Financial boost for arts and communities will focus on ‘collective culture’

A funding pot of more than £500,000 has been distributed to local organisations to work collaboratively with communities to develop ways of responding to the impacts of the ongoing pandemic.

Creative Scotland, the public body that supports the arts, screen, and creative industries across all parts of Scotland has distributed £6 million of Scottish Government funding to 26 Scottish-based organisations to support creative practitioners, organisations, and communities to work collaboratively to develop ways of responding to the impacts of the ongoing pandemic.

The organisations that will benefit from Creative Scotland’s Culture Collective programme include Findhorn Bay Arts, Dance North Scotland, Moray Arts Development Engagement, the Moray Way Association and Wildbird.

Bringing together artists and communities

Findhorn Bay Arts received £300,000 for Combine to Create, a multi-arts place-making project which will be developed in partnership with Moray communities and artists, supported by key community and cultural organisations. Combine to Create will test new ways of working, bringing together artists and communities to develop their own programmes of creative activity through a series of residencies and support network development through collaboration.

Kresanna Aigner, Director, Findhorn Bay Arts said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this funding, which will provide an outstanding opportunity for both artists and communities in Moray.”

She added: “This opportunity builds not only on our previous projects, partnerships and collaborations but also on the consultations that we have carried out over the last few months so that we can fully understand the impact that COVID-19 has had on our rural communities. We are always looking at new ways of working and are fully committed to supporting our local communities  and artists to recover by making creative things happen. We are looking forward to sharing news about our partnerships and opportunities for artists and communities in the coming weeks.” 

New and radical approach

Drawing upon associations of the word collective, Dance North Scotland, Moray Arts Development Engagement (M:ADE), the Moray Way Association (MWA) and Wildbird, received just over £294,000 to work together as part of the Culture Café network to employ a new and radical approach to engaging a network of creative practitioners and communities within Moray. The project ethos will champion fairness, transparency, agency, equity, and collaboration across its members. Through a series of residencies, creative practitioners will work with, and for communities across the region. 

Stacey Toner, Director, M:ADE said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded funding from Creative Scotland for the benefit of artists and communities within Moray. Dance North Scotland, M:ADE, Moray Way Association and Wildbird share many synergies in creative thinking, delivery approaches and participatory practice though we all operate as individual entities, working across various artistic genres. The Culture Collective fund will enable us to not only be supporters of each other’s work but, for the first time, to embrace a dynamic of becoming formal collaborators; we are truly energised by the potential this brings to generate a positive impact for the people we work with and the wider regional arts sector.” 

Picture: Flashback to 2016 – Streetscene in Forres was a collaboration between Findhorn Bay Arts and Wildbird, two of the organisations who have received funding.

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