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£750,000 support for cultural activity across Scotland

Published: 31 Oct 2017

£750,000 funding through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund has been awarded to 33 recipients, including individual artists, musicians, writers, theatre makers, festivals and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries. Over £700,000 of these awards are supported through National Lottery funding.

A cross section of projects and individuals receiving funding in September 2017 includes the following:


Amongst literature awards, writer Ryan Vance has received funding towards Queer Words Project Scotland, a mentoring scheme for writers who identify as LGBTQIA+. The project will pair participants with a mentor to workshop a short story or poem collection.

Wordsmiths Neu! Reekie! have received funding to deliver Where Are You Now? a series of regular multi-arts events featuring poets and artists from Scotland and internationally.

Ryan Vance, Queer Words Project Scotland said: "Not all LGBTQIA+ writers feel confident applying for creative support, because we often have to explain or justify our queerness and how it informs our work. Queer Words Project Scotland hopes to address this by providing a development opportunity where queerness isn't a hurdle to clear, but the qualifying factor. QWPS provides a chance for queer writers to help each other tell our own stories in a way that reflects and speaks to our inclusive and varied community."


Musician and music therapist Kath Bruce has received funding to develop What Fine Things We Are, a new piece of music theatre, following a young man with mental illness on his journey through an inpatient mental health facility.

Mixed Roots Scotland have received funding towards the Baobab West African Dance Festival, a two-day celebration of music, dance and performance in Edinburgh, exploring the interaction between contemporary and traditional African dance culture.


In an award made towards Digital, theatre company Produced Moon have received funding to collaborate with video game designers Biome Collective and a group of 14-18 year olds from Scottish Youth Theatre to research and develop a piece of interactive theatre with integrated video game, Switchboard.


Americana/Country singer songwriter Martha L Healy has received funding towards her second album, Keep the Flame Alight. Glasgow-based four-piece punk band Declan Welsh and the Decadent West have received funding to record their debut album.

In Classical music, The Lammermuir Festival has received funding towards its 2018 programme while leading Scottish composer Craig Armstrong and Gaelic singer, composer and producer Calum Martin have received funding to record and master three works written collaboratively, based on the Gaelic psalm singing tradition. The works will be performed by the Scottish Ensemble with Duncan Chisholm and Gaelic Psalm singers from Lewis and Harris.

Musician Sean Shibe has received funding to record softLOUD, a recording of new arrangements of baroque Scottish lute manuscripts and works by Pulitzer Prize winners David Lang and Julia Wolfe.

On receiving funding, Declan Welsh and the Decadent West said: “This funding is critical to a band like ours. With our development at a key stage, and our message and principles key to our integrity as artists, to be allowed to have full creative control over our first full length record is pivotal to us. Creative Scotland have enabled us to continue to develop our sound and ideas on our own terms."


Environmental arts organisation Invisible Dust has received funding to create Shore, a multi-artform project including new commissions from filmmaker-artists Margaret Salmon and Ed Webb-Ingall, who will each create a new film exploring sustainability and the future of the world’s oceans. The films will tour Scotland in partnership with LUX Scotland and Regional Screen Scotland.

Hawick-based Alchemy Film + Arts have received funding towards their 2017-18 programme, including the 2018 Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, 3-7 May 2018.


Movement artist Claire Cunningham has received funding to develop a new performance piece, exploring the notion of impersonation vs tribute and sense of self.

Choreographer Claricia Kruithof has received funding to undertake a period of research and professional development. This will include receiving mentoring, movement research, developing a portfolio, developing interdisciplinary collaborations and organising workshops.


Theatremaker Martin O’Connor has received funding towards The Mark of the Beast, a new spoken word performance, exploring Glasgow’s relationship with alcohol, created in collaboration with those in recovery from alcohol addiction from the North-East Glasgow recovery community. The piece will include Scots and English, with a soundtrack from Nicola Strutton and stage design from Fergus Dinnet. The piece will premiere at Platform before touring to The Beacon and The Scottish Storytelling Centre.

Theatre company Starcatchers has received funding to tour The Attic designed for children aged 2-5 years, written by Hazel Darwin Edwards and directed by Heather Fulton, the production was inspired by the children’s story-book Grandmother Lucy and her Hats.

Dundendance Theatre have has received funding to develop a new outdoor landscape production, Alien Species, inspired by ecologists’ idea of non-native species.

Visual Arts

Among the Visual Arts awards, contemporary art exhibition Another Country has received fundingtowards its development. The part-interactive exhibition will be co-curated by visual artists Euan Gray and Alberta Whittle, Professor Elaine Rutherford, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, Minnesota in partnership with the Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migrant Network, University of Glasgow. The exhibition will explore the impact of migration on Scotland and will include fifteen leading ethnically diverse artists, with viewings in Minnesota, Edinburgh and Inverness.

Edinburgh-based Embassy Gallery has received funding towards its annual programme of exhibitions, events and off-site projects.

Visual artist Julie Brook has received funding to create a body of new large-scale, land-based sculpture work responding to different landscapes in Japan and Scotland.

Iain Munro, Deputy CEO at Creative Scotland said: “Again, this month, it’s great to be able to support such a vibrant range of creative activity through this latest round of Open Project Funding with support from the National Lottery. Collectively these awards will help emerging artists develop new work, increase access to creative activities and enrich the lives of people in communities across Scotland.

“We are operating in the context of declining income from the National Lottery and we also receive many more strong applications than we have the funds to support. Nevertheless, these latest awards do provide invaluable support to the successful applicants, demonstrate clearly why creativity matters to the cultural, social, and economic wellbeing of Scotland.”

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 can be found on our website at creativescotland.com/funding/funding-programmes/open-project-funding

Please note the funding awards listed below 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

Media Contact 

Eilidh Walker, Media Relations & PR Assistant
Creative Scotland
E: eilidh.walker@creativescotland.com
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Open Project Funding Awards September 2017

View the Open Project Funding Awards made in September 2017.