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£1.2million support for cultural activity across Scotland

Published: 28 Apr 2017

55 Open Project Funding awards of between
£1,146 and £100,000 made in March 2017

Creative Scotland awarded over £1.2million through the Open Project Fund in March 2017 to 55 recipients, including individual artists, musicians, dancers, writers, theatre makers, festivals and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries. Over £1million of these awards are supported through National Lottery Funding.


Borders Book Festival,15-18 June 2017, Coastword, 19-21 May 2017, Booked! West Dumbartonshire Festival of Words, 8-20 May 2017, and the Saltire Society’s virtual literary festival ScotLitFest, have received awards to support this year’s programmes.

Novelists Meaghan Delahunt, Rachael Stephen and Ever Dundas have received funding towards new work, while The Dark Horse journal of poetry, reviewing and criticism has received funding towards issues 38 and 39.

Sarah Mason, Programme Director at The Saltire Society said: “We are delighted to be, with the support of Creative Scotland, running Scotland’s largest online literary festival again. 2016 saw ScotLitFest reach 3.2 million people in its first weekend and we hope to build on this in 2017.  ScotLitFest shines a light on Scottish literature, breaking through barriers to make literature accessible to as large an audience as possible, celebrating established artists while also bringing your attention to emerging talents.”

Ever Dundas
Ever Dundas


In Music,Glasgow-based alternative pop artist Rosie Bans has received funding to record and produce her debut album Identity. An award to Skye-based community culture centre Aros will support its arts programming across Skye and Lochalsh, and Live Music Now Scotland has received funding towards its 2017-18 programme.

Orkney Folk Festival,25-28 May 2017and Glasgow Americana Festival, 4-8 October 2017,have received awards to support their 2017 programmes, while funding for Sidmouth Folk Week, 4-11 August 2017, will go towards its Sounds of Modern Scotland project.  The project aims to strengthen the festival’s Spotlight Scotland strand of programming, showcasing a range of emerging Scottish artists.

Gaelic ambient electronic duo WHɎTE will embark on their first national tour of Scotland in May and June 2017, following the release of the duo's debut album Fairich in October 2016.

WHYTE - photo by Sarah Darling
WHɎTE - photo by Sarah Darling

Funding has been awarded to Falkirk & District Association for Mental Health towards its Freedom of Mind Choir which offers regular, professionally led singing opportunities for adults from Falkirk and the surrounding areas who are recovering from or living with mental ill-health. Meanwhile, community singing group The Cheyne Gang has received funding to offer musicians specialist training in leading singing groups for people with acute health issues.

Carol Main, Director, Live Music Now Scotland said: “Live Music Now Scotland is absolutely thrilled to have been awarded Open Project funding to deliver its work throughout Scotland in bringing the transforming power of live music into the lives of thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds, most of whom would otherwise not have such opportunity, while at the same time supporting over 100 outstanding musicians building their developing careers in Scotland.”


Arts charity Koestler Trust has received a multi-artform award to Freedom in Expression, a festival showcasing and celebrating creativity in Scottish criminal justice and secure settings. The festival will feature a public exhibition of artwork from prisons, secure hospitals, secure children’s homes, immigration removal centres and criminal justice services across Scotland at Tramway in Glasgow.

Towards Bannockburn from My Cell by Evelyn Plesch
'Towards Bannockburn from My Cell’ by Evelyn Plesch (HM Prison Glenochil)

Fiona Curran, Director of Arts, Koestler Trust said: “The Koestler Trust is delighted to be able to represent the excellent writing, visual arts, performance and design work being created across the Scottish criminal justice system. We’re looking forward to working with our local partners and writer Jenni Fagan, to create a lively platform to share the talent and potential of ex-offenders from across Scotland.”

Ceol’s Craic, has received funding towards its annual programme of contemporary Gaelic cultural events.


Among the dance awards, Ullapool Dance have received funding towards their North-West Highlands Dance for All project, to provide a year-round programme of wide-ranging dance opportunities for all ages and abilities in the North-West Highlands.

