Performing arts to benefit from Council Culture Fund

Up-and-coming performing artwork will benefit from a new culture fund launched by the City of Edinburgh Council.

Village pub theatre

Designed to support Capital-based collaboration in the arts, the Culture Project Fund is awarding grants to 14 performing arts-based projects in its first year.

Councillor Richard Lewis, the city’s Culture Convener, said: “Edinburgh is teeming with creative talent across our established venues and festivals, but it can be difficult for new and emerging artists and companies to enter this scene. Equally, we need to break down barriers to accessing the arts at a local level.

“The successful applicants put forward a variety of original and often thought–provoking projects. The Council grants will support these organisations over the next 12 months, helping them nurture new and emerging art. From opportunities for young people to access acting, dance and circus, to community-based theatre and music-making, I wish all of the successful applicants the very best of luck. I’m looking forward to the results.”

Caitlin Skinner, Artistic Director of the Village Pub Theatre, a grant recipient, added: “The Village Pub Theatre is over the moon to have been awarded a grant from the Council’s Culture Project Fund. We have been bringing theatre to pub-goers in Leith since 2012, presenting short plays written by our diverse community of playwrights and this funding will allow us to turn what we have been doing informally on a small scale into a fully fledged theatre production.

“With this grant we will create a site-specific piece, using individual short plays to create an intimate and unusual theatre experience. We are really looking forward to challenging ourselves with this project and to be working with the incredible Grid Iron who will be offering advice and mentoring support for the project. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to create dynamic and exciting theatre in Leith and it wouldn’t be possible without the support from the Culture Project Fund.” 

The 2017/18 Culture Project Fund will be awarded to the following groups working across a range of art forms, from circus and dance to theatre, digital arts, film and new writing. The grants were recommended by a specialist panel featuring performing arts industry professionals and Council officers*.

  • £5,000 to support the Village Pub Theatre develop a vibrant, grassroots theatre scene in Leith. Working with Grid Iron, the project will see pub goers encounter snippets of live theatre.
  • £5,000 awarded to Lyra to research and develop A Christmas Tale, a project to broaden Edinburgh’s Christmas offering with a specially made production working with young children and their families through the Craigmillar and Southside Community Centre.
  • £5,000 towards Sinking Horses, an endurance performance from Creative Electric to take place in Leith and City Centre. Working with the Hidden Door Festival, Biscuit Factory and the Foundation for Mental Health Scotland the project aims to open up dialogues surrounding mental health, informed and performed by women aged 18 – 64.
  • £5,000 awarded to Creative Carbon Scotland for their Culture/SHIFT programme, which will commission Edinburgh-based theatre maker Alice Mary Cooper to develop new work in association with the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival and Catherine Wheels Theatre Company.
  • £4,990 towards ‘The Albanauts – Adventures In Time!’ This steampunk take on contemporary circus from Circus Alba’s performance troupe will support youth activities and performances in partnership with the Grassmarket BID.
  • £4,892 to support Strange Town with an Acting for Screen course with Screen Education Edinburgh. The opportunity in Leith and City Centre for young people to develop screen acting and filmmaking skills by making short films will result in public screenings at the Scotish Storytelling Centre.
  • £4,895 to support ‘Champion’s Tale’, a dance and discussion project by BE United journeying to South Africa in Muirhouse in association with the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, Champions Dance Crew and North Edinburgh Arts.  
  • £4,800 towards ‘Connecting Lives’, a theatre project in Craigentinny by Active Inquiry. Partnering with the Bethany Christian Trust, Shakti Women’s Aid, the Alma Project and Out of the Blue Arts and Education, the project will bring together and tell stories about those affected by homelessness, mental health and domestic abuse.
  • £4,790 towards Dance Ihayami’s I AM HERE summer school. The project will aim to address access inequalities and give  7-16 year olds the opportunity to participate in Indian dance, martial arts and visual arts in a project with WHALE, resulting in a final performance in Wester Hailes.
  • £4,233 towards WILDFIRE THEATRE, which will work with women in Leith, Pilton, Royston, Wardieburn and Wester Hailes to listen to their views, share information on creative opportunities and support women’s creative writing and involvement in theatre.
  • £3,800 to support research and development collaboration between Red Note Ensemble and Matthew Hawkins for a re-imagining of the iconic Peter Maxwell Davies work Vesalli Icones in the City Centre.  
  • £3,450 towards Let’s call it Love, an early development performance project by artist Andy Manley, facilitated by Red Bridge Arts in a mini residency at North Edinburgh Arts.
  • £3,000 awarded to Janice Parker Projects with Luke Pell, to develop In the Ink Dark. Made from memory and conversation, the project aims to create a space to engage with a wide range of people from different demographics and communities and result in a series of podcasts, poetry, publications and dance, in partnership with a range of organisations including the Scottish Poetry Library and Leith Late.
  • £2,080 towards ‘Leith’s Multicultural Music’, an innovative project from Citizen Curator engaging new migrant and established Black and Ethnic Minority groups in ‘multicultural ceilidh’ music-making workshops culminating in public performance.

The Culture Project Fund supports the priorities of the city’s new Culture Plan, adopted by the Council last year. The plan was developed through the Desire Lines consultation process with input from creative industries, funding bodies, festivals, performers, artists, producers and venues.

It highlighted a need for greater support of emerging artists and ‘a shared city-wide agenda’ for culture in the Capital, which the Project Fund will help address.

Applications for the fund are now closed.

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