Blog: Festival Director Noel Jordan sets out his vision for Edinburgh 2050

22 January 2019


In 2050 my Edinburgh will be a place where children and young people will be equal and valued citizens. They will have access to a rich education and a diverse and varied cultural life, regardless of their economic and geographical circumstances. Technology in 2050 will be integrated into our lives in ways we cannot currently conceive yet even as the place of technology becomes embedded within our daily lives, my hope is that the arts will have become increasingly important and central to what connects us as human beings, what brings us pleasure and what continues to enthral and engage us.

Within the school curriculum arts education will no longer take a back seat to the 3 R’s but become valued for its true transformative power of enabling children to develop their full potential and become well-rounded individuals in touch with their emotional intelligence and ability to empathise with others. Creativity will be a desired skill and its application and impact seen in multiple ways across all parts of the city. 

Edinburgh will continue to be recognised as one of the leading arts cities – a place where residents and visitors alike have access to the best of the world’s artistic expression year-round. We will be celebrated beyond the summer festival month as a city that provides the highest standard and most diverse range of arts. The arts for children and young people in Edinburgh will be seen as a place of true creative expression, a hub for experimentation and will have cemented its place as a global leader in the field.

With an expanded and culturally diverse population, the arts will be seen as a way of uniting people and a platform to celebrate difference. The Edinburgh International Children’s Festival will have passed a milestone a year earlier, reaching its 60th anniversary. Not just a Festival limited by geographic borders, its impact and reach will be experienced by children in Delhi just as they are in Dundee. The cultural and artistic rights of children and young people will no longer be discussed in advocacy terms but as a part of standard practice in the upbringing of all children.