42 projects across Scotland share £800,000 Open Project Funding

Published: 31 May 2019

St Andrews

A new Brexit inspired production from Scottish Youth Theatre, a solo HipHop dance theatre work exploring coercive control, a cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) live stage performance and an anthology of contemporary Scottish writing are among 42 projects to share £800,000 of Open Project Funding from Creative Scotland in April 2019.

A diverse group of recipients, made up of individual artists, musicians, writers, theatre makers, festivals and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries, each received between £1,000 and £100,000 to develop their projects. These include:

Multi Artform

North Edinburgh Arts has received funding to support the work of artist Alice Betts, who building on her work in the community to date, will collaborate with local women and men to investigate forms and methods of spreading creative participation in their community. Through weekly creative workshops for out of work and part time working parents and individuals, the participants will become the project drivers and collaborators in a wider programme of events for people of all ages.

This month’s awards highlight the rich tapestry of the arts and cultural landscape in Scotland- Iain Munro, Creative Scotland

Circus performer Ellie Dubois has received funding to produce Salt of the Earth, an exciting new collaboration with folk musician Sarah Hayes of Scottish band Admiral Fallow. Combining Scottish folk music and contemporary circus, the work performed by an all female group of performers and musicians, will be toured to rural areas across Scotland.

Visual artist Kate Steenhauer has received funding for Jack’s Brain, a live stage performance which uses cutting-edge AI techniques to translate live-painted drawing into music in real time. The AI software has been developed by Meng (Master of Engineering) student Jack Caven and AI specialist Dr. Andrew Starkey.

Hebrides Ensemble has received funding to produce a number of inspiring projects between June 2019 and May 2020. Projects will include a tour of chamber music by Rebecca Saunders, a new 3-year strategic partnership with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the research and development of a concert format designed for those living with autism.

Kate Whitlock, General Manager, Hebrides Ensemble said: “We are delighted that with this funding we can deliver a programme of activity that looks forward and outward: nurturing the next generation of composers and performers; actively seeking out ways to improve the accessibility of both our live performances and our digital provision; and championing a range of repertoire that deserves a broader audience in Scotland and beyond.”


The TMSA Young Trad Tour (2018) Project is a unique opportunity for the finalists of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Competition 2018. Guided by top professionals and enhanced by peer to peer learning, these musicians will be offered creative and skills development including collaborative working, onstage craft, marketing and recording, as well as being able to inspire a greater interest and pride in traditional music and song through a tour of their home towns, during the project.

Three groups of musicians Anchor LaneDavid Foley & Jack Smedley and Future Get Down all received funding to enable them to develop and produce their debut albums. While Kathryn Jospeh received funding to support The Twilight Sad on their North American Tour and to support the North American release of her latest album.

Music Festival’s including St Andrews Voices FestivalThe Knockengorroch Longhouse and The Mull of Kintyre Music and Arts Festival all received funding towards their 2019 editions, with The Tiree Music Festival receive funding to develop Elevate Stage which provides an exciting platform for new musicians.


Scottish Youth Theatre have received funding to develop, stage and tour An Act of Repair, a brand-new production about Brexit.  Directed by Brian FergusonAn Act of Repair will feature a diverse group of 20 talented young actors between 16–25 years, and will tour across Scotland raising awareness of Scottish Youth Theatre and encouraging aspiring young actors to become involved, regardless of background or circumstance.

Mahri Reilly, Creative Producer, Scottish Youth Theatre said: “We are delighted to have been awarded Creative Scotland Open Project Funding for the production and tour of Act of Repair. This major financial investment will enable us to realise the scale and ambition of the country’s only national touring company for young artists who have something to say, as we continue to drive our new National Artistic Programme and cultivate the next generation of Scottish theatre makers, innovators and activists.”

Helen Milne Productions has received funding to develop a spectacular new cross art-form production integrating illusion, for family audiences. Adapted for stage by Rob Drummond (Bullet Catch, The Majority & The Broons) and directed by Grid Iron's Ben Harrison, the work will bring to life a heart-felt and darkly comic narrative exploring vision, magic and greed.  Further details of the production will be announced later this year.

The multi award winning Jordan & Skinner have also received funding to develop a new theatre production - The Time Machine: A Radical Feminist Re-telling from the End of the World. This all women/non-binary reimagining which will explore survivalism, human evolution and feminism, featuring a group of people who are preparing for the end of humanity, will tour nationally in 2020.


Emma Hamilton has received funding to develop the Elusive Obvious a brand new HipHop dance theatre work exploring the theme of coercive control. The aim of the work is to raise awareness and shine a light on victims’ experiences and advance the under-represented art form of HipHop theatre within Scotland. This project will enable Emma to bring together 20 years of experience to develop and choreograph her first solo HipHop theatre work.

Emma Hamilton said: “I am delighted to have been awarded funding from Creative Scotland to research and develop a HipHop theatre piece dealing with the theme of coercive control. I now have the time and resources to focus not only on developing my choreographic skills but also to raising awareness of the effects that coercive control has on victims.”

Literature and Publishing

Canongate Books has received funding to produce Antlers of Water, the first ever anthology of contemporary Scottish writing on nature and the environment. Writers from across the country, who are committed to the conservation of natural world are being invited to contribute prose, poetry, photography and hybrid forms of writing.

The Nairn Book and Arts Festival has received funding towards this year’s event, enabling the Festival to develop its existing programme. It will offer talks and readings by well-established, nationally known authors, new writers and local writers, and simultaneously translated Gaelic language author events. In addition, this year, the Festival will feature drama, film visual arts exhibitions and creative workshops for people of all ages, and an outdoors open mic session for teens.

Visual Art

Art Walk Projects CIC has received funding for Land Mark, a new body of research-led contemporary work centred around the public realm of Portobello, Edinburgh. Delivered over 16 months, Land Mark will enable a social discourse to take place around the marking of land, industrial traces, and walked land. The project will involve a series of artist commissions, public conversations and community engagement work, focussing on the area that used to house Portobello’s industries.

Iain Munro, Acting CEO at Creative Scotland said: “With the support of the National Lottery, we are delighted to be able to support such a broad range of inspiring projects across Scotland.  From the Tiree Music Festival and support for new and aspiring musicians through the Elevate Stage, to the important community work being developed by the North Edinburgh Arts Centre, and an exciting new production by Scottish Youth Theatre, this month’s awards highlight the rich tapestry of the arts and cultural landscape in Scotland.”


Open Project Funding Awards - April 2019

Download April 2019's Open Project Fund awards 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. 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).  Application guidance and forms can be found here.

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.

Media contact: Sophie Bambrough, Media Relations and PR Officer, Creative Scotland | T: 0131 523 0015 / M: 07747 606 146 | E: sophie.bambrough@creativescotland.com.

(Image: EikCaffery Creative)