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Traditional Arts Working Group

The Traditional Arts Working Group's Report was published on 31 January 2010.

The Scottish Government welcomes any views on the report to - traditionalartsworkinggroup@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

Traditional Arts Working Group - Remit


To make recommendations on establishing the optimum future guaranteed support arrangements for Scotland's Traditional Arts through the best use of available resources, both financial and non-financial: so that the Traditional Arts can fulfil their role in Scotland's culture, heritage, economy, education and community life.


Group to examine current level and purpose of direct support from Government public bodies (Scottish Arts Council, also Scottish Funding Council for Further and Higher Education, Highlands and Islands Enterprise etc) but should also include relevant support from local government, voluntary sector etc where this can be readily identified. Recommendations should concentrate, for the longer term, on options for the next Government spending review (for financial years 2011-12 and onwards). Given the current economic climate, the focus should be primarily on making better use of existing funding levels and articulating the contribution of the traditional arts to many aspects of a successful Scotland.

Group to build on findings from previous reviews and, while encouraging public discussion, not seek to go over old ground. Comparisons with experience in other countries (e.g. Ireland, Wales, Scandinavia) could be explored, taking into account different circumstances in those areas.

Definition of "Traditional arts" to include song, music, dance, poetry, storytelling, drama and instrument making. The review will not be about funding solely for the promotion of the Scots and Gaelic languages although it will be likely to include funding for arts organisations which operate in those languages.

The Group will also consider the scope for supporting traditional arts in communities who have settled in Scotland from abroad, by taking evidence from relevant groups.

Funding Options and Models

To explore various funding models, to enable the most effective use of resources in safeguarding and developing the learning, promotion and performance in the traditional arts. To consider the advantages and disadvantages of various models including (but not be confined to): core funding for traditional arts organisations; individual project funding; a national organisation to oversee, promote and develop the traditional arts; and the role of local government support - demonstrating the potential contribution of the traditional arts towards key elements of Single Outcome Agreements.


The Traditional Arts Working Group are led by David Francis and also includes - Fiona Dalgetty, Ruth Kirkpatrick, Mary Ann Kennedy, Mats Melin and Stuart Eydmann. The group will also invite evidence from a range of other key players and forums within the sector. Process to be facilitated by Scottish Arts Council as advisors to Scottish Government on the arts, working closely with Minister's officials; output to contribute to developing remit of Creative Scotland, with links to the work CS is undertaking on 21st century funding models.



David Francis has worked in traditional music since the early 1980s, taking in performance, teaching, organisational and consultancy roles. As a teacher David Francis has taught guitar with the Scots Music Group in Edinburgh, and for Edinburgh's Youth Gaitherin with young people in Niddrie and Craigmillar. He has been director of the Traditional Music Summer School at Aberdeen International Youth Festival since 2000. As part of this work he started a young musicians' trad music big band (Ceol Mor) in 2006. David is currently Music Director of the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival as well as being a founder member of the Traditional Music Forum. Alongside Simon Thoumire, David also co-founded Distil, a creative development project for traditional musicians (since 2002). The Cast (David and his wife Mairi Campbell) were last year featured on the Sex in the City Movie soundtrack with their interpretation of Auld Lang Syne.


Originally from the Highlands, Fiona Dalgetty is a musician and arts consultant based in Edinburgh. Fiona has regularly taught fiddle for organisations including Lochgoilhead Fiddle Workshop, the Scots Music Group and Feisean nan Gaidheal. She has performed at home and abroad and has been featured on radio and television programmes. In addition to her freelance work as a musician, Fiona currently works as a Cultural Co-ordinator for the City of Edinburgh Council. She also leads on the development of the Edinburgh Youth Gaitherin and is a Specialist Advisor in youth music to the Scottish Arts Council.

Stuart Eydmann was born and educated in Fife. Since graduating from the Glasgow School of Art in 1975 he has pursued a career in heritage conservation. In 1987 he received a Glenfiddich Living Scotland Award for his oral history of the free-reed instruments and in 1995 gained a PhD for his thesis on the concertina and its players in Scotland. He has taught history of popular and traditional music with the Open University and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. As a fiddle and concertina player he performs and records with the Scottish traditional music ensemble the Whistlebinkies. He is co-founder of the online traditional music archive raretunes.org and is currently producing the premier recording of A Scottish Circus by American composer John Cage.

Mary-Ann Kennedy is a Glasgow Gael, now living in Lochaber where she and her husband run Watercolour Music Studios. A traditional music background and a classical training, coupled with fifteen years experience working with the BBC, has established her as a major figure in the Scottish music scene. She is equally respected as a performer and as an authoritative commentator on world, classical, traditional and folk music.

Ruth Kirkpatrick is a storyteller with a background in social work and education support. Ruth has performed at various Festivals throughout the UK and Europe presenting a range of traditional Celtic stories and songs. Ruth has pioneered storytelling approaches to transition work, community building and has introduced storytelling into residential care settings for young people.

Mats Melin was born and brought up in Stockholm, Sweden. His dancing background began at the age of eleven, when he took up Scottish Country Dancing - his interest stemming from a fascination in primarily Scottish and Irish music, culture, and history. Mats became a professional dancer in 1995 when he took up the post as Traditional Dancer in Residence for Shetland, together with Maria Leask. He has since worked either as freelance dancer or on projects round Scotland and beyond. Mats graduated with Honours from the MA programme in Ethnochoreology at the University of Limerick and is currently lecturing at The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, at the University.