Scottish Ballet pilots new care home initiative

27 Jun 2022

A pilot programme called SB Duet will be launched in three Independent Sector Care homes within Inverclyde Health and Care Social Partnership to support the wellbeing of people with reduced mobility.

Scottish Ballet are partnering with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Care Home Collaborative to run the pilot, which will offer care home residents an accessible movement experience that can be done in bed or at the bedside with a carer, visitor or independently. 

The programme package includes two ten-minute films and audio resources, each containing a short excerpt of a Scottish Ballet performance, followed by five minutes of gentle guided movement.  

Dance and movement have been shown to improve physical fitness, cognitive function and quality of life for care home residents.

The programme builds on the neurological programmes and projects run online by Scottish Ballet during lockdown, which demonstrated that people with neurological conditions and reduced mobility were willing and able to take part in gentle guided exercise.

“Research suggests that dance-based interventions are effective in improving both the physical and mental well-being of older adults,” said Pooja Gupta, Care Home Collaborative AHP Care About Physical Activity Lead.

“This resource will not only support physical activity, but also promote mental well-being and help people do what matters to them the most.”

Edinburgh’s first Deaf Festival set for August

20 Jun 2022

The first Edinburgh Deaf Festival will take place from 12 -19 August.

Organised by Deaf Action, with the support of Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, the festival is the first of its kind to be held in Scotland. Its organisation, production, shows and events are all deaf-led and it is scheduled to feature drama, magic, comedy, cabaret, tours, exhibitions, workshops, book clubs and a deaf rave.

Performances will include a mix of deaf and hearing artists and will be interpreted and captioned to be inclusive for hearing people as well as the deaf and hard of hearing.

“The festival will be a real celebration of our language, culture, heritage and the variety of people that make up our community,” said Deaf Action CEO Philip Gerrard.

Fringe CEO Shona McCarthy said “the Edinburgh Fringe is really proud to be associated with the first deaf festival in Scotland”.

“I think this is something that’s going to continue into the future and I hope it becomes an annual addition to the festivals landscape,” she said.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe announces partnership with TikTok 

20 Jun 2022

TikTok and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society have announced that the entertainment platform will become the festival’s first official Virtual Stage Partner this summer.

The performing arts festival, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, will livestream performances to a global audience on TikTok from across the festival’s venues throughout August and beyond.

An Edinburgh Festival Fringe Hub on the app will host all the festival content in one place for TikTok users to access.

Meanwhile, two digital screens on the Royal Mile will be used to showcase TikTok content, allowing festivalgoers to discover emerging comedy, music and theatre created by users of the app.

TikTok will also co-host the Official Taster Stage with the Fringe. Selected TikTok creators will be invited to the festival to perform live and TikTok will also run workshops for Fringe artists and performers on how to use the virtual platform to reach larger audience and test new material.

“TikTok's expertise in the creative spaces make it the perfect partner for our Official Virtual Stage,” said Shona McCarthy, CEO at the Edinburgh Fringe Society.

“We look forward to joining artists together with TikTok's unique virtual creativity, bringing the Fringe to a new global audience. For the Fringe, it’s about offering anyone a stage and everyone a seat, and this partnership will allow us to offer this to audiences wherever they are in the world.”
James Stafford, Head of Partnerships & Community at TikTok, described the festival as “a unique moment that brings together emerging artists in a celebration of creativity”. 

“Our partnership places TikTok's global community at the heart of the iconic festival, and celebrates our joint belief that creativity is for everyone,” he said.

Scottish theatre company launches programme for disabled people

09 Jun 2022

A Scottish theatre company has launched a new initiative to help disabled people get involved with performing arts.

Cutting Edge Theatre, based in Edinburgh, has received funding from the ScottishPower Foundation for its Inspire Disability Arts programme.

The theatre company said the programme will establish a clear pathway into theatre for those of primary school age all the way to professional training and employment.

Suzanne Lofthus, artistic director at Cutting Edge Theatre, said: “It’s about offering equal access to the performing arts. I was able to do drama at school and then join a youth theatre.

“People with disabilities should have the same access I had, whether they want to pursue a career in theatre or just take a class for fun.

“When I started to look to see where in Scotland learning-disabled people could train in performing arts in a supported environment with their peers, the answer is almost nowhere.

“This award from the ScottishPower Foundation means we can start to change that.”

Edinburgh Fringe producers get £1.3m resilience funding

26 May 2022

Edinburgh Festival Fringe producers have received financial support to help them recover and remain resilient following the Covid-19 pandemic. 

A total of 13 Edinburgh Festival Fringe producers have been awarded a share of £1.275m from the Fringe 2022 Resilience Fund, financed by the Scottish Government and distributed by Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society.

