Funding programme marks Saltire Society’s milestone year

Funding programme marks Saltire Society Scotland's 80th year.
Funding programme marks Saltire Society Scotland's 80th year.

A £50,000 funding programme has been unveiled to support young and emerging Scottish artists as the Saltire Society prepares to reveal a busy programme of activities and events to mark its 80th year.

‘Inspiring Scotland’, the programme of bursaries, has drawn on support from The Saltire Society Trust, Creative Scotland and the British Council and will allow up to 20 awards to be made during 2016.

Central to the process will be a series of partnerships with highly regarded national bodies, such as Edinburgh International Film Festival and Hands Up For Trad, which will provide expertise to help decide the winners from a shortlist of applicants.

Through these partnerships, funding will be made available to support aspiring young people involved in a wide range of cultural activities including music, dance, theatre, film, poetry and prose.

Meanwhile, the international element of the programme will allow one promising Scottish artist to spend a three month residency in New York, co-funded by the Steven Campbell Trust. Four International Student Travel Bursaries in Literature, Architecture, Visual Arts, and Music will also be available, funded by the British Council Scotland.

More details of the Inspiring Scotland funding programme will be included as part of the Saltire Society’s official 80th anniversary programme launch event, which is due to take place at the Dundee Contemporary Arts centre on April 5.

Writer, academic and columnist Gerry Hassan will offer his own reflections on 80 years of Scottish cultural life at the launch event, to set the scene for the full programme of Saltire Society events, festivals, lectures, and initiatives which are planned to celebrate 80 years of promoting and supporting the Scottish imagination, culture, talent and heritage.

Professor Sir James MacMillan said: “I am delighted to have been invited to contribute to the Saltire Society’s 80th anniversary celebrations. It is important, in the present climate, that Scottish advocates of the arts continue to support and celebrate an excellence that has international reach. Scotland, now more than ever, needs to hear a wide range of perspectives rather than a narrow orthodoxy. The Saltire Society could be such a platform - just as important now as it was in 1936.”

Jim Tough, Saltire Society executive director, said: ““Central to the philosophy of the Saltire Society is to invest in ideas, innovation and risk. We were determined to honour that philosophy on this, our 80th anniversary year, by pulling together a bumper programme of support to help nurture and develop the next generation of Scottish creative talent. The Inspiring Scotland programme is by far the most ambitious bursary funding package we’ve ever been able to offer. So launching it is a fitting way to get our 80th anniversary celebrations off to a flying start!”