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Richard Demarco names Edinburgh Festival performance venue in honour of Leeds Beckett Performing Arts


Richard Demarco has officially named one of the Summerhall Edinburgh Festival venues as 'The Leeds Beckett Performing Arts Room' in honour of the University's partnership with the Demarco European Art Foundation.

Richard Demarco
Richard Demarco CBE, the only artist to have been awarded the European Citizen's Medal, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Leeds Beckett University in 2016. He has been one of Scotland’s most influential advocates for contemporary art through his work at the Richard Demarco Gallery, the Traverse Theatre and the Demarco European Art Foundation.
He has experienced and been involved in every single Edinburgh Festival since 1947, when he was 17 years old.
During the 2017 Festival Leeds Beckett University PhD student Aletia Upstairs performed ' The Artist as Explorer' in the new Leeds Beckett Performing Arts room, an interactive show combining maps, visual art, sound, music and film, based on an imaginative reworking of Richard Demarco’s archive and the 70 year history of the Edinburgh Festival. The show also featured Professor Noel Witts, Dean Andrew Fryer and Richard himself.
Richard Demarco said: “The whole history of this seventy years of the Edinburgh Festival during this year, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Festival, is to be found in the Leeds Beckett Room, and in the extraordinary and unique performance by Aletia Badenhorst an artist who is also involved in postgraduate, doctoral studies.''
“I would like to say, as someone who has experienced every single Festival, that I have been waiting a long time for something so important to happen.''
“In fact, Aletia Badenhorst has taken on the challenge of telling the true story of the Edinburgh Festival ‒ and actually, it is not just about the past; she has painted a picture of the future of the Edinburgh Festival. And therefore she has created something which is of the nature of an academic resource important to any student wishing to be involved in the Edinburgh Festival.''
“I thank her from the bottom of my heart and I thank Leeds Beckett University, and Andrew Fryer and Noel Witts personally.”
Andrew Fryer, Dean of The School of Film, Music and Performing Arts at Leeds Beckett University said: “We are honoured that Richard has chosen to name the performance space in the Demarco Archive at Summerhall after Leeds Beckett Performing Arts in recognition of our long-standing partnership with the Demarco European Art Foundation and our continuing research into the contribution of this important archive to the contemporary landscape of European arts. We are particularly proud to be part of the 70 year history of the Edinburgh Festival and to have collaborated with Richard in a unique performance exploring the creative journey that all artists undertake on their 'Road to Miekle Seggie' 
Richard Demarco featured in the recent BBC2 programme 'Festival Tales: Edinburgh at 70', presented by Jack Whitehall.
The Artist as Explorer has been given a 5 star review by Edinburgh Festival.org.
For more information on Richard Demarco and The Demarco European Art Foundation visit: http://www.richarddemarco.org/
Pictured is Andrew Fryer and Richard Demarco. Photo credit: Trevor Thorne.

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