Venues in receipt of the money are Assembly, BlundaBus, Gilded Balloon, Greenside, Just The Tonic, Laughing Horse, Monkey Barrell Comedy, Pleasance, Scottish Comedy Festival, Summerhall, theSpaceUK, Underbelly and ZOO.

A further £305k has been allocated to support the ongoing resilience of the Fringe Society, which includes £55k to support the delivery of street events during August.

Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: “It’s fair to say that the last few years have been the most challenging in our festival’s history. 

"Now, as we prepare to enter our 75th anniversary year, creatives across the Fringe landscape are working hard to ensure that this incredible festival not only survives, but continues to work hard to be the best version of itself.

“This support from Scottish Government is absolutely vital in helping us to achieve that goal: allowing producers and creatives across the landscape to not only recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic, but to offer enhanced support to artists, workers and volunteers; to continue to programme creative and innovative work; to improve accessibility; to tackle affordability and to ensure that this festival remains true to its founding principles of openness and inclusivity.”

Scotland to tie arts funding to net zero progress

27 Apr 2022

Creative Scotland says it will expect all funding recipients to demonstrate how their work contributes to making the sector carbon neutral by 2045.

Row over trans label in museum collection

25 Apr 2022

A Glasgow museum has received mixed responses to a display label supporting transgender rights. 

The Burrell Collection, which reopened in March following a £68.25m refurbishment, labelled two porcelain figures of Buddhist goddess Guanyin as a “transgender icon”.

One of the labels reads “trans people have always existed and are rooted in history. Figures like Guanyin reflect this, showing that gender and identity are not always fixed”, while another says “trans rights are human rights. Be more Guanyin”.

Campaign group Women Scotland accused the labels of appropriating Buddhist art to “prop up an ideology”.

Charitable trust Glasgow Life, which oversees the city’s museums, says academic studies have long referenced Guanyin as an icon for transgender people.

“One of the aims of the refurbishment of the Burrell Collection was to work with community groups to reflect often previously under-represented histories as part of the re-display, including LGBT histories, because Glasgow Life museums are places for everyone.”

Future of culture in Edinburgh

Seminar room Edinburgh University
12 Apr 2022

Recent research urged Edinburgh’s cultural sector to adopt a values-led approach to addressing inequities and precarities. Vikki Jones assesses the implications of the findings for the city.

Edinburgh to appoint music-writer-in-residence

06 Apr 2022

The city of Edinburgh will hold a competition to select a music-writer-in-residence.

The appointee will chronicle the recovery of the local live music scene on the webistes of Edinburgh Music Lovers and Forever Edinburgh, a £90,000 campaign by Visit Scotland.

Edinburgh Music Lovers founder Jim Byers he that "telling more people about music in Edinburgh is something I’m very passionate about ".

"Local venues and artists need support more than ever and a music writer in residence can help showcase Edinburgh to music fans around the UK and also showcase and develop their writing skills at the same time.”

Bringing the classical closer

23 Mar 2022

Struggling with the elitist nature of the concert hall, Matthew Whiteside decided it was time to bring contemporary classical music to local music venues.

£25m pledged for Edinburgh concert hall

08 Mar 2022

£25m has been committed to build the Dunard Centre, a long-awaited and much-debated concert hall in Edinburgh.

The Royal Bank of Scotland and Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal Joint Committee stumped up the funding as part of the £75m project budget. £15m more must still be fundraised.

City councillors green lit plans the new home for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra late last year. Initial plans were successfully challenged in court by hotel developers who worried the venue would block city views.

It will be Edinburgh's first new music venue in 100 years and the "cultural flagship" of its City Region Deal.

"I know so many people in the city are looking forward to enjoying all that this first-class cultural experience has to offer," Council Leader Adam McVey said.

Construction is due to begin soon on a site between St Andrew's Square and the St James Quarter. 



UNBOXED launches first event

02 Mar 2022

UNBOXED, the 2022 festival of creativity and innovation, has launched its first event in Scotland.

About Us, a multimedia projection and performance artwork celebrating "our place in the universe and the connections between us", is the first of 10 creative projects commissioned for the festival.

Lead creative partner 59 Productions is presenting About Us in Paisley before moving on to Derry, Caenarfon, Luton and Hull. Alongside the nighttime shows, daytime installations and workshops will extend the project's reach to children and young people.

Nine more commissions will be experienced across 80 sites and through digital and broadcast media throughout 2022.

Fringe Festival volunteering ‘leans into ableism’

a crowd gathers at Edinburgh Fringe Festival
23 Feb 2022

Allegations of discriminatory practices ignite calls for the festival to adopt new principles to tackle inequalities. 

Scotland gives £16m for cultural recovery

21 Feb 2022

The Scottish Government is giving £16m to Scotland’s culture and events sector.

