Alicia Adams, the VP for International Programming and Dance at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, shares her experience at Momentum.
I have attended the Edinburgh Fringe and International Festivals for a decade either through the British Council or the Kennedy Center. I found that participating in Momentum opened a window onto other aspects of the festivals and provided a deeper dive into Scottish culture. This was an opportunity to meet the staff of Creative Scotland, the producers and staff of the festivals, to gather some statistics on the operations and gain a knowledge of the inner workings of the festivals. Because the delegation from DC represented various offices and programs, it also provided a time to learn more about each other’s work. This can lead to more collaborations between members of the delegations and other opportunities in the future.
I’m pleased to share a few entries from the journal I kept during the week:
Early in the week, I had a guided tour of Jupiter Artland and I was fascinated by its mission, the beautiful grounds, location, and the curatorial work that is being done by staff. The artist-in-residence happened to be Joana Vasconcelo, a Portuguese artist that I had met while curating the Iberia Festival here at the Kennedy Center. It was quite interesting to see the installations done by her and the development of a swimming pool designed by her. Claire, who showed me around, and I had a great deal to talk about in terms of their plans and now their inclusion of performing arts festivals to attract the millennial demographic. Jupiter is a great place to develop and implement innovative programs.
Another highlight of the week was our time in Leith. Jemma Nevile is an extraordinary citizen of Leith and her guided tour of this less valued community provided a great deal of insight into the lives of people just outside the Edinburgh Center. Jemma has written a new book about the history of the street where she lives in Leith that I look forward to reading.
Our trip to V&A Dundee was fantastic. The museum is beautiful and it was great to attend a preview event and to learn about the creation of this museum. It reminded me of the Sydney Opera House because of its stunning presence on the river. The museum is for design and is setting a great example of beautiful and functional design.