Scotland hires freelancers as arts tutors

27 Sep 2021

Up to 50 freelancers will be employed as arts tutors in some of Scotland's most remote and culturally distinctive communities.

Creatives and artists who have lost work due to Covid-19 or Brexit can apply to work with primary schools in the Scottish Islands of Na h-Eileanan Siar, Orkney, Shetland, Argyll and Bute, Highland and North Ayrshire.

Gaelic arts body Fèisean nan Gàidheal will deliver the programme whilst the University of the Highlands gives tutors support and accreditation. The tutors in turn will support the development of assistant tutors to continue delivering arts education.

Fèisean nan Gàidheal CEO Arthur Cormack said training will increase freelancers' "resilience" and better equip thme to work in schools in the future.

The programme is funded by the National Transition Training Fund and through the Scottish Government's Islands Programme.
 

Falkirk Council to vote on arts centre location

13 Sep 2021

Falkirk Council is set to vote on a site for its new arts centre and council headquarters.

The £45m arts centre, which has been given the go-ahead despite rising costs, will include a theatre, library and studio spaces alongside the council offices.

But the council is yet to agree on where it will be built. Council officers and the SNP want the arts centre and offices to be built together, whereas Labour have suggested splitting the projects across two sites.

Falkirk Business Improvement District Manager Elaine Grant says it is "critical" both the headquarters and arts centre are in built in the heart of the town.

"It will have a significant impact not just on local business but [also] through further investment."

The council will reconvene on September 24 to discuss further.

Scotland says yes to vaccine passports, U-turns on mask rule

10 Sep 2021

The Scottish Parliament has voted to make vaccine passports mandatory at nightclubs, concerts and other large events.

The nation's model is expected to provide the blueprint for an English certification system.

Negative testing will not be accepted in lieu of a vaccine passport, prompting criticism from some Scottish politicians and health officials who say the passport alone won't prove whether people are passing the virus on, but will adversely affect businesses.

However, Scotland has removed a rule that performers within one metre of each other must wear face masks or use protective screens.

First reported in ArtsProfessional, the restriction provoked alarm among theatres and Creative Scotland.

The Scottish Government changed the rule "in response to concerns about the performing arts sector’s ability to resume work".

New guidance says the exemption will only apply when there is a partition or distance of at least one metre between performers and the audience.

"Because of the continuing risk of transmitting the virus indoors, these exemptions from wearing face coverings without one-metre distancing or partitioning should be the exception rather than the norm."

Nations press ahead with vaccine passports for events

02 Sep 2021

More concrete plans to require certification at large events come as research indicates the policy could put people off getting vaccinated.

Academy Music Group acquires Edinburgh venue

01 Sep 2021

Academy Music Group (AMG) has acquired the Edinburgh Corn Exchange.

The 3,000 capacity venue, set to become the 20th owned and operated by AMG across the UK, will be renamed 02 Academy Edinburgh from today (September 1).

AMG Chief Operating Officer Graham Walters says the venue fits with the company's ethos of investing in heritage buildings.

"It has a number of diverse secondary spaces, flexible formats and configurations that we’ll be looking at over the coming months to complement programming and events in the main auditorium."

Gareth Griffiths, Head of Sponsorship for 02, said the acquisition "demonstrates O2 and Academy Music Group’s commitment to enhancing the live industry in Scotland".

Cross party MPs go in to bat for Glasgow

01 Sep 2021

Scotland’s Labour and Conservative parties are calling on the Scottish and UK Governments to agree a new funding deal for Glasgow’s culture and leisure services.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar raised a motion in Holyrood calling for further support for Glasgow Life, which runs culture and leisure on behalf of Glasgow City Council.

The charitable organisation warned it cannot reopen more than 90 of its 171 venues if it does not receive more than the £100m guaranteed by the council over the next four years. 

Glasgow Life lost £38m during the lockdown, leading to plans to cut 500 jobs.

Scottish Conservative Glasgow MSP Annie Wells voiced her support for the motion.

“It should be a source of shame for the SNP Government that so many vital facilities and venues in Glasgow are under threat.”
 
 

Scottish Government pushes for EU visa-free touring

31 Aug 2021

Scottish Culture Secretary Angus Robertson has urged the UK Government to negotiate visa-free travel for the creative industry by the end of the year.

In a letter addressed to Oliver Dowden, Robertson calls for cooperation between the two Governments to “minimise barriers to recovery”.

He adds that touring visas and work permits are creating “insurmountable obstacles” for artists.

“Ultimately this could jeopardise the ability of some to continue working in the sector altogether”.

The letter follows a UK Government announcement that 19 EU countries have agreed to short term visa-free tours, an update condemned by music industry leaders as “nothing new”.

National Theatre of Scotland opens digital education portal

26 Aug 2021

The National Theatre of Scotland has launched an online education portal.

It launches with a full version of Hannah Lavery's Lament for Sheku Bayoh, filmed at the Lyceum Theatre, alongside educational resources.

The theatre has made access free to schools to spark "an anti-racism conversation in response to the production".

Further productions staged at the theatre will be added, including forthcoming productions of The Enemy and Enough of Him.

Head of Creative Engagement Paul Fitzpatrick says the portal will "facilitate access to the arts, learning and discussion" across Scotland.

EXCLUSIVE: 'Disastrous' one metre rule for performers in Scotland

24 Aug 2021

New guidance for shows in Scotland will be practically impossible to enact and a financial blow to the recently reopened industry.

City of Culture 2025 contest attracts explosion of interest

28 Jul 2021

Adding a seventh city to the longlist of bidders who will receive funding would allow more places to "complete their journey," an expert on the competition says.

Scotland scraps music tuition fees in schools

A piano in a school hall
05 Jul 2021

The Scottish Government has become the first in the UK to commit to free instrument tuition. A similar policy in England “seems a long way off”.

The essence of a festival is congregation

My Light Shines on laser beams
09 Jun 2021

With artists no longer able to travel freely across Europe post-Brexit, and with no sign of the Covid pandemic abating, Francesca Hegyi explores the challenges of trying to stage an international festival in the UK.

Backlash forces Scotland to revisit two-metre distancing rule

30 Apr 2021

The measure could make up to 95% of the country's theatres financially unviable, with only a quarter physically able to accommodate maximum audiences upon reopening.

Culture for everyone in Scotland

Abstract image reflected in mirrors
28 Apr 2021

Andy Robertson argues for the cultural sector to become an equal stakeholder in developing a future for Scotland.

Emergency funding lifelines for Northern Irish and Scottish arts

16 Feb 2021

Northern Irish organisations' coronavirus deficits will be eliminated by new grants as Scotland offers new support for events and freelancers.

Scottish organisations strive to stay in Creative Europe

12 Feb 2021

Leaving the influential programme in a time of crisis would be "a travesty" - and unnecessary for devolved nations, campaigners say.

Embracing the art of the possible

3 black poeple on a stage raising clench fists in front of a Black Lives Matter sign
10 Feb 2021

The theatre industry needed a champion in a time of crisis. National Theatre Scotland answered the call and it’s not turning back, writes Jackie Wylie.

Scotland faces slow return to pre-Covid audiences

18 Jan 2021

A recent Creative Scotland survey suggests audiences are unlikely to return to pre-Covid levels until the population has been vaccinated. 

Scottish organisations call for Culture Act

09 Dec 2020

An eight-point manifesto asks campaigning parties to commit to a National Arts Force and new Office for Cultural Exchange ahead of the country's election.

10% of schools aren't teaching music, survey suggests

08 Dec 2020

Music teachers are putting their health at risk to continue provision under inconsistent and unclear Covid safety guidelines.

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