7 Questions with Rachel Arthur of Creative Riot
You may have seen the beautifully crafted Boom Saloon magazine/book on a shelf in some of Edinburgh’s finer establishments recently. Well the makers of it are hosting their second project this Tuesday the 18th and Wednesday the 19th of July at Leith Theatre. An explosion of creativity, they have called it Creative Riot! We caught up with the founder of the movement, Rachel Arthur, to find out more …..
For those that don’t know you, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m founder and editor of boom saloon, a printed magazine showcasing the importance of the arts and creative industries in a movement to utilise them for good. Growing up, I was always torn between the written and creative worlds, so working in publishing is a perfect fit- whilst our social projects allow me to use the industry as a springboard to do some good!
What was your inspiration for starting the magazine Boom Saloon?
For most of my life, I’ve been creative- and I’ve seen first hand the varied reactions this has provoked. I’ve met the naysayers, the stick in the muds and the downright naïve who refuse to believe in the importance of the arts and creative industries. Luckily, I’ve also met the artists; the brave hearted creatives flying in the face of tradition. I’ve seen their work alter opinions and shape lives; I’ve seen its importance. Now boom saloon offers a platform to showcase that to the world. To showcase ALL of that to the world- regardless of status, education or location. boom saloon will always strive to champion any work of talent, no matter where it comes from; this stance is central to our belief.
The magazine is now distributed internationally, are there plans to expand project work too?
Absolutely- I’ve already got my eye on projects as far afield as Rio. It’s just a matter of getting the boom room up and running so we can be more flexible in where we base ourselves.
The Creative Riot event has a great range of performances, how did you choose the acts?
Via a very lengthy process! The Creative Riot took shape in North Edinburgh and initially had a heavy focus on dance. However, we quickly learnt one of our biggest lessons when working with a community- as an outsider, you can never dictate what is best for those you are working with. You must take the time to understand their needs, their concerns and their passions; shaping all plans around this. Doing so, we tapped into Edinburgh’s thriving rap and grime scene- bringing on board creative collective 131 Northside as well as solo acts Zesh and Chriis Wood. Conversations with the community often centred around two names in particular, Ashley Jack and Azad Adam- hugely exciting local creatives, we’re delighted to have them involved. From here, word spread and before we knew it we had incredible performances from Dominique Haig, Christie Brown, Ellen Renton, Edinburgh Parkour and Studio Ember lined up.
For those coming to the event, can you tell them what to expect?
A total sensory overload like nothing else!
Leith Theatre is being used more regularly for events now, why was this the top choice for the Creative Riot?
As more and more creatives came on board it became clear we needed a big space; however, the city centre’s larger venues felt too extravagant and plush for what we are creating. Leith Theatre is ideal as it is jam packed with a sparkling, yet perhaps slightly unexpected, charm. We couldn’t be happier to be working with such a lovely team in the Leith Theatre Trust and can’t wait to see how the venue looks once our transformation is finished!
What’s next for the Boom team?
Most likely more crazily ambitious ideas that force people to stop me in the street and ask why on earth I thought such a thing would be possible 😉
For tickets for Creative Riot head to www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/creative-riot-tickets
Kyle and Sandy: Channel7A