£1million National Lottery funds raise volume on new voices

National Lottery funding is backing creative projects across Scotland in the latest round of Creative Scotland’s Open Fund awards.

A total of £1,178,473 has been awarded to over fifty artists, practitioners, groups, projects and organisations across the length and breadth of Scotland with many initiatives seeking to bring forward underrepresented voices and perspectives.

In a co-commission by soundfestival and Findhorn Bay Festival, composer and musician Annabel Kershaw's new musical score, The Mariner’s Daughter, will give voice to the lives and stories of women working and living off the North Sea coast of Scotland.  The piece is set to premiere at the Findhorn Bay Festival next September, followed by a tour of venues throughout coastal Aberdeenshire.

Kershaw is deep into research for the project, visiting women in their communities, recording their stories of family and work, their views on the legacy and future of the area’s marine industries and the impact of climate warming on their coastal environments and communities.

Annabel Kershaw said: “Receiving funding support from the Creative Scotland Open Fund is absolutely key to bringing this project to life.  The Mariner’s Daughter aims to connect with audiences through the relatable stories of women from coastal communities. With funding in place, we can deliver the full plans of our project proposal and bring this new music work to Scottish audiences with real potential to resonate and contribute to the vibrant new music scene in Scotland.”

The development of a style of movement and dance for older bodies celebrating ageing and the transition into later life isreceiving support throughchoreographer, Morag Deyes’ research project, Lasting / MaireannachThe project continuesDeyes’ interest in movement for older bodies, having previously created Scotland’s first semi-professional elder dance company, Prime.

An older woman stands in a white outfit with a full skirt dancing outside next to two other skirts

Image: Dancers in the Taiwanese stage of the BDance exchange perform Infinite Life Journey, a previous work showcasing elder dancers by Morag Deyes, photographed by Morag Deyes

Morag commented: “I am delighted that with Creative Scotland’s Open Fund, Scotland is showing a genuine commitment to celebrating dance in later life by supporting Lasting / Maireannach.

Louder: A Project for New Writers by Framework Theatre, will provide bursaries for emerging writers, directors and performers from marginalised genders, to write and present 15-minute plays that will be produced and performed as part of a night of new writing at the Traverse Theatre in Spring 2024.

The sequel to Framework's 2021 project Home, Louder is supported by The LyceumStellar Quines and Vanishing Point in response to a lack of representation of marginalised genders in Scottish theatre as outlined in Stellar Quines’ Where are the Women reports. An open call-out for those keen to take part will take place early in the New Year.

Emma RuseChief Executive at Framework Theatre commented: "This funding will allow us to continue providing regular, transparent support for emerging theatre-makers, and follow through on our commitment to championing underrepresented voices creating new work. Louder provides 17 openly recruited paid roles for emerging artists of marginalised genders, showcasing work at the Traverse, working with key organisations and helping level the playing field of who gets to make theatre in Scotland.”

Executive Director of Arts, Communities and Inclusion at Creative ScotlandDana MacLeod said:

“This round of the Open Fund sees a rich mix of awards for activities from career development to album recordings, residencies, festivals, creative collaborations and arts within a health context. The diversity is high, including multi-lingual projects showcasing Arabic women’s voices and activities across the breadth of Scotland and internationally from Falkirk to Finland and Inverness to India. Thanks to The National Lottery we are able to offer open funds for anyone to apply to as an individual or organisation on a rolling basis which is of great value.”

At a Glance

Other recipients in this round of the Open Fund awards include:

  • Angus Creatives have received £14,750 for next year’s celebration of the region’s creativity and thriving artist and maker community,the Angus Festival of Makers, taking place in Spring/Summer 2024.
  • The Lantern Poetry Podcast by Alistair Heather , Scotland’s Makar Kathleen Jamie and Dave Howard, which has received £15,420 for new episodes throughout 2024 showcasing the latest in Scottish writing and performance.
  • Onisis Villaroel’s project Carnival of Inclusion has been selected to receive £5,000, which she will use to deliver a programme of costume making and carnival performances in order to increase visibility of Latino and disabled communities in Edinburgh.


Header image: Hannah Low & Nicola Docherty in Home: A Project for New Writers, photographed by Morna Ross.

Creative Scotland’s Open Fund

  • In November 2023, Creative Scotland’s Open Fund made 54 funding awards totalling £1,178,473.
  • The Open Fund is one of Creative Scotland’s key funding routes, supporting the wide range of activity initiated by artists, producers and other creative practitioners in Scotland. The Open Fund has no deadlines, and full eligibility criteria and application guidance can be found on the Creative Scotland website.

The National Lottery has raised more than £41 billion for more than 565,000 good causes across the UK since 1994. Thanks to The National Lottery players, up to £600 million has been made available to support people, projects and communities throughout the UK during the Coronavirus crisis.

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at creativescotland.com. Follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at www.ourcreativevoice.scot

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