Media release: Young North Edinburgh musicians New York-bound after receiving National Lottery funding

Pulse of the Place pic courtesy Hand up Events

A GROUP of young Edinburgh musicians are looking forward to taking part in the world-famous Tartan Day Parade in New York next Spring, supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund.

36 musicians from A.R.Ts Afternoon’s Drum Club Project, which gives young people from a range of backgrounds in North Edinburgh opportunities to perform in a Samba drumming band, are preparing to be centre stage on the streets of the Big Apple in April 2020.

A.R.Ts Afternoon Drum Club provides opportunities for young people across the North Edinburgh area, from Craigentinny through to Drylaw, to take part in creative activities. The musicians in the Drum Club Project meet once a week; there are no auditions to join and the activities are free.

The group, Pulse of the Place, are aged between nine and 21 and were invited to take part in the Tartan Day Parade by Hand up Events and World Trade Fair Trade Tartan.

Rohan Seilman, Project lead, A.R.Ts Afternoon’s Drum Club Project, said: “Some of the young people have incredibly tough lives, yet they come along every week and are positive, make new friends and become musicians. Travelling to the USA will expose these young people to new opportunities and offer them the creative experience of a lifetime.”

Alice, a member of the Drum Club, said: “I’m looking forward to making more friends through drumming and boosting my confidence by performing in the parade.”

Creative Scotland’s Morag Macdonald said: “Culture and creativity are key to young people’s development; gaining and growing skills and increasing confidence and self-esteem. A.R.Ts Afternoon Drum Club Project gives young people invaluable opportunities to benefit from and enjoy taking part in music in Edinburgh. Participating in the Tartan Day Parade in New York will be a fantastic experience for the young musicians.”

Other Edinburgh-based recipients of the latest round of Open Project Fund awards include the Edinburgh Quartet, whose 2019-20 programme sees players exploring the benefits of music for mental health and wellbeing and bringing positive classical music experiences to audiences across Scotland.

While dancers, Tess Letham and Nerea Gurrutxaga, will participate in an intensive 60-day training programme of dance improvisation for performance in Brussels. After the training programme, the dancers will teach a series of workshops and classes in Scotland, sharing the knowledge and experienced they’ve gained, and perform in Edinburgh.

A full list of projects and activity awarded through the Open Project Fund in this latest round, is available here.

In this round, over 30 creative projects and activities taking place across Scotland have received more than £600,000 of National Lottery Funding through Creative Scotland.

Over £583m National Lottery funding has been awarded across Scotland’s arts, screen and creative industries over the last 25 years. Nearly 16,000 individuals, projects and organisations have benefitted from this enabling people and communities to bring their ideas to life. To find out more, visit

Image courtesy of Hand Up Events.

Notes for editors:

Open Project Funding is available to a wide range of organisations and individuals working across Scotland in the arts 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 Follow us @creativescots and

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