Choreographer Melanie Forbes-Broomes has received funding to deliver Project X - an educational and professional development programme, showcasing dance forms within the African Diaspora. The programme will offer dance workshops to children and adults and will work with emerging artists and choreographers who identify as BAME to develop a new piece of work.

Visual Arts

Funding awarded to visual artist, Sybren Renema will enable him to participate in the Antarctic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, 13 May-26 November 2017. Renema will show a two-part installation, Discovery/This is an Awful Place.

Tamsin Cunningham has received funding towardscontemporary art programme, Open Close. A re-imagining of four closes on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, the project will see the closes temporarily transformed into a sensory open-air gallery during July 2017.

Open Close
Open Close

Engage, the National Association for Gallery Education has received funding to deliver a programme of support and development for gallery educators and visual arts professionals across Scotland, during 2017-18. A particular focus of the project will be supporting good practice in engaging young people with the visual arts in the lead up to 2018 Year of Young People.

Prominent learning disability artist, Cameron Morgan FRSA has received funding towards a period of professional development at Glasgow’s Project Ability studios.

Cameron Morgan
Cameron Morgan


Theatre producers, Magnetic North have received funding towards a programme of artist and project development, supporting individual artists from different artforms at different stages of their creative careers. The programme with include group retreats, development labs and the development of new work, We Are All Made of Stars by Matthew Whiteside.

Playwright, James Ley has received funding to stage the world premiere of Love Song to Lavender Menace with a two-week run in the Lyceum Studio Theatre, followed by a Scottish tour.The production tells the story of Edinburgh’s radical LGBT bookshops and their impact in and beyond the LGBT community.

Creative Industries

In an award made towards design, Citizen Curator have received funding towards People and Places - Make Leith Better, a six-month collaborative programme of creative commissions, original site-specific interventions, research and participant-led events. The programme is bringing together artists, designers and local residents to jointly engage in forthright discussions about Place and the creative future of the community.

Leith Creative Brunch - photo Kat Gollock
Leith Creative Brunch - photo Kat Gollock

The Cultural Enterprise Office has received funding towards Fashion Foundry - a talent hub and business incubator for Fashion and accessory designers based in Scotland. The project will include funded studio spaces, free access to sampling facilities, advice from industry experts, mentoring, online resources and practical workshops.


In an award made to Screen, Edinburgh-based filmmaker Scott Calonico has received funding to develop documentary, The Spy Who Left Me which explores the story of Werner Stiller, an East German Stasi agent who defected in 1979 sparking international headlines and told through the eyes of the son he left behind.

Janet Archer, CEO at Creative Scotland said:

“From the Freedom of Mind Choir in Falkirk to the Borders Book Festival and the Orkney Folk Festival, we are delighted to have been able to support such a broad range of creative excellence throughout Scotland and across arts forms, through Open Project Funding.

“While, as always, we receive many more applications than we have the funds available to support, the awards we are announcing this month support creative excellence and access to the arts, screen and creative industries for people of all ages across Scotland and we look forward to seeing that work develop and flourish."


Open Project Funding Awards March 2017

Details of 55 Open Project Funding awards of between £1,146 and £100,00 made in March 2017.

Notes to Editors

Open Project Funding is available to a wide range of organisations and individuals working across Scotland in the arts, screen and creative industries. It supports a broad spectrum of activity including creative and professional development, research and development, production, small capital requirements, touring and collaborations, festivals, arts programming, audience development, etc. A full list of activities supported through this route is set out in the Open Project Funding application guidance. Support is available for projects of different scale and duration with the maximum period of award being set at 2 years. Awards are made in the range £1,000 to £100,000 (or up to £150,000 by exception).

Details of the Open Project Fund and all other Creative Scotland funding.

Please note the funding awards listed above remain offers of funding until such time as all terms and conditions have been formally accepted and fulfilled by the award recipient. If an award recipient fails to accept any offer, the funding award will be withdrawn and credited to future Open Project Funding Panels.

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.  We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit www.creativescotland.com.  Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland

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