Come and join the Board of Just Festival, Edinburgh

Are you passionate about social justice? Do you have an interest in the arts? Are you looking for a voluntary leadership role that will inspire and energise you? 

Just Festival is looking forward to welcoming new Board members, including a Convenor. After two years of the pandemic and with a new festival manager at the helm, we are looking for further fresh input to help drive our festival forward. We have a range of roles available to match different skill sets and interests.

If you are passionate about social justice/music/arts/culture and motivated by participatory and socially-engaged work, then we would love to hear from you!  Just Festival is looking for individuals from different backgrounds, with diverse skills, experiences and interests to help inform and support our work. We seek individuals who are passionate, enthusiastic and proactive. Board experience is not necessary for new Board members, though our new Convenor will ideally have previous leadership and/or Board experience, as well as experience of charity governance and fundraising. 

What is Just Festival?

The Festival was founded in 2000 to act as a space for reflection in the hubbub of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It evolved to provide a social justice and human rights platform where respectful cultural conversations could challenge perceptions and prejudices and celebrate differences. Over the years, the size of the Just Festival has varied in scale and its ambition remains vibrant: to deliver a socially and politically conscious programme of activities and events in August. 

Our Mission 

The Just Festival creates a space for dialogue as well as platforms for engagement in local, national and international questions of justice and identity.  It does this through social, ecological, political and faith lenses. Our values and aims are on our website at www.just-festival.org

How to apply

Interested applicants should submit a CV and cover letter outlining their interest in Just Festival and the skills they could offer, to Miranda Heggie, Festival Manager at manager@just-festival.org by 5pm on 4 January 2023. Initial interviews will take place via zoom on weekday evenings during the week beginning 9 January.

If you’re interested in an informal and confidential discussion on the roles, please email Miranda and she can arrange to speak to you herself, or with one of the Board members.

Find out more in the notes below and on our website: www.just-festival.org. Copies of our most recent financial statements are also available, either on the Companies House website, or they can be emailed.

Supporting Information

About Just Festival

The Just Festival is one of the many festivals which performs within the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It was started 22 years ago by St John’s Church, Princes Street, and about 8 years later had become so well established that it became an independent Company Limited by Guarantee with charitable status. It usually has drama, music, talks, conversations and exhibitions for all three weeks of the Festival.

Covid-19 had a big impact on us, as on all other similar arts bodies. Nonetheless, in 2020 we delivered an online one-week festival as well as an exhibition held in St John’s Church over 5 days. To do this, we created a new website linked to the Eventbrite booking system, and we moved most events online. We recruited and trained volunteers and they, with Board members, delivered amongst other things all the health and safety processes needed to keep all visitors and church staff safe. We have a small, loyal group of local attendees, and have found that delivering our festival online, we could reach hundreds of people all over the world. 

In 2021 we again ran a hybrid online Festival, with talks and conversations online and a wonderful exhibition in St John’s Church for all 3 weeks of the Festival, which attracted about 7,000 visitors. Our highlight was an ambitious commissioned piece of choral music, No Alleluias by Anthony Hammond and Robert Rae, to recognise the impact of the global Covid pandemic; this was also the finale for our Festival. It was delivered both in-person and simultaneously online.

In 2022 the festival returned to a full live and in person programme, though on a smaller scale than pre-pandemic, and we forged new partnerships with organisations including Live Music Now Scotland and the Edinburgh Sacred Arts Foundation. We want to build on all our experiences and strengths from the last three years, and ideally continue to attract a diverse audience spanning a breadth of ages, faiths, socio-economic backgrounds and cultures. 

The Just Board

The Board currently has 5 members including the Rector of St John’s Church as ex-officio member, and a Treasurer, who is also interim Convener.  Please note that Board members hold a voluntary, unpaid position.

Our Board meetings are fairly informal and act as a steering group for activities.  Everyone is encouraged to offer ideas and comments. We try to ensure that they do not last more than 1½ hours. We expect all members to contribute actively to our work, helping us create our programme and deliver activities or events – the role is not merely attending the monthly Board meetings. We do understand the limitations some Board members have due to the demands of full or part-time employment.

We have always tried to have a broad range of interests and skills represented on our Board, as well as a wide range of faiths, or members with no faith.

Meetings are usually at 6.30 pm on a weekday evening. They are held in a city centre location or via Zoom.

November 2022.