Off-Broadway is about to take on a whole new dimension. Under an innovative new scheme, theatrical companies at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe can compete for an award to take their play to a major New York theatre come November.

The award is funded by Carol Tambor, a New York painter who has been coming to the Edinburgh festivals for 20 years. This splendid project shows several things. First, that the spontaneity, inventiveness and lack of bureaucracy of the Fringe is as alive as ever - a good model for how to make the arts work. Second, that the Fringe still thrives on competition and excellence rather than dubious notions of what is politically correct Anyone can perform at the Fringe, but the audience's decision is final: something for James Boyle and the new commission on the arts in Scotland to remember. Third, the way to make what is now the world's biggest arts festival even bigger is to export its products abroad. The official Festival, the Book Festival and the other elements of Edinburgh's August arts extravaganza should take note. And finally, would it not be a better way to sell Scotland abroad for the Executive to stop wasting cash on penny-packet tourist campaigns and, instead, fund more Scottish art to tour abroad?