Media release: 40 projects across Scotland share over £600,000 Open Project funding


A BRAND new inter-generational circus show, a series of creative platforms shaped by people with complex disabilities, and a new project centred around female composers are among 40 projects sharing over £600,000 of National Lottery funding in the latest round of Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund awards.

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, have each received between £1000 and £145,000 to develop their projects. These include:


SUPERFAN has received funding to develop Nosedive, a new inter-generational circus show which will explore fear, hope, and recklessness and how our relationship towards these emotional states changes as we get older. Children and adult performers will play side by side and push themselves to the physical limit – the risks and challenges of the circus trick becoming a metaphor for how we consider age and youth, and what we view as acceptable levels of risk at different stages in life.

The adults are professional circus performers and the children – all from Scotland –  recreationally take part in gymnastics or youth circus. The production will premiere at Platform Theatre in November 2019.

Pete Lananon, co-director, SUPERFAN, said: “We’re delighted that we’re able to premiere Nosedive in Scotland, before taking it to the Barbican as winner of the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award. It’s important to us to be able to make and show our work here, particularly at Platform – a venue that has supported us enormously throughout our development as a company.”

Artlink Edinburgh has received funding to support Assemblies, a year-long project to promote inclusive arts practice, making cultural activity more accessible to those with complex disabilities. The project will include workshops, events and training shaped by people with complex needs, for practitioners across the sector to build new partnerships and alliances in this field.

Jan-Bert van den Berg, director, Artlink Edinburgh, said: “Often we talk about art as a product isolated from the impact of the experience that being immersed in it has. In the words of a parent and collaborator Assemblies will be ‘an exploration of human relationships built upon mutual trust and equality’.”


The Glasgow School of Art Choir has received funding to develop Composeher, a brand-new collaborative project with Glasgow Women’s Library to commission seven female composers to each create a new choral work for the ensemble. The seven new pieces will be premiered in Glasgow in May 2021, following a series of discussions with the composers which will be open to the public.

Composeher is designed to be a national platform for the discussion of gender inequality in the commissioning of classical music. The series of five public workshops, to be hosted by Glasgow Women’s Library in the period leading up to the premiere, will allow the composers to discuss their creative practices, alongside further explorations about female representation within the classical music industry and society, as a whole.

Jamie Sansbury, musical director of the GSA Choir, said: “Composeher marks a significant milestone in the development of the Glasgow School of Art Choir and further demonstrates our commitment to commissioning and performing new music.

“The support of Creative Scotland, along with our partnership with the team at Glasgow Women’s Library, will enable the GSA Choir to commission these incredible female composers and to share their work with the public at the premiere in Glasgow in May 2021.”


Quarterly literary magazine, The Drouth, has received funding towards the transformation of its hard copy magazine into a web-based multimedia web journal. This will see the platform create regular weekly content offering a blend of short and long form content to suit a range of audience preferences, including a Review of Books blog, prose pieces, media clips and video essays.

Johnny Rodger, founder, The Drouth, said: “This welcome funding boost will enable The Drouth to set up a new online platform with engaging and in-depth critical writing and multi-media work on art, politics, culture and society.”


Phosphoros Theatre has received funding for the presentation of a week’s run of Pizza Shop Heroes at Summerhall this August. complemented by a programme of activities and workshops.

Since Phosphoros Theatre’s inception in 2016 it has worked with current and former unaccompanied asylum-seeking children who have travelled on their own to the UK.

Over the last three years, the company has worked closely with more than 500 refugees and asylum-seekers through refugee organisations and communities, helping to dismantle barriers to participation.

Kate Scarlett Duffy, artistic director, Phosphoros Theatre, said: “We’re glad to be able to engage local refugees as audience members for our Edinburgh Festival Fringe show, Pizza Shop Heroes. We believe our show, and its accompanying workshops play an important role in recognising and representing the lived experience of refugees in Britain.”


Romany Dear has received funding to enable attendance at AXIS Dance Company’s Physically Integrated Dance Summer Intensive in Oakland, California. This is a highly respected international annual training programme for arts dance practitioners interested in working with inclusivity. Romany will also continue collaborating with her existing communities: Indepen-dance, Glasgow Open Dance School and The Glasgow School of Art, to facilitate a series of workshops and trainings based on her participation with AXIS.


Mount Stuart Trust has received funding to commission contemporary visual art projects including two exhibitions by artists of international standing and a residency for an emerging artist as part of an ambitious year-long project. This will include commissioning Liana Halperin to bring her focus in creating art inspired by deep geological time to the island of Bute, where she now spends much of her time. In addition, Toronto-based visual artist, Abbas Akhavanbe, introduced to audiences in Scotland; his international reputation having been formed in Canada, Germany, USA, Colombia, UAE, Turkey, England and Ireland.

Mount Stuart will also continue to develop their Emerging Artist Residency focusing on socially engaged practice.

Iain Munro, Acting CEO at Creative Scotland, said: “With funds from the National Lottery, we are delighted to be able to support such a broad range of incredible projects across the country.

“From the hugely important work being carried out by Artlink Edinburgh promoting inclusivity in the arts for people with complex disabilities, to Glasgow School of Art’s new collaborative project celebrating female composers, to an inventive new circus show for young people and adults, this month’s awards highlight the rich diversity of the arts and cultural landscape in Scotland.”


Notes for 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 two 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. Further information at

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Claire Thomson, media relations and PR co-ordinator, Creative Scotland / 0141 302 1708

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