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£800,000 support for cultural activity across Scotland

Published: 31 Jan 2018

Justyna Jablonska

£800,000 of Creative Scotland Open Project Funding has been awarded to 22 recipients, including individual artists, musicians, writers, theatre makers, festivals and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries. Over £645,000 of these awards has been awarded through National Lottery funding.

With support from The National Lottery, Open Project Funding enables artists to develop their creative practice and organisations to connect with communities, enriching Scotland’s reputation as a distinctive creative nation.- Iain Munro, Deputy CEO

A cross section of projects and individuals receiving funding includes:

Visual Arts

Leith-based Out of the Blue Drill Hall has received funding to deliver its Year of Young People 2018 Creative Programme for young people aged 13-25 years, at different stages of artistic development. The programme will involve exhibitions, residencies, commissioned publications, comics and zines, print stalls, workshops and events, supporting the diverse production and presentation of new work by young makers.

Out of the Blue. 'Don't Be Denied', Exhibition by Rumana Sayed.

Glasgow-based David Dale Gallery has received funding to deliver its 2018-19 programme which will include a collection of ambitious visual arts commissions, exhibitions and events.

Visual artist Lorna Macintyre has received an award to support a period of professional development and the development of new works.

Talbot Rice Gallery have received funding to deliver its programme of exhibitions in 2018-19 including contemporary artists and ideas.

Out of the Blueprint Project Manager, Johnny Gailey said: "This is great news and will enable us to work with and support the development of over one hundred and fifty young artists over the year - from ten year olds attending regular superhero life drawing classes, to teenagers printing their first zine or comic, to young designers/illustrators producing new work during paid residencies... all of which will be presented to the public in series of exhibitions and regular print events in the Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Leith."

Out of the Blue. ''Don't Be Denied', Exhibition by Rumana Sayed


The Association for Scottish Literary Studies (ASLS) has received funding to take the Scottish Writing Exhibition, showcasing over 200 Scottish titles, to the Modern Language Association (MLA) Convention in North America in 2018 and 2019. The exhibition will highlight to delegates – primarily university and college lecturers in literature and language – new Scottish titles as well as internationally influential Scottish classics. The funding also supports The Bottle Imp, a free online magazine of Scottish literature. By encouraging teachers to incorporate Scottish authors into their curriculum, the exhibition hopes to create new lifelong fans of Scottish writing.

Association for Scottish Literary Studies

Former Scots Scriever Hamish MacDonald has received funding to support the Scots and English translations of Tears of Blood, first published in 1956 and written by Papusza, a Roma woman whose songs, by sharing Roma culture with outsiders (gajos) made her a controversial figure among her people. Tears of Blood is about the Nazi persecution of Roma people in Volhynia, Eastern Europe, in 1943, and is believed to be a Roma counterpart to Itzhak Katznelson’s The Song of the Murdered Jewish People. The project will include Dr Tomasz Kamusella from the School of History at the University of Saint Andrews, and Romani study scholars Elena Marushiakova and Veselin Popov.

Hamish MacDonald said: “Papusza's Tears of Blood is a powerful and vivid telling of the suffering of a people under brutal military occupation, and yet is a poem with beauty and hope, filled with fascinating challenges for the translator. It is our ultimate aim to make this poem and its history known to a wider audience and we have already begun to look into possibilities for its publication, as well as seeking further translations in other minority and mainstream languages.”


Among the music awards, Stornoway-based music and multi-arts festival HebCelt (18-21 July 2018) and Glasgow International Jazz Festival (20-24 June 2018) have received funding towards their programmes.


Kid Canaveral’s David MacGregor has received funding to record his first solo album, alongside contemporary folk band RURA, who have received funding towards their third album.

On receiving funding RURA said: “We're all really excited to get our third album released later this year. We've been putting in a lot of work behind the scenes and taken a bit of time away from gigging recently so we can't wait to hit the ground running in June on our UK Launch Tour. As ever, support from Creative Scotland to bands like ourselves is hugely important and integral to our plans going forward and for that we are really grateful.”



