Alchemy Film & Arts is proud and excited to be partnering with Queen Margaret University (Edinburgh) and University of Glasgow on a PhD project exploring the challenges and opportunities of professionalisation within the arts. Undertaken by Kyla Tully, the project is part of the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities’ Applied Collaborative Research Studentship (ARCS) scheme.

The study examines Alchemy at a time of significant development and transformation, drawing upon theories of cultural management, placemaking and professionalisation in order to explore how the organisational culture of a rural arts organisation interacts with wider industrial, social, spatial and cultural contexts. The project will critically reflect on and situate Alchemy’s current position within such contexts while also contributing to a wider understanding of what a new type of professional culture might look like for rural arts organisations.


Originally from a very small town in Wisconsin, Kyla spent a year studying Visual Arts at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Cali, Colombia before returning to the US to complete a self-designed undergraduate degree in Dance Studies at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.

After a few years working within numerous performance arts management roles in Chicago, Milwaukee, and rural Wisconsin, she relocated to Edinburgh to complete an MA in Arts, Festival, and Cultural Management at Queen Margaret University.

Her postgraduate research during this time centred on the relationship between personal and professional roles within a developing rural arts organisation.

Kyla is currently exploring the use of creative methods within her research practice, namely sketching, poetry, and photography, alongside scribbling endless notes.

Title image: Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival 2019, photo by Oliver Benton 

This doctoral research project is in partnership with Queen Margaret University and University of Glasgow and is supported by Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities, which is funded by Scottish Funding Council and Arts and Humanities Research Council.