Creativity, change and history dominate at Festival of Politics


An opportunity to put a stich in time and be part of history will be on offer at the Scottish Parliament as part of events taking place on day two of the Festival of Politics (Saturday 18 August). The event is part of a wide-ranging programme which will focus on the importance of creativity to Scotland, its culture, its history and its people.

‘A Stitch in Time’ will give the public the chance to make their contribution to the Great Tapestry of Scotland and see some of the artwork behind what is being billed as Scotland’s biggest ever community art project. Later in the day, author Alexander McCall Smith will be joined by historians, Tom Devine and Alistair Moffat for ‘An Audience with History’. Chaired by Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick MSP, this session will ask who has shaped Scotland as we know it today and the key historical moments that should be included in the tapestry.

Saturday’s line up also sees ‘The Importance of Reading to Children and to Society’ ask how children can be encouraged to read. This event, organised in association with the Festival’s partner Carnegie UK Trust, will see panellists including children’s author Theresa Breslin and Marc Lambert from the Scottish Book Trust explore what can be learned from outside Scotland.

Creativity and its power to shape politics and social change will form the basis of a number of sessions including ‘What has been the Most Creative Force in Scottish Politics’ which will look at its impact on contemporary politics. ‘Creativity and Social Change’ sees a panel of distinguished academics discussing the role that music can play in improving lives and communities.

Saturday’s diverse programme also features satire, music and theatre. Broadcaster Lesley Riddoch will be joined by panellists including The Guardian’s cartoonist Martin Rowson and The Stand Comedy Club owner, Tommy Sheppard, to provide ‘An Incredibly Brief History of Political Satire’.

Professor Richard Demarco, one of Scotland’s best-known promoter of visual and performing arts will talk about his cultural links with the rest of Europe. The Walking Theatre Company will perform an adapted version of Shakespeare’s Scottish tragedy in ‘S’Misa Macbeth’ and singer-songwriter JJ Gilmour from The Silencers will host an intimate evening of the best in Scottish song writing.


Now in its eighth year, the Scottish Parliament’s Festival of Politics includes a four day programme of politics, music, art, theatre, literature and debate under the theme of ‘Politics. Culture. Creativity. A Force for Positive Change’.  Events take place on 17, 18, 24, 25 August at the Scottish Parliament.

Festival of Politics Partners

Our Festival partners are Carnegie UK Trust, Carnegie Dunfermline Trust and The Law Society of Scotland and our media partner is the Holyrood Magazine.

Programme availability and tickets

• Tickets are available online via
• A limited number of tickets are available via the Scottish Parliament in person and via telephone on 0131 348 5405.
• Full details of the festival programme are available from

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