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Creative projects at Lyth Arts Centre benefit from £60,000 National Lottery funding

By Jean Gunn

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Lyth Arts Centre.
Lyth Arts Centre.

Lyth Arts Centre (LAC) has received £60,000 of National Lottery funding in the latest round of Creative Scotland Open Fund awards.

The funding for LAC will enable a period of organisational development and the roll out of a busy programme of activity spotlighting the natural environment and climate action. It will also allow the growth of the Caithness Artists in Residence scheme throughout the winter months and the welcome return of the local arts centre's festive activities.

The local centre is one of four projects in the Highlands sharing in £93,376 of funding – Skye and Raasay's SEALL Festival of Small Halls was awarded £15,000, while Ullapool Book Festival received £13,376 and Sandstone Press has an award of £5000.

Lyth co-director Charlotte Mountford said: "The team at LAC are excited to continue to grow our creative projects in the community. This includes the development of our innovative Caithness Artists in Residence programme, with more commissioning and training opportunities for local creatives to support the Caithness community.

"The project also includes new programmes like The Land for Those that Work It: Caithness and East Sutherland Climate Beacon which is in partnership with Timespan and University of Highlands and Islands, and Out of the Blue, a new arts and mental-health project.

"We are also very excited to be able to bring a special festive experience to every child in Caithness, screening a digital Christmas theatre show in every primary school this December."

Lyth Arts Centre's Northern Lights Festival, held in October, proved extremely popular.
Lyth Arts Centre's Northern Lights Festival, held in October, proved extremely popular.

Skye and Raasay’s SEALL Festival of Small Halls is bringing Scotland’s finest traditional musicians to some of the nation’s most remote rural halls. The festival is a celebration of island life and Highland musical heritage centred around Scotland’s national day. This year nine musicians will take up residence at the Sligachan Hotel for 11 days, making new music and forging new collaborations.

Marie Lewis, creative director at SEALL commented: "Small Halls workshops reach around 640 students in all schools on Skye and Raasay and have inspired many young people to continue their music instruction or to take it up for the first time. We will continue to use Small Halls to support our young rising talent."

Ullapool Book Festival will welcome book lovers back to the festival from May 6-8, 2022, for their 18th edition. Amongst a stellar line up their 2022 programme includes two Giller Prize winners and a short-listed Booker Prize author. Keep an eye on their website for programme announcements.

Chair of Ullapool Book Festival Joan Michael said: "We have welcomed well over 200 writers as well as many musicians in past festivals and the 2022 programme of poets, playwright, and fiction and non-fiction writers enlivened with music carries on this tradition.

"Next year’s guests are from Scotland, Estonia and Canada and we’ll also have our usual Gaelic session with simultaneous translation which is sure to be thought-provoking and challenging."

The Highland projects are among the 36 creative initiatives across Scotland sharing in over £772,000 of National Lottery funding in the latest round of Open Fund awards.

Iain Munro, CEO, Creative Scotland said: "These Open Fund grants are capable of making a palpable and positive difference to the lives and careers of artists, and more widely to those of us living within Scotland’s communities.

"Thanks to the generosity of National Lottery players, who raise £30 million for good causes across the UK every year, these awards continue to support communities the length and breadth of Scotland, inspiring generations and boosting overall wellbeing."

A full list of Open Fund recipient awards is available on the Creative Scotland website.

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