Over £840k support for cultural activity across Scotland

Published: 29 Nov 2018

£847,250 of National Lottery Funding has been awarded to 41 recipients through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund, including individual artists, musicians, writers, theatre makers, festivals and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries.

Projects receiving awards of between £1,500 and £90,000 in October range from StAnza International Poetry Festival in St Andrews, Look Again Visual Arts Festival in Aberdeen, spoken word cabaret nights from Sonnet Youth in Edinburgh and Glasgow,Scotland’s most northerly mainland arts centre Lyth Arts Centre in Caithness; to new work from Paisley based pop band The Vegan Leather, internationally renowned disabled artists, Claire Cunningham; professional development programmes from Hearts & Minds and Summerhall in Edinburgh and international presentations of work from musicians Fara, award-winning folk band RURA, step dancer, Sophie Stephenson and storyteller Marion Kenny, amongst others.

The breadth of work supported reflects the strength and diversity of creativity in Scotland.- Iain Munro, Acting Chief Executive

Details of projects receiving support include:

Artistic Programming

StAnza International Poetry Festival receives support for its 2019 programme, developing existing and new audiences for poetry, as well as supporting and promoting Scottish poets and their work. Festival Director, Eleanor Livingstone commented: "We are thrilled that once again StAnza will be showcasing some of the biggest names in poetry alongside some of the brightest new and upcoming talent.”

The Queen's Hall 40th anniversary programme in 2019 receives support towards a series of curated performances in partnership with guest curators Tommy Smith, Heidi Talbot, Nicola Meighan and Alasdair Campbell of Counterflows. Evan Henderson, Chief Executive of The Queen’s Hall said: “We’re really pleased that Creative Scotland understands what we are trying to achieve by introducing these new strands to our programme, as we embark on the journey that will take The Queen’s Hall’s into the next stage of its life.”

Hebrides Ensemble receives funding towards its 2019 programme. Co-founded and led by its artistic director, the cellist and conductor William Conway, the Ensemble is renowned for its fresh and intelligent approach to programming, which places contemporary music at the heart of a diverse range of repertoire.

Look Again Aberdeen receive support towards the 2019 Art Weekender. Look Again invites the public to encounter high quality contemporary art and design in familiar civic spaces and works to cultivate a vibrant creative sector in Aberdeen, supporting creatives to live and work in the region.

Look Again Fetival

Contemporary visual arts space 16 Nicholson Street in Edinburgh receives support towards its January - April 2019 programme. Curators Isabella Shields and Ben Soedira commented: “With Creative Scotland’s support, we are proud to continue to develop an inclusive, engaging, and rich space for emerging visual artists.”

Glasgow based artist led performance company //BUZZCUT// receives support towards its 2019 Double Thrills programme. Double Thrills has established itself as a regular meeting point for the vibrant experimental performance community, and a vital platform to develop Scottish talent.

The third season of spoken word cabaret nights from Sonnet Youth receives support. Taking place across Edinburgh and Glasgow, Sonnet Youth is the brainchild of spoken word artists Kevin P. Gilday and Cat Hepburn.

Scotland’s most northerly mainland arts centre Lyth Arts Centre in Caithness receives funding towards its multi-artform programme. The programme marks the culmination of the inaugural year of Tom Barnes and Charlotte Mountford’s Co-Directorship.

New Work

Paisley based pop band The Vegan Leather receive funding to record their debut album at Chem 19 Studios in Blantyre.

Musician Sarah Watts receives support to commission ten miniatures for solo bass or contrabass clarinet.  Sarah Watts commented: “I’m delighted to be able to commission and to premiere 'Ten Wee Drams' on Raasay in April 2019. These new works will help to raise awareness of the Isle of Raasay, the featured composers, and expand the repertoire for bass clarinet and contrabass clarinet by Scottish based composers.”

