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Young creative Scots receive funding boost

Published: 19 Oct 2018

Braeview Academy

Young Scots from across the country have been awarded funding from Creative Scotland and Young Scot for projects that will nurture and develop their creative talents.

Ten awards of between £50 to £1,000 have been awarded to young people across the country through the Nurturing Talent Fund which enables young people to pursue their passions and develop their creative talents.

Amongst the projects receiving funding are an animation about the rights of young people, the recording of EPs, a music video, a film about a college porter, workshops focusing on empowering young women, a spoken word radio play focusing on queer characters in a non-traditional genre and an inter-disciplinary art magazine.

The funding has given me validation that my slightly odd project has potential to become my future career. I couldn’t be more grateful!- Rhia Cook

The Nurturing Talent Fund was set up to help support young people who aspire to work in creative industries. The funding is administered for young people by young people, by the National Youth Arts Advisory Group for Scotland, a group of 35 young Scots aged 14-23 from across Scotland who are working towards shaping the future of culture and creativity in Scotland.

Bibi June Schwithal

The National Youth Arts Advisory Group annually award a total of £40,000 to help support young Scots make their dreams become a reality through the Nurturing Talent Fund. This is the fifth round of funding since May 2017 with further deadlines on Friday 26 October and Friday 22 February 2019.

The recipients of the latest round of funding are:

  • Lisa Kowalski, from Paisley, who will produce a music video for her original song “C’mon lets go” which will be released as a single later this year.
  • Braeview Production Company, based in Dundee, who will set up and run a production company. They aim to produce at least one performance-based project per school term along with workshops.
  • Léa Oval, from Edinburgh, who will deliver workshops focusing on empowering young women (18-25 years old) from diverse backgrounds and countries into cultural activism and performative arts.
  • Niamh Shirkie and Allana Bodie, from East Ayrshire, who will create a digital film/animation about the rights of young people.
  • Tommy McAteer, from Glasgow, who will wright and record two EPs, named 'Easier With Time' and 'A Requiem For Nick Wise'.
  • Lewis Williams, from Glasgow, who will release music with accompanying visuals.
  • Rhia Cook, from Fife, who will produce work focusing on engaging more young people in politics, using an interactive, visual arts workshop and textiles to make the topic humorous and approachable.
  • Bibi June Schwithal and Ross McFarlane, from Glasgow, who will produce a spoken word radio play that will focus on queer characters in a non-traditional genre.
  • Claire Lamarra, from Glasgow, who will produce a film about a college porter stuck in a rut but finds new confidence and learns to embrace himself through the awakening of his inner drag queen.
  • Poppy-Anna Waterman and Rory Russell, from Edinburgh, will produce an inter-disciplinary art magazine.

Joan Parr, Interim Director, Arts and Engagement, Creative Scotland, said:  “From recording demos, spoken word, animation and an art magazine to workshops focusing on empowering young women and politics, these awards are helping young people across the country to progress their creative ambitions. This fund is about supporting young artists, and it’s fantastic to have young people leading the decision-making process, particularly during the Year of Young People. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Young Scot to make this fund possible through Time to Shine, Scotland’s National Youth Arts Strategy.”

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot, said: “The Nurturing Talent Fund continues to highlight some of the most inspiring, artistic and creative ideas Scotland’s young people have to offer. It’s important for us to continue to support the young artists of Scotland so they can peruse their artistic passions and produce new and exciting projects.”

As part of the Scottish Government’s Time to Shine youth arts strategy, the Nurturing Talent Fund seeks to change the way the arts are viewed and help Scotland become an international leader in young people’s creativity.

The Nurturing Talent Fund allows young people aged 14 - 20 to further develop their passions and creative projects. Previously the funding has supported a wide range of exciting and creative ideas including, filmmaking projects, publishing poetry, photography collections, recording demos, and hosting dance shows. To apply for the next round of funding from the Nurturing Talent Fund, young people should visit and apply before Friday 26 October 2018.

