Culture Summit

Thursday 25 August

09:30-10.15: Culture and Heritage plenary


  • Francesco Bandarin, Assistant Director-General for Culture UNESCO Paris;

  • Prince Amyn Aga Khan, Aga Khan Development Network, Geneva;

  • Maamoun Abdulkarim, Director-General Antiquities and Museums in Syria, Damascas.

14.00-14.45: Culture and Economics plenary


  • Jude Kelly, Artistic Director Southbank Centre, London;

  • Youssou N’Dour, former Minister of Culture for Senegal, Dakar;

  • Mike Power, Professor of Accounting London School of Economics.

Friday 26 August

09:30-10.15: Culture and participation plenary


  • David Leventhal, Programme Director and founding teacher, Mark Morris Dance Group’s Dance for PD® programme, New York;

  • Jay Wang, Director Center on Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles;

  • Matthew Peacock, Artistic Director, Streetwise Opera London.

14.00-15.15: Closing plenary


  • Rapporteurs’ summaries;

  • A special performance by Cape Town Opera chorus.

Applying for tickets

Members of the public may apply for up to two tickets for each session by emailing [email protected]. For more information please call: 0131 348 5200.

Applicants must supply the following information for each person who wishes to attend.

  • Title (Mr, Mrs, Ms, Miss, Dr, etc.)

  • First name

  • Surname

  • Organisation (if applicable)

  • Address with postcode

  • Telephone number

  • Email address (if available)

  • Which session(s) you would like to attend: Wednesday 17:30; Thursday 09:30; Thursday 14:00; Friday 09:30; Friday 14:00. It is possible for each person to apply for more than one session, but tickets will be subject to availability.

Ticket applications must reach the Parliament no later than Sunday 14 August. Successful applicants will be notified by Wednesday 17 August at the latest and will be given detailed instructions on the arrangements for the event. Successful applicants will be required to bring photographic ID with them on the day.

Contact information

Media information


Public information

  • Telephone enquiry line: 0800 092 7500 or 0131 348 5395 (Gàidhlig)
  • [email protected]
  • Text 07786 209 888
  • Ask a question online through live chat
  • We also welcome calls using the Text Relay service or in British Sign Language through contactSCOTLAND-BSL

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