Celebrating Scotland’s diverse cultural landscape: National Lottery funds bolster Scottish creative projects

The National Lottery has given crucial financial backing to cultural endeavours across Scotland in February, through Creative Scotland’s Open Fund awards.

A group of dancers pose on a stage, all dressed in camouflage, or bright orange, green and red


THREE60’s show World's Evolution at Queen's Park Arena for DIG22, credit to Simon Murphy.

A total of £692,897 has been awarded to 32 projects over a range of artforms, many of which celebrate the rich and diverse tapestry of cultures in Scotland.

MC Laffitte of THREE60 has been awarded £6,581 for Shuffle, a scratch night for street dance artists in Scotland to be presented at Platform in Glasgow this spring. Scratch nights provide a space for artists to present work-in-progress pieces to a live audience. Artists and choreographers for Shuffle are being sourced via a public callout, which closes on Sunday 31 March. With this event, MC Lafitte wants to help emerging choreographers to develop their artistry by giving them a space to have their work seen in a more formal environment.

MC Laffitte, creative producer of Scratch commented: “I believe it’s important to give opportunities to Hip-Hop and African dance artists who practice street dance in an authentic way. Opening access to theatre-based work for emerging choreographers will hopefully bring more diversity to the Scottish art landscape where street dance is still underrepresented. Presenting this event at Platform also allows us to bring a different audience to the theatre, hoping they will relate with a line-up of performers that come from the same community as they do.”

SOTUNDE, a Nigerian-Scottish musician, has also been awarded £10,647 to make his EP, Back 2 Da Roots (B2DR), a four-track homage to old-school hip-hop which will explore his personal experiences as a Nigerian artist in Scotland and in the music industry. SOTUNDE is also collaborating on one of the tracks, “Up, up and away” with two other Scottish-Nigerian artists. Weaving together a variety of influences on the record, Tunde will educate listeners as well as entertain, by relating powerful personal stories through the music.

SOTUNDE, artist and creator of B2DR commented: “The National Lottery funding through the Open Fund has been a game-changer, eliminating budget constraints and allowing me to fully focus on creation. With this support I finally have the tools needed to paint my masterpiece.“

Artist Alice Martin has also been awarded £17,101 in the latest round of Open Fund awards for her project The Art of Eternal Connections, a follow-up to her collaborative project Eternal Connections, which highlighted and celebrated Scotland’s Muslim communities.

The original project used three fragments of medieval Islamic glass art, which had been discovered by archaeologists near Caerlaverock Castle near Dumfries, as a creative catalyst.

Alice worked in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland, community groups such as the Muslim Scouts in Edinburgh and AMINA, the Muslim Women’s Resource Centre in Glasgow. She created a 3D-modelled digital reconstruction of the original beaker that the fragments might have come from.

With this follow-up project, Alice plans to more closely focus on creative practice and forge new links with Egyptian glassblowers in order to produce more authentic reconstructions of the beaker. She will use these objects as the centrepiece for community art workshops, including a workshop for adults around glass-painting, which will take place in autumn of this year.

The results will be showcased in an exhibition at two venues in Dumfries & Galloway in 2025: Harbour Cottage Gallery and Caerlaverock Castle.

A silver-coloured glass beaker, with a deep band of blue trimmed in an intricate gold and red design near its mouth. A jagged piece of material covers it at the centre. A gold and red fish design is depicted in the middle of the beaker.

A silver-coloured glass beaker, with a deep band of blue trimmed in an intricate gold and red design near its mouth. A jagged piece of material covers it at the centre. A gold and red fish design is depicted in the middle of the beaker.

Glass Beaker Reconstruction, 2D render, 2022, credit Alice Martin.

Alice Martin, visual artist and project coordinator commented: “The funding will allow me to continue my professional relationship with Historic Environment Scotland and to form new connections with glassblowers from Cairo, Egypt, with support from The Barakat Trust.

“Through collaborations and involving local communities, I hope to highlight the connections between Scotland and the Middle East, through creative practice, and identify new ways to bring this particular story to audiences through art and engagement."

Other projects awarded in this round of the Open Fund include:

  • Gauri Raje, who will explore the relationship between Scottish folk and Indian storytelling by developing an interdisciplinary work of Indian epic The Mahabharata in multiple parts.
  • Amber Dodd, who will write a new children’s novel,The Flowers Under the Moon, whilst also bringing free children's writing workshops to underfunded communities and schools throughout Scotland.

Graham Reid, Equalities and Diversity Officer at Creative Scotland commented: “Thanks to National Lottery players, the Open Fund is able to support many emerging artists from different cultural backgrounds, celebrating Scotland’s diverse communities. The broad mix of projects included highlight the innovative and inclusive landscape of Scotland’s cultural scene and the valuable artistic and creative voices that deserve to be heard.”


Creative Scotland’s Open Fund

  • In February 2024, Creative Scotland’s Open Fund made 32 funding awards totalling £692,897.
  • 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.

Since The National Lottery began in 1994, National Lottery players have raised more than £47 billion for good causes. More than 670,000 individual grants have been made across the UK - the equivalent of around 240 lottery grants in every UK postcode district.

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

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