54 projects across Scotland share £1.2m Open Project Funding

Published: 29 Jun 2018

£1.2million of National Lottery Funding has been awarded through Creative Scotland Open Project Funding in May 2018. 54 recipients received between £1,457 and £90,000, supporting individual artists, musicians, writers, theatre makers, festivals and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries.

These awards represent a rich and diverse mix of arts and creativity across the length and breadth of Scotland- Iain Munro, Deputy CEO

A cross section of projects and individuals receiving funding in May 2018 includes:


New Opera in Scotland Events have received funding to support the development, production and tour of Navigate the Blood - a chamber opera with music from one of Scotland’s top indie bands, Admiral Fallow, and classical composer Gareth Williams. Directed by James Robert Carson and designed by Alice Hebdon with libretto by Welsh playwright Sian Evans.

NOISE Gareth Williams

The Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival have received funding to deliver Arts Live, the recently established rural touring performing arts network for Dumfries & Galloway. Arts Live is made up of a network of large and small venues, community groups, village halls and local promoters who work collaboratively to host and promote events across the region to create a diverse, year-round performance programme.

Pianodrome have received funding to present the Pianodrome at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, a playable 100-seater amphitheatre built entirely from disused pianos, which will become an active community arts pavilion at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) in August 2018. A pioneering up-cycling project, with community engagement at its core, the Pianodrome is a transformative space where everyday barriers to creativity and play are forgotten; where new and surprising ideas, experiences and interactions can emerge.


Matthew Wright, Director, Pianodrome Community Interest Company said: "The Pianodrome is an invitation to play - with upcycled pianos, with the natural world and with each other. We aim to bring people together not only to make music but to become inspired by what can be done with a bit of imagination, some unwanted materials and a lot of hard work. It is extremely exciting to have the support of Creative Scotland in realising this ambitious and timely community artwork. The funds will help support a diverse and growing team of artists, crafts people and musicians who are working together to make this incredibly unlikely project manifest."


Off Axis, a non-profit music touring network that enables bands to develop their careers has received funding to support its work. Off Axis also benefits music fans and invigorates local scenes, offering access to high quality touring acts in their hometowns. Off Axis Scotland aims to increase Scottish involvement in the touring network by hosting monthly gigs in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Inverness and Aberdeen, with bi-monthly and quarterly concerts in towns including Bathgate and Dumfries.

A trio of music festivals have received funding towards this year’s editions, the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival (13 - 22 July), Glasgow Americana Festival (3 - 7 October) and the Mull of Kintyre Music Festival (8 - 12 August).

Nathan Bell at Glasgow Americana Festival

Trad four-piece Fara, alt-rock band yllwshark and grime and hip hop artist SWVN have all received funding towards new material.


Bloody Scotland, the Caledonian Crime Writing Festival (21-23 September 2018) has received funding towards its programme. The annual festival furthers the development of Scottish crime writing by bringing together leading Scottish and international writers, showcasing debut voices, encouraging new writing and introducing the best of the genre to audiences and readers.

BloodyScotland Torch Light - photo Paul Reich

Glasgow-based publisher Vagabond Voices has received funding towards its 2018-19 publishing programme. This will include a series of books over a wide range of activities, to help authors of innovative and non-genre works to start or re-establish their literary careers.


In Film, Take One Action Film Festivals have received funding towards their 2018 programme, including a 12-day Festival in Edinburgh/Glasgow and weekend-long Regional Festivals in Aberdeen and Inverness.

Take One Action Film Festival

The Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival towards their programme in October that include 16 to 20 films that will be combined with performances, exhibitions, workshops, talks and Q&As by filmmakers, actors and scholars to create an extensive and dynamic four-week artistic and cultural festival.

Tamara Van Strijthem, Executive Director, Take One Action Film Festivals: “Thanks to Creative Scotland funding and the support of our many partners, Take One Action will continue to inspire and empower film audiences throughout Scotland to see the change they want to be. We are particularly excited to be able to direct some of our energy and expertise to bringing our work to an even wider range of locations across Scotland, and look forward to building on the audience growth and engagement we achieved last year.”