Recipients' Quotes

Claire Lamarra said: "My crew and I have been given an incredible opportunity with Time to Shine. This grant is going to allow all involved in this film, some of whom are newcomers, to have creative freedom and make an ambitious film that was previously unattainable. We will not be constrained by resources or have to compromise on quality. The finished film will hopefully act as a calling card for our crew and help us move onto more challenging projects."

Tommy McAteer said: "The funding means I will finally be able to record my second EP, "A Requiem For Nick Wise" at Green Door Studios in Glasgow. I chose Green Door because all of their equipment is analogue, and I felt that it would suit the sound and story of the EP well, as it's a story about an old Hollywood actor. I'm very proud of this EP and the opportunity to release it professionally at a high quality means a lot to me. I'm very excited to get started!"

Tommy McAteer

Rebecca Kowalski said: “The support from the Time to Shine fund means a great deal to me. It shows that a well-known organisation has a belief in my talent and that is very encouraging. The grant will enable me to produce a video for a new song, a great vehicle to get my music out to a wider audience and hopefully continue to progress as a young, independent emerging Scottish songwriter. The video will be a great way to get the message and feelings behind the song across and help people connect with the music, which is hugely important to me.”

Lewis Williams said: “I'm very appreciative of the financial support I'm receiving for my current project. Lack of funds can be a difficult obstacle even with low cost projects. With the £250 I've been awarded, I'll be able to purchase the necessary props I've had in mind for the video, rent out a really nice workspace to record in, and afford transportation costs. I'm excited to create visuals that will give the music release an extra dimension.”

Bibi June Schwithal & Ross McFarlane said: "We are thrilled to be receiving the Nurturing Talent funding! Through our spoken word theatre company ‘In The Works’, we are developing an exciting poetry radio play in the horror/thriller genre. With Young Scot’s help, we will have the chance to branch out into this new format, and bring spoken word theatre to a different audience. It means a lot to us to get the opportunity to bring queer stories to life in a genre that they do not normally get to exist in."

Ross McFarlane

Lea Oval said "I feel excited and encouraged as I received this funding. It means a lot to be supported by Young Scot and Creative Scotland as I am working hard to develop my first artistic workshop for young women. Thanks to the grant I will be able to pay for the incredible venue that also offered sponsorship for meals. I hope that by working in this welcoming community centre it will inspire our group of young women to discover performative arts and to feel safe to explore eco-feminism as a group."

Rhia Cook said: "Receiving financial support from the Time to Shine Fund is incredibly beneficial to me in trying to start a creative career straight out of University. It can be a struggle when you no longer have the support systems that University offers to help you create. Not only has it been amazing financially, in letting me attend trade shows I wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise, but receiving the funding has given me validation that my slightly odd project has potential to become my future career. I couldn’t be more grateful!"

Niamh Shirkie said: "The pupils of Auchinleck Academy are grateful to be receiving the funding through the Nurturing Talent fund. This money will be a big help in providing the means to create new and exciting work that showcases the talent and creativity of Auchinleck Academy. It will allow us to produce various digital displays that promote our Rights Respecting School ethos in a new light, which is engaging and informative to young people."

Niamh Shirkie

Braeview Production Company said: "Being awarded this funding means it will be possible for us to explore with a wider variety of ideas, as well as execute wonderful performances at a professional level that would not be achievable if it weren't for Time to Shine. A fire destroyed our school in September and this has made us even more determined to impact positively in our community. Thank you for investing in our vision and giving us a chance to shine."

Notes to Editors

About Young Scot

Young Scot is the national youth information and citizenship agency for Scotland, and currently has a membership of over 690,000 young people across Scotland. Young Scot provides all young people in Scotland aged 11-26 with information, ideas and incentives to enable them to make informed decisions and choices, turn their ideas into action and take advantage of opportunities available throughout Scotland and Europe.

About Time to Shine

Published on 8 November 2013, Scotland's first National Youth Arts Strategy, Time to Shine – which is centred around the three key themes of creating and sustaining engagement; nurturing potential and talent; and developing infrastructure and support - sets out a vision and key recommendations to enable Scotland’s children and young people to flourish and achieve, in and through the arts and creativity.

About Creative Scotland

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 on Twitter @creativescots, Facebook www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland and Instagram www.instagram.com/creativescots.