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Projects supported in R2 of Community Stories Fund

Projects supported in R2 of Community Stories Fund

We’re thrilled to support 136 projects through the second round of the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund.

All across the country, in every local authority, communities are telling tales as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories. A fascinating programme of storytelling events and activity is being delivered by a diverse mix of community groups, museums, and culture and heritage organisations, supported by the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund.

136 projects have been supported through the second round of the Community Stories Fund, delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery players. Additional funding was secured from National Lottery Heritage Fund and Scottish Government due to the high level of interest from communities across Scotland. Added to the 45 projects supported in the first round, that makes an impressive total of 181 organisations taking part in the Community Stories programme.

Ancient Scottish myths and legends and fresh insights into contemporary Scottish life sit side-by-side in a programme that allows communities to celebrate the people, places and subjects that resonate with them. These stories – all either inspired by, written, or created in Scotland – are being told through a wide range of creative storytelling forms, from theatre and dance performances, film screenings, concerts, exhibitions and nature walks to traditional oral storytelling by the fire-side.

Although it’s June and many fabulous Year of Stories 2022 events have already taken place – such as the Culbin: The Disappeared Village exhibition and Pink Saltire’s series of events and podcasts – there’s still so much for audiences to look forward to.

Here’s a flavour of the Community Stories events coming up over the next six months:

Artist John Byrne stands in a gallery in front of one of his paintings.

John Byrne standing in front of one of his paintings (credit: Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum)

  • To engage audiences in the storytelling aspects of John Patrick Byrne – A Big Adventure – a major retrospective exhibition being held at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum to highlight the work of the iconic Scot and cultural polymath – a series of creative workshops, a public lecture and a storytelling day will be delivered in June and July.

  • Through Guardian of the Gateway: 800 years of the Beauly Wych Elm, Circus Artspace aims to uncover local stories and lore associated with this revered tree – thought to be the oldest Wych Elm in Europe and currently dying of Dutch Elm Disease – as well as highlighting issues around climate emergency and ecological loss. Creative workshops and a tree celebration event will take place across June to September.

  • Loop Theatre will support a local cast – including people with Additional Support Needs (ASN) and those living with disabilities – to deliver Glorious Govan Gala this July, a heart-warming and hilarious street theatre performance celebrating the stories of Govanites through the ages, from Vikings and Edwardians to Steamies and Shipyards.

  • To give voice to the ‘Forfar Witches’ and to mark the 360th anniversary of the local trials, ANGUSalive’s The Forfar Witches Story for a New Generation will share the under-told stories of those accused of witchcraft through a series of Tiktok videos and guided ‘witch walks’ from July to October.

A group of six men and women look happily at a book - the cover says Year of Stories.

  • BE United Presents is a series of live music, spoken word and creative pop-up events that aim to share stories from Scotland's Black community. Hip hop artist Billy Got Waves, afro dance specialist Emmanuel Carlos, and DJ and musician Ramcise (pictured above) are just some of the artists performing at these events in Edinburgh this August and October.

  • Significant themes from Gaelic literature will be explored through a rousing mix of storytelling, live music and discussion at events in Skye, Inverness, Uist and Glasgow, as part of The Gaelic Books Council’s Ceithir Ceàrnaidhean (Four Corners) series running from August to December.

Detail of a piece of textile art depicting a whale and some whaling ships in an icy seascape.

Arctic Ventures: Detail of a textile artwork by Caroline Hack (credit: Caroline Hack)

  • Arctic Ventures – Forgotten Stories of Scottish Whaling will launch an enhanced display at Anstruther’s Scottish Fisheries Museum, helping to bring the Scottish Whaling story vibrantly to life. Audiences will be treated to an Exhibition Preview and Meet the Artist event, a concert of traditional whaling songs and Whale Tales and Crafts sessions across September to November.

  • The impact of Section 28 – which prohibited the 'promotion of homosexuality' from 1988 to 2000 – on a generation of LGBTQ+ Scots will be explored by Shaper/Caper in Queer Stories: Small Town Boys. This series of touring pop-up dance performances and oral history workshops will start in Dundee in October.

  • Ullapool Museum’s Lost Inverlael – Echoes of the Glen, being held in October, will commemorate the people of Inverlael township who were brutally evicted from their land in the 1819 and 1820 clearances through a celebratory community ceilidh, an exhibition of portraits of Inverlael descendants and a newly commissioned piece of music.

  • In The Cumnock Tryst’s ground-breaking new musical project, Compose the Environment – running from October to December, renowned composer Sir James MacMillan will support local school children to compose and perform new musical works in response to the rich coalfield heritage of East Ayrshire and the landscape’s future regeneration.

You can read about all the events supported through the second round of the Community Stories Fund on VisitScotland’s website.

The full Year of Stories programme – which runs until the end of 2022 – also includes 21 larger-scale events supported through the Open Events Fund, such as the Dundee Summer (Bash) Streets Festival and Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Lucy Casot, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland, said: “It is wonderful to see so many organisations and community groups, including some of Scotland’s museums, being supported by the Community Stories Fund, to help tell the stories that matter to them. From 181 community events and 21 larger-scale events, there is something for every community to enjoy and take part in, right across Scotland.

I applaud the creativity that has gone into each and every event, to bring new and old stories to life, allowing locals and visitors to experience such a wide diversity of voices. Following the pandemic, there is no better time for us to come together, to share in our storytelling.”

Any organisations who would like to get involved in the Year of Stories but haven’t received funding might be interested in the Partner Events Programme. This is a free, non-funded promotional opportunity for events that align well with the Year of Stories theme. It includes an event listing on VisitScotland.com and the potential to be included in VisitScotland’s wider Themed Years promotional activity.

Help us to celebrate Scotland’s stories and join in with the Year of Stories buzz by using hashtags #YS2022 and #TalesOfScotland.

Hero image: Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories funders join BE United Presents artists to celebrate the announcement of the projects supported through the second round of the fund at Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh. L-R Musician Billy Got Waves, VisitScotland Head of Events Development Marie Christie, National Lottery Heritage Fund Director for Scotland Caroline Clark, dancer Emmanuel Carlos, Museums Galleries Scotland CEO Lucy Casot, and guitarist Ramcise. (Credit: VisitScotland/Mark Ferguson) 

Published 10 June 2022