In Dance, choreographer Rosanna Irvine has received funding to create a new body of work entitled, Breath Pieces.

Choreographer Louise Ahl will develop and present a new piece of dance performance, For now we see through a mirror, darkly. The project will involve a new collaboration with a Visual Describer to develop new ways for Visual Description to be integrated into dance performance.

Movement director James Manganello will research and develop a new piece of physical theatre that explores how we relate to each other when the civilisation around us crumbles. This will include on-the-ground research into the method of Gaelic psalm singing on the Isle of Lewis, and translating that music and its themes into movement with an ensemble of actors and dancers.

James Manganello said: “A musical research trip to the Isle of Lewis allowed me and an ensemble of actors and dancers to create a strange, fictional island of our own. We've been translating the music and the themes of Hebridean psalm-singing into a physical language that is shaping up to be human but bizarre, painful but full of laughter. I'm deeply grateful to Creative Scotland, The Work Room and the Citz for giving us this time to take the first steps toward a new show and a new ensemble.”


In an award made towards Crafts, furniture maker Jonathan Pang will create new work to exhibit at Scotland: Craft and Design at Collect 2018, 22-25 February at Saatchi Gallery London.

Jonathan Pang said: “The Open Project Funding award from Creative Scotland has enabled me to explore the uses of new and innovative materials that I believe can be make a huge impact within the furniture industry. This has also allowed me to showcase my designs at Collect 2018 which I hope will draw attention to these interesting and tactile material focused pieces. Hugely grateful for the support and recognition in my project and the platform that this funding will provide.”

Jonathan Pang


Love Music Productions have received funding to develop Beautiful Bones, an outdoor theatrical and musical pandemonium for street performers, massed mixed ability trombone orchestra and brass bands. The work is large scale, celebratory and participatory and will involve non-professional, young and emerging musicians, bands and street performers. The free, city-centre performance will be held during the Glasgow 2018 European Championships, at FESTIVAL 2018 in Glasgow, as part of Surge Festival at Merchant City Festival.

Musician and performer Anna Porubcansky has received funding towards the creation and performance of Unbecoming, a new physical theatre performance and heavy-metal opera, about the fragments of expectation, desire, ambition, hope, and subjugation put on women, by themselves and by others.

Vox Motus have received funding to remount theatre installation Flight, and present the piece at a range of high profile national and international venues and festivals, including an extended run at the McKittrick Hotel in New York. Flight is based on true stories about the plight of refugees, in particular unaccompanied minors.


Borders-based Creative Arts Business Network has received funding towards a diverse programme of activity and support to creative microbusinesses and organisations in the Scottish Borders.

Lisa Denham, Creative Communities Manager, Live Borders said: “Live Borders are delighted to secure funding for an ambitious 2-year programme which will support the learning, development and employment pathways for the creative sector in the Scottish Borders. Building on our experience of working with partners Live Borders will be developing imaginative partnerships to optimise regeneration and placemaking.  We are excited that this funding will enable new work including small practice grants across artforms, support to showcase work produced in the Borders, and a focus on mentoring and pathways to support young and aspiring people into creative careers.”

CABN Wounded Knee Reimagining Place - Image by Kevin Greenfield

Iain Munro, Deputy CEO at Creative Scotland said:

“We are pleased to be able to support such a range of creative practice in communities across Scotland, increasing access to cultural activity for people of all backgrounds. Open Project Funding remains an important route for support, alongside Regular and Targeted Funding.

“With support from The National Lottery, Open Project Funding enables artists to develop their creative practice and organisations to connect with communities, enriching Scotland’s reputation as a distinctive creative nation.

“While, as always, there are many more good applications than we have the funds to support, these latest awards do provide invaluable support to the successful applicants and demonstrates what is possible through Open Project Funding. We look forward to seeing their work develop as a result.”


Open Project Funding Awards December 2017

View the Open Project Funding Awards made in December 2017, in Excel format.

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).

See 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 andwww.facebook.com/CreativeScotland

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