There will be two activity days at North Edinburgh Arts in May thanks to Edinburgh International Book Festival.

On 9 and 11 May there will be events and activities for schools and residents and they will all come together to share stories, experiences and ideas of what it means to be a citizen.

There will be a performance by folk musician Aidan O’Rourke and pianist Kit Downes of songs written in response to James Robertson’s 365 Stories.

These two days are open to all.

Citizen is an ongoing programme led by writers in residence Claire Askew and Eleanor Thom working in partnership with Edinburgh organisations. Claire is working with Liberton High School, Broughton High School and Craigroyston Community High School and this will result in a day working with students from Edinburgh College of Art on flags.

Other work has involved community groups and schools in Muirhouse, Wester Hailes and Moredun. There will be a selection of local archive films shown from the National Library of Scotland’s Moving Image Archive, illustration workshops with artist Eilidh Muldoon and comic book artist Tanya Roberts.

Food is an important common theme across the groups and a free community buffet will welcome all those attending.

Janet Smyth, Edinburgh International Book Festival Programme Director, said “A brew and a blether are an essential part of community life – being able to get together to share your stories, your experiences, your worries is an important part of holding a community together.  Citizen at North Edinburgh Arts is an open house for Edinburgh’s residents – come along and join us to meet your neighbours.”

Kate Wimpress from North Edinburgh Arts said “The stories we tell, to others and to ourselves, shape the way we see the world and how the world sees us. North Edinburgh Arts is a place where people meet to share time, food and ideas relevant to the local, the city, the country and beyond. The Citizen events in May give us the chance, once again, to throw the doors open wide, strike up conversations, and offer a really warm welcome to everyone involved so far or interested in finding out more.

The public programme ends on Saturday evening with a performance of some of the 365 songs written by singer songwriter Aidan O’Rourke and performed by O’Rourke and musician Kit Downes.  A selection of James Robertson’s stories, which inspired the songs, will be read by students of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.    Tickets for this event cost £6.00 (£3.00 for holders of a Good Neighbour card from North Edinburgh Arts) and are available from North Edinburgh Arts or online at  All drop-in events on Saturday 11 May are free of charge.

Full details of the programme, and timings of events, can be found at and

Citizen is part of Edinburgh International Book Festival On The Road, a series of events and activities around Scotland throughout the year, and is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery and through the PLACE Programme (funded by the Scottish Government, City of Edinburgh Council, and the Edinburgh Festivals, and supported and administered by Creative Scotland).