Sarah Watts - photo by David Carslaw

One of the UK’s most acclaimed and internationally renowned disabled artists, Claire Cunningham receives support to enable her to capitalise on a number of international opportunities, collaborations, commissions and performances.  On receiving support Cunningham said: “I’m both glad and excited to receive this support for the rich and valuable encounters it will make possible with extraordinary people and organisations, and for the opportunity it provides me to look at new ways my work can engage with audiences and the public.”

Theatre maker Kat Barrass receives support towards the research and development phase of Beanz - a 40-minute, feminist, one-woman show that delves into the world of misogyny - created by Estlin Love, in collaboration with director, Al Seed.

Lucy Ireland and Jim Manganello receive funding towards the research, development and production of an original dance-theatre piece. Of the new production Ireland and Manganello said: “We're thrilled to be creating Ferguson and Barton. Our hope is to use this initial collaboration between one dancer and one actor as a way to attract future artists and audiences across the dance-theatre spectrum, building larger cross-form work in the future.”

Ferguson and Barton - photo by Shotput

Glasgow based artists Sogol Mabadi and Birthe Jorgensen receive funding to research, develop, produce and exhibit a new body of work titled - Home Where Home is Not in partnership with Platform and Glasgow Women's Library. Mabadi and Jorgensen commented: "This funding will allow us invaluable time, space and support as well as to make new international partnerships. Working with communities of women who are from or have settled in North East Glasgow, we will develop an ambitious new body of work”.

Artist Mark Bleakley receives support to research and develop a new work. His work is focused on the body as a site for analysis and reflection exploring its ease in shifting between subjectivity and objectivity. On receiving support Bleakley commented: “This is an exciting project for me as I am able to organise a period of research with a range of artists who engage with performance across contexts of visual arts and dance.”

Mark Bleakley

Author Hugh McMillan receives funding to research and write a poetry book exploring the coastal kingdoms that traded with and influenced ancient Galloway. McMillan said of the new book: "We're used to seeing Scotland as an adjunct to England's story, but the same can be said of some of its parts, places seen as backwaters which were once vibrant,  populous and prosperous. Turn Scotland 90 degrees to the right and you have Galloway on top, once the hub of a thriving maritime Empire, now the centre of a pattern of neglect and depopulation that crosses four national boundaries."

In Motion Theatre Company receive research and development funding towards a new play by Jo LennieLisa Nicoll, Creative Director of In Motion Theatre said of the new production: "In Motion Theatre Company are delighted to develop Lily - A Play with Songs by Jo Lennie - and support and nurture new writing work in Scotland. We are excited to work with both director Allie Winton Butler and musical director David Higham and have time to create musical arrangements for the work".

Dogstar Theatre Company have been supported to commission, develop, produce and tour  a theatrical and musical adaptation of Kevin MacNeil’s best-selling novel The Stornoway Way. Artistic Director Matthew Zajac said: “I’m looking forward with great excitement to creating a stage version of Kevin MacNeil’s brilliant novel. This is going to be a special night out for audiences across Scotland, inspired by one of the most original and funny Scottish novels of the last 20 years.”

Professional Development

Hearts & Minds receive support to enable their practitioners to undertake an artistic residency and training programme. Hearts & Minds deliver therapeutic clowning through their Clowndoctors and Elderflowers programmes.  Artistic Director Suzanna Ferguson commented: “These masterclasses will be a real boost for the team. The training will ensure we are delivering the highest possible artistic quality to the people we work with which is central to Hearts and Minds values.”

Edinburgh’s Summerhall receives funding towards an Artist Development Programme - a comprehensive support programme for artists basing their practice in Scotland and making new work in music, visual art, theatre or dance, or work which crosses those art form boundaries.