Delivered through the Omicron business support fund, the money is earmarked for cultural organisations, events, museums and freelancers to recover from the economic impact of recent restrictions.

£12m goes to Creative Scotland to develop a hardship fund for creative freelancers, a recovery fund for cultural organisations, and support for Edinburgh Festivals in their 75th years.

The £8m fund for freelancers will be split into two £4m rounds, the first opening February 23 and the second on March 2.

Creative Scotland CEO Iain Munro asks people to fully consider their needs before applying: “Funds are finite, and we expect a high level of demand, therefore we will trust that those who request these funds are in need of emergency funding at this time.”

EventScotland and the Museums Recovery Fund will each receive £2m.

Culture Minister Neil Gray says the funding reflects the Government’s support for these industries.

"As we embark on our recovery, cultural activity has a pivotal role to play in reinvigorating our economy and communities as well as promoting individual wellbeing."


Inverness opens £6m artists' residence

15 Feb 2022

A £6m arts facility in Inverness has opened to its first residents.

Sited in a former Victorian school, construction on The Inverness Creative Academy took four years.

Project developers say the space features affordable accommodation for up to 44 artists and 54 workspaces for creative businesses, social enterprises and charities.

A public space at the venue is expected to be completed later this month.

The project was managed by Wasps, a national provider of creative workspaces across Scotland.

Alleged sex abuse at Scottish music festival

09 Feb 2022

Female artists working on the Celtic Connections festival have claimed they were pressured into having sex in return for bookings.

Five women say they were assaulted or feared losing opportunities to perform if they spoke out.

The festival was awarded a share of the Scottish Government's £2m Festivals Expo Fund on Tuesday (February 8).

A Celtic Connections spokesperson said its Bit Collective is helping individuals who have faced harassment to come forward.

"Our main objective is for everyone to create and enjoy world class culture experiences in a safe and comfortable setting".

Edinburgh commits to £4.7m culture funding

07 Feb 2022

Edinburgh has committed to £4.7m of culture funding for 2022/23, £2m of it for Edinburgh International Festival.

Recognising the difficulties posed by Covid-19, the City of Edinburgh Council has extended its three-year funding agreement to four years. 

The Edinburgh Multicultural Festival, launched three years ago, has been added to the council's list of strategic partners, putting it on a more stable footing. It will receive £43,000. 

The agreement also includes support for the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival (£100,000), Imaginate children's festival (£100,000), Edinburgh International Book Festival (£50,000), and Edinburgh Art Festival (£20,000).

Councillor Donald Wilson, Culture and Communities Convener, said cultural organisations responded to the pandemic "with determination and innovation" and reaffirmed the council's commitment to supporting the sector.


Scots Culture Secretary slates BBC licence fee freeze

02 Feb 2022

Scotland’s Culture Secretary Angus Robertson has voiced "profound concern" over the UK Government’s decision to freeze the BBC licence fee for the next two years.

In a letter addressed to Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, Robertson says the decision appears to be an attempt to undermine and threaten public service broadcasting, which the Scottish Government "wholeheartedly supports".

Robertson questioned whether the £285m shortfall the BBC expects to incur over the next six years will affect its investment in Scotland.

He writes: “Funded public service broadcasting has an integral role in our creative economy and we want to see further progress and a greater share of that investment here in Scotland, not regression.”

Three-year inquiry into GSA fire inconclusive

25 Jan 2022

A three-year investigation into a fire at Glasgow School of Art has given no answers.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s final report says the cause of the June 2018 fire remains “undetermined” due to extensive damage and the destruction of evidence.

At the time of the blaze, the Mackintosh building was undergoing a £35m restoration project, having already been damaged in another fire in May 2014.

In a joint statement, the school's Director Penny MacBeth and interim chair Kirsten Bennie expressed frustration the fire's cause was not identified. 

They said the school will learn from the report for future construction projects, including the Mackintosh's reinstatement.

Indoor restrictions to be lifted in Scotland

19 Jan 2022

Scotland will ease its Covid restrictions from Monday (January 24), removing limits on attendance at indoor events.

Nightclubs can reopen from the same date, coinciding with the end of social distancing requirements.

Scotland's Covid certifiaction scheme will be only be mandatory for entry to events of over 1,000 people. 

Organisers must check proof of vaccination or a negative lateral flow test for whichever is lower of 1,000 people or half an event's attendees. 

The Scottish Government says it stopped short of certifiaction checks at all venues because of the "significant fall" in Covid cases.

Theatres Trust Director Jon Morgan said the restrictions, announced before Christmas, had effectively shut down the majority of theatres in Scotland. 

"It will be a huge relief to theatres, artists and audiences that they will soon be able to reopen."


Subscribe to Scotland