Cultural Diplomacy: Scotland’s Edinburgh International Culture Summit forges partnership with The Aga Khan Music Initiative

THE bar has been raised by the 2014 Edinburgh International Culture Summit with significant international interest from global cultural organisations, who join Summit 2014 as programme partners.

“The Aga Khan Music Initiative is honoured and delighted to be a programme partner of the Culture Summit. My hope is that our experience in creating and implementing strategies for cultural development in the Muslim world can contribute to the cultural dialogue that will take place during the Summit, and to innovative thinking about the role of culture in civic life both in the global North and South.”

– Fairouz Nishanova, Director – Aga Khan Music Initiative

Edinburgh International Culture Summit - homebirds

The second Edinburgh International Culture Summit will place a spotlight on the importance of international dialogue between policy-makers, artists and arts leaders and is bringing Culture Ministers and a range of eminent speakers to Edinburgh this August. Speakers will include Ms Nandi Mandela, a businesswoman and grand-daughter of Nelson Mandela, and Irina Bokova, director general of UNESCO.

New programme partners include the Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI); United Cities and Local Government (UCLG) Committee on Culture – Agenda 21; and Asialink, who will bring a balance of voices representing multiple perspectives to the Summit. In addition, the MIT Media Lab will also collaborate on this event. Together these organisations will bring a fresh wave of interest to complement the unique collaboration of the five founding partners, the British Council; Edinburgh International Festival; Scottish and UK Governments and Scottish Parliament.


  • Founding Partners

The Summit is a collaboration between the Scottish Government, UK Government, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh International Festival and British Council. It will bring together Culture Ministers with prominent artists, thinkers and others involved in developing and implementing cultural policy and will place a spotlight on the importance of international dialogue between policy-makers, artists and arts leaders.

  • Programme Partnerships for 2014

The Aga Khan Music Initiative

The Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI) is an interregional music and arts education program with worldwide performance, outreach, mentoring, and artistic production activities. The Initiative was launched by His Highness the Aga Khan to support talented musicians and music educators working to preserve, transmit, and further develop their musical heritage in contemporary forms – and in recognition of the historically unique and vital role music and musicians have played in the cultures of Central Eurasia and the Middle East. Music traditionally has served not only as entertainment, but as a way to reinforce social and moral values. Musicians have provided models of exemplary leadership, whether by bringing listeners closer to God, sustaining cultural memory through epic tales, or strengthening the bonds of community through festivity and celebration.

The Aga Khan Music Initiative began its work in Central Asia, with projects in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan, and subsequently expanded its cultural development activities to include artistic communities and audiences in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and West Africa. The Initiative designs and implements a country-specific set of activities for each country into which it invests, and works to promote revitalization of cultural heritage both as a source of livelihood for musicians and as a means to strengthen pluralism in nations where it is challenged by social, political, and economic constraints.

The AKMI is a programme of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC). The Trust, in turn, serves as the cultural development agency of the Aga Khan Development Network, one of the world’s largest development networks, and the only one that prioritizes cultural development on a par with economic and social development in all of its projects and commitments.

Learn more via New partnerships forged with world-wide organisations reinforcing global appeal of Edinburgh International Culture Summit


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