Media release: Over £850,000 support for cultural activity across Scotland

xShaper Caper. Credit Maria Falconer

Over £850,000 support for cultural activity
across Scotland

39 Open Project awards of between £1,500 and £90,000 made in November 2018

NATIONAL Lottery funding totalling £857,510 has been awarded to 39 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 supported in November range from a retrospective from sculptor Karla Black; new work  from multi, award-winning choreographer Thomas Small, singer-songwriter Carly Connor, author MacGillivray, BAFTA-winning animator Will Anderson, games maker Niall Tessier-Lavigne and sound artist Mark Vernon, amongst others.  

The Glasgow Barons will present an eclectic music programme for the people of Govan, and Anatomy Arts will deliver a series of diverse and accessible multi-artform events in Edinburgh, co-hosted by Harry Giles. Rapture Theatre will the tour critically acclaimed play by Patrick MarberThe Red Lion; Borders-based theatre company Firebrand will produce a new play about the late rugby commentating legend Bill McLaren and Tidy Carnage will further develop NINO, a darkly comic performance inspired by one woman’s experience of grappling with the benefits system.

2019 will also see new artistic programmes from Ullapool Book Festival, Shetland Folk Festival, Glasgow International Jazz Festival and Lammermuir Festival. Elsewhere, SEALL receive support to bring diverse and quality performing arts to rural communities in Skye and Lochalsh; Glasgow based David Dale Gallery will present a programme of visual arts commissions, exhibitions and events; and Universal Hall in Findhorn, Moray receive support towards their programme of music, dance, comedy, film and theatre. 2020 will see the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Edwin Morgan, one of Scotland’s most significant poets, The Edwin Morgan Trust receive support towards the coordination of the year while Scottish Universities’ International Summer School will deliver two Edwin Morgan Translation Fellowships.

Further details on individual projects:

Sculptor Karla Black will research, create and produce a retrospective of her work. Black will draw together 20 years’ worth of her work to be exhibited in Scotland and internationally.

Circus artist and performer Zinnia Oberski will develop a new circus/theatre show Dreams of the Small Gods. The show centres around female feral nature and how it links the artist with the animal and spirit worlds.

Multi award-winning choreographer Thomas Small of Shaper Caper will develop a new dance-theatre production No Offence, aimed at young people aged 12+ that explores the experience of coming out in the 21st century.

Movement director and dancer Vicki Manderson will develop new dance theatre work The Afflicted. The work centres around the subject of mass hysteria in teenage girls and takes its inspiration from the true story of 18 girls in Le Roy, New York who in 2011 were afflicted with a mysterious illness. 

BAFTA winning filmmaker and animator Will Anderson, along with game maker and generative artist Niall Tessier-Lavigne will develop an interactive mobile app – Plaything. Plaything will allow users to create an animated creature on their touch device. Through fun and explorative gameplay, the makers will create a thought-provoking experience that everyone can hold in their hands, and close to their heart.

Sound artist Mark Vernon will research, develop and create a new eight-channel sound work to be mixed and arranged during a two-week residency at EMS studios, Stockholm. Vernon has been experimenting with radio as a platform since his involvement in Glasgow pirate station Radio Tuesday in the late 1990s.

Theatre director Alasdair Hunter will attend the Shakespeare Theatre Association conference in Prague. Hunter commented: My intention is to create an international Shakespeare company rooted in Scotland. Attending STA will allow me to build strong links with Shakespeare producers around the world, spur future collaboration between Scottish and international artists, and strengthen my own practice as a director of Shakespeare.”

MacGillivray, the Highland name of Scottish writer, performance artist and musician Kirsten Norrie, will produce a new poetry collection reflecting her matrilineal Highland heritage. MacGillivray is the author of two poetry collections and eight albums with the soundtracks to two major British films to her credit.

Glasgow-based alt-country singer-songwriter Carly Connor will record a series of EPs.

With vocals compared to the likes of Janis Joplin and early Tina Turner, Carly will work with producer John McLaughlin, a successful songwriter/producer with three UK No.1 records and 17 Top Ten hits, including hits for Rod Stewart, Westlife and Sandi Thom. On receiving funding Carly Connor, commented: “Buzzin to get in the studio to record these EPs and back on the road and just try my best to make Scotland proud.” While John Mclaughlin said: “We’re delighted to have the support of Creative Scotland. With her unique song writing talent and fantastic vocal tones this is going to be a big year for Carly Connor.”  

