Moves to protect Scottish traditional arts and culture

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Proposals to secure the place of traditional arts in Scotland’s cultural life received the support of the Scottish Government today.

Responding to the recommendations of the Traditional Arts Working Group, Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop announced £250,000 investment for the traditional arts sector from Creative Scotland and tasked the new arts body with the lead role in implementing the recommendations.

The Scottish Government’s response outlines future steps and steps already taken to help preserve Scotland’s traditional arts. These include:

  • Creative Scotland is working with key partners to find engaging and innovative ways to run apprenticeship schemes in the future
  • Creative Scotland and Learning Teaching Scotland are actively promoting traditional arts activities and events across Scotland’s schools. This is supported by a wide variety of exciting learning resources and portals, including Scotland’s Culture, Scotland’s History, Scotland’s Songs and Scotland’s stories
  • Scottish Government is working with public sector partners to ensure recognition of the traditional arts. The Scottish Government regularly uses and supports traditional musicians at events and VisitScotland, recognising the importance of traditional arts in its promotion of Scotland both at home and overseas, lists music and dance events in Scotland on its international websites and promotes traditional artists and musicians in its seasonal campaigns

At the Hands Up for Trad Awards in Perth on Saturday evening, Ms Hyslop said:

“Scotland’s vibrant cultural sector is of great economic importance to Scotland, attracting visitors and tourists from all over the world. The traditional arts are fundamental to Scotland’s cultural heritage and to our national identity. That is why we must do all we can to support to sector to ensure our traditional arts continue to flourish and shape Scotland’s culture for future generations.

“The Working Group has presented many achievable ideas. I have tasked Creative Scotland to work with the sector and partner organisations to take forward many of the recommendations and I’m delighted that £250,000 will be invested in the traditional arts sector to help do just that.

“Much progress has already been made in implementing the Group’s recommendations. Creative Scotland and Learning Teaching Scotland have worked hard to ensure that the traditional arts are actively promoted in Scotland’s schools, ensuring our children and young people have the opportunity to experience the full range of Scotland’s traditional arts.

“The Scottish Government and our public sector partners are fully committed to promoting our traditional arts at home and overseas. This will continue and we will also explore new ways in which we can celebrate the depth, breadth and quality of the traditional arts publicly.

“I expressed interest in the proposed apprenticeship scheme when the report was published, so I am pleased that Creative Scotland is working with key partners to find engaging and innovative ways to run such a scheme in the future.

“The people of Scotland can be justifiably proud of the talent and creativity of practitioners of our Scottish traditional arts. The thorough and valuable work of the Group will undoubtedly help to secure and improve the position of the traditional arts in Scotland’s national culture and ensure our indigenous arts take their rightful place.”

Chief Executive of Creative Scotland Andrew Dixon said:

‘The unique strengths of our traditions in music, dance and storytelling are enjoyed by audiences and participants worldwide and we’ll continue to ensure that our world-class performers are celebrated at home and abroad. Creative Scotland intends to play its part in promoting the place of Scotland’s traditional arts within our culture now, and for generations to come.’

Chair of the Traditional Arts Working Group David Francis said:

“I am delighted at the positive response the Working Group’s report has received, and I’m encouraged by its expression of support for the traditional arts at the highest level. The Minister has set out a clear statement of the importance the Scottish Government attaches to this vital part of our culture. It’s great to see that co-ordination of action by important public agencies and local authorities, working with artists, activists and organisations to support traditional arts development will be supported and encouraged, and I’m heartened that Creative Scotland has made the traditional arts one of its early priorities. This represents a big staging post in building the esteem of the traditional arts throughout our culture, and I look forward to seeing where this takes us.”