Mr Simon Bishopp and Dr Katja Frimberger have received funding towards Scotland Our New Home, a participatory filmmaking project that will support 20 young unaccompanied asylum seekers and refugees (16-25 years old) to develop their filmmaking skills, confidence in their artistic imagination and in their right to tell their stories, in the way they want to tell them.


Writer and theatremaker Annie George has received funding towards the research and development of Twa, a new theatrical production about women who are silenced or censored. The work will be written and performed by Annie George, with digital and live drawing response by Scottish-French visual artist Flore Gardner, and music and sound design by Niroshini Thambar.

Twa - image credit - Flore Gardner Red Inside

Glasgow-based theatre makers Eco Drama to create a new theatrical production for early years audiences, The Whirlybird, an ecological ugly duckling tale set in a cosy willow bird’s nest, told through puppetry, music, movement and object manipulation.

Helen Milne Productions have received funding towards Islander - a children’s touring production exploring themes of war, migration and identity. Blending dramatic action, epic storytelling and a cappella song, the performers live-record and layer their voices with looping technology to create a feast for the ears and imagination.  This devised touring production is a collaboration between director Amy Draper, composer Finn Anderson and playwright Stewart Melton, produced by Helen Milne.


Aberdeenshire-based Dudendance have received funding towards Detour - on Route to a Movie, a Scottish/ Argentine co-production combining film footage, spoken word and improvised live sound to create unique cine-teatro events.

Dance artist Katie Armstrong,movement artist Martyn Garside and Choreographer Rob Heaslip have all received funding to develop new work.


Tilde Arts received funding to create an installation for Dundee’s entry to the London Design Biennale in September 2018 on the theme of “what can design do for mental health in Scotland?”. The project will draw from Dundee’s vibrant video games sector as well as the city’s pioneering activity in healthcare design. An interdisciplinary design team will be led by Dundee-based video game designers Biome Collective together with a group of local activists and national mental health agencies.

Visual Arts

Rhubaba Gallery and Studios have received funding towards its 2018 programme of exhibitions, commissions and events.  Rhubaba is an artist-run organisation in Edinburgh that provides studio space for 21 artists across 14 studios. The 2018 programme of activity includes group and solo shows, events, screenings, talks, workshops, commissions and artists’ editions.

Edinburgh-based painter Rabiya Choudhry has received funding to exhibit new work at Glasgow’s Transmission Gallery in September 2018. The Exhibition will explore themes of faith, race, identity, and politics and will feature selection of Choudhry’s trademark paintings, as well as experimentations by the artist into new forms of text-based media; textiles; and painted sculptures.

Rabiya Choudhry

Gallery 5595 have received funding to support its summer programme of exhibitions/art-performances in a converted studio space off Portobello promenade.


Maker Katie Russell has received funding to research and develop a series of textile works inspired by maritime artefacts and information on the Battle of Jutland/Skagerrak. This will form a collection of tapestry weavings on the battle.

Iain Munro, Deputy CEO at Creative Scotland said:

“With the support of the National Lottery, it’s great to be able to announce such a fantastic range of projects across the length and breadth of Scotland and across such a range of art forms.

“Open Project Funding enables artists to develop their creative practice and organisations to connect with communities, enriching the cultural life of everyone in Scotland.

“From the Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival and our support for emerging artists through Off Axis, to the important work of Scotland Our New Home, supporting young unaccompanied asylum seekers and refugees to develop their filmmaking skills, this month’s awards represent a rich and diverse mix of arts and creativity.”


Open Project Funding Awards May 2018

View the Open Project Funding Awards made in May 2018, 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).

Details of the Open Project Fund and all other Creative Scotland funding can be found on our website at https://www.creativescotland.com/funding/funding-programmes/open-project-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 and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland

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 to Scotland.

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