Avant-garde folk singer-songwriter Lizabett Russo will record and promote her fourth album. Lizabett’s self-released EP The Traveller’s Song in 2013 saw her go on to tour internationally promoting debut album, Running with the Wolves and then The Burning Mountain in 2016.

Glasgow-based WHɎTE will record and release their second album. WHɎTE comprises electronic composer and musician Ross Whyte and Gaelic singer/songwriter Alasdair C Whyte.

Jazz/folk/funk crossover collective Fat-Suit will record their fourth studio album. On receiving funding, Dorian Cloudsley of Fat-Suit, commented: “Fat-Suit’s material crosses many genres, using jazz as the point of departure to explore myriad sound worlds including folk, rock, house and electronica. The new album reflects this in its collaborative nature and will showcase the eclectic writing styles of the members’ various musical backgrounds.”

The Glasgow Barons will deliver a yearlong programme of music for the local area – GOVAN LOVES MUSIC.  The Glasgow Barons formed in 2017 to help regenerate Govan.  The programme covers a wide range of musical styles from samba to hip hop to classical.

Edinburgh-based Anatomy Arts will present a series of diverse and accessible multi-art form events including evening cabarets in partnership with Summerhall, a matinee performance for early years (0-5) audiences, and an annual Best Of showcase.

Harry Giles of Anatomy Arts commented: “We’re delighted to be back, funded by Creative Scotland and now constituted as a Workers’ Co-operative, as part of a movement of artist- and worker-led arts projects in Scotland. It means we can produce work that’s astonishing, delightful, disturbing and magic, and produce it in a way that puts power in the hands of artists.”

Rapture Theatre will tour The Red Lion, a critically acclaimed play by Patrick Marber. Rapture’s Scottish premiere will take place at the Palace Theatre in Kilmarnock in May 2019 before touring to another 15 venues across Scotland.

Theatre company Tidy Carnage will complete the final research and development period of their new show NINO for presentation at Manipulate 2019. NINO is a darkly comic performance inspired by one woman’s experience of living in poverty and grappling with the benefits system.

Award-winning Borders-based theatre company Firebrand will develop a new play about the late rugby commentating legend Bill McLaren. Developed from a first draft biographical script by rugby journalist and playwright Rob Robertson, Bill McLaren: The Voice of Rugby.

Richard Baron, director, Firebrand, said: “Firebrand are delighted to be granted the opportunity to realise and develop Rob Robertson’s new play about the life and work of rugby and Scottish Borders icon, Bill McLaren.

“Bill’s devotion to the values and disciplines of team sport both as top player, world-renowned commentator and inspirational school teacher, along with his dramatic wartime experiences and his later triumph over life-threatening illness, make his journey and important lasting legacy of interest not only to the rugby fan but to anyone fascinated by the story of one of Hawick and Scotland’s humblest and greatest cultural ambassadors.”

2019 will also see artistic programmes from Glasgow Jazz Festival, Lammermuir Festival, Shetland Folk Festival and Ullapool Book Festival.

Glasgow Jazz Festival, Jill Rodger, director, said: “Year on year we endeavour to bring an exciting and varied line-up of big-name artists alongside up-and-coming musicians to Glasgow’s audiences and we are able to do this thanks to National Lottery funding from Creative Scotland. We look forward to welcoming jazz fans old and new to some of Glasgow’s most iconic music venues from 19-23 June 2019.”

Lammermuir Artistic directors, James Waters and Hugh Macdonald, commented: “Since 2010, we have given 185 performances in 45 venues across East Lothian and we are so excited to reach our tenth festival in 2019. As always, we will be presenting the very finest Scottish classical artists and ensembles with top-level international guest performers.”

Shetland Folk Festival, programmer, Mhari McLeman, said: “Staging the festival each year requires a tremendous amount of volunteer effort and ultimately results in considerable benefits to Shetland’s community – economically, socially and culturally.

“This recognition and support combined with the very generous contributions from a range of businesses will make a vital difference to the event we stage.”

Ullapool Book Festival, chair, Joan Michael, said: “We really can’t believe it’s coming up to 15 years since it all started and an idea that was hatched in a bar one night  is still going strong. It would never have happened without all the wonderful writers through the years who had faith in a group of volunteers to produce a great event. We thank them and all our funders – from the local bookshops up to Creative Scotland. And we’re still in love with doing it and plan being around for many years to come!”

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.”

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 two 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 can be found on our website at

Please note the funding awards listed (attached) 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 Follow us @creativescots and

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 ten-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.

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