Visual artist Lauren McLaughlin has been supported to undertake a residency with the Birth Rites Collection in the Department of Midwifery at Kings College London. McLaughlin will research and develop a new body of neon artworks exploring representations of the birthing body. McLaughlin commented: “I’m incredibly honoured and excited to begin this project and make the most of the resources available to me within the Department of Midwifery and the Birth Rites Collection. Having explored my own personal experiences of maternity in my work, this residency period will allow me to take my practice in a new direction and explore new grounds. I can’t wait to get started and see where the work leads.'

Visual artist David Grinly has been supported to undertake a residency in Italy, where he will research and gather material including photographs, sketches, writing and painting, to develop a new body of work. During the research period Grinly will visit major religious and artistic sites across Italy that have significantly contributed to the way we view the world today.

Visual artist Kotryna Ula Kiliulyte receives funding to undertake a residency at VU Photo, an artist run gallery and space in Quebec City, Canada. On receiving funding Kotryna Ula Kiliulyte commented: “I am looking forward to my residency at VU Photo which will allow me to explore new approaches in image making, making visual and moving image maps.”

Kotryna Ula Kiliulyte


Highland Blast receives support towards a tour of Germany that will promote Scotland's traditional arts and culture and develop new markets for the artists. The tour will include performances from Fara and The Hannah Rarity Band, Piper, Conal Mcdonagh and Step dancer, Sophie Stephenson.

Multi award-winning folk band RURA receive funding to enable them to perform at the world-renowned Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland, Australia, with a view to generating future touring and performance opportunities in the region.

Storyteller Marion Kenny has been invited as principal guest artist to Chennai Storytelling Festival in India. During the trip Kenny will undertake research into the ancient South Indian tradition of Villupaatu - storytelling combined with musical accompaniment.

Marion Kenny and Vinnie in Thar desert

Kenny said: “I am delighted to have been invited as principal guest artist. I will be leading a number of workshops as well as giving several performances including one alongside Indian Storyteller Deepa Kiran. We’ll be collaborating to present a performance of music and stories, sharing traditional tales of weaving from Scotland, Ireland and India which was first performed at the Scottish International Storytelling Festival. I will also be researching the Ancient storytelling and music art form of Villupattu. It is called the Bow song due to a Bow shaped instrument covered in bells which is struck by the principal storyteller. It is known as the Mother of all Storytelling.”

Iain Munro, Acting Chief Executive at Creative Scotland said: “We are delighted to support such a terrific range of artistic practice and programmes through these National Lottery awards. The breadth of work supported reflects the strength and diversity of creativity in Scotland. These awards will enable the creation, touring and presentation of arts and creative projects for audiences across Scotland and develop the artistic practice of emerging and established artists and creative practitioners.

“While, as always, there are many more good applications than we have the funds to support, these latest awards provide invaluable support to Scotland’s artistic community. We look forward to seeing their work develop as a result.”


Open Project Funding Awards October 2018

Download the Open Project Funding Awards made in October 2018, in Excel format.

Notes to Editors

Open Project Funding

Our Open Project Fund 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

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.

Creativity Matters

The arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland deliver real benefits and make a real difference to all our lives regardless of who we are or where we live. Film, theatre, literature, dance, music, visual art, video games, craft, and the commercial creative industries all contribute to a flourishing society, to our education and learning and to our skills, jobs and economy.

Public funding for the arts, screen and creative industries, through both the Scottish Government and through the National Lottery, helps make life better in Scotland - better for us all as individuals, as communities and as a nation.

As we say in our 10-year plan Unlocking Potential, Embracing Ambition we want Scotland to be a place where the arts, screen and creative industries are valued and recognised, where artists and creative people can flourish and thrive, and where everyone, everywhere, is interested and curious about creativity.

Find out more about why we think Creativity Matters.

Media Contact

Sophie Bambrough, Media Relations & PR Officer
Creative Scotland

Email: sophie.bambrough@creativescotland.com
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Image credits: Look Again Festival, Shotput, Iman Tajik, Kotryna Ula Kiliulyte, Marion Kenny, Mark Bleakley, David Carsaw and Derek Clark.