Passion has been the focus for this year’s festival, and, once again, we have been continually amazed by the enthusiasm, energy and commitment we have seen from everyone involved. Having grown into one of the world’s largest social justice festivals, with your passionate support we will continue to use the arts to put a spotlight on mental health, raise awareness and challenge perceptions.
Now the festival has come to an end, we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that made it possible this year: the partners and coordinators and core staff who made it all possible; the hundreds of artists, organisations, activists, volunteers and venues who helped put together such a diverse and engaging programme; the journalists, bloggers and reviewers who spread the word about the important work we are doing; and last but certainly not least, we would like to express our gratitude to everyone who attended events this year, making each one a unique and meaningful experience.
This year has been our biggest yet, with over 300 events taking place across Scotland, encompassing film, theatre, music, literature, visual arts and much more. We are proud to say that we have featured some of the country’s most exciting and prominent artists, as well as giving you the chance to discover emerging international talent and showcasing just some of the inspiring work we see going on all the time within our communities.
Whether it was through witnessing personal stories transformed into fully-fledged artworks – as with touring theatre piece In Her Shadows, Karen Guthrie’s intimate documentary The Closer We Get and Kathryn Joseph’s stunning songs at Music Matters – seeing communities come together to share experiences and challenge stigma – embodied by events like Moving Minds, The and Headspace’s Festival Day – or experiencing daring and provocative new visions – including Mark Aitken’s Jury Prize-winning film Dead When I Got Here and the pieces on show at the startling Out of Sight, Out of Mind – this year’s festival inspired strong emotions and sparked passionate debate around mental health.
If you are already starting to miss the excitement of the festival, there is no need to worry. Next year marks our tenth anniversary and we have big plans to celebrate that landmark in style. Building on the successful work we have been doing throughout the year, including our pioneering Dust of Everyday Life conference and Gala for Mental Health at the Edinburgh Fringe, we will be bringing you a year-round programme of special events, before launching what is already shaping up to be an incredible festival in October 2016.
Keep an eye on our website and social media for updates on what we have in store, including our closing report with final numbers and details about how to enter our annual international film and writing competitions. We look forward to seeing you at future events and thank you again for everything this year.