Scotland’s traditional arts are being badly overlooked by Creative Scotland according to Mary Scanlon, MSP for the Highlands and Islands and member of the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee.
Mary questioned Janet Archer, Creative Scotland’s chief executive, on the body’s lack of funding for both An Comunn Gaidhlealach and the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland (TMSA) as she was giving oral evidence to the committee.
Mary drew attention to the fact that both of these organisations had made very critical written submissions to the Committee regarding their treatment by the Scottish Government’s funding body for the Arts.
Following the Committee meeting, Mary commented: “Despite being given a three year budget of £100 million to fund the arts in Scotland, Creative Scotland refused to give the Traditional Music and Song Association in Inverness a £5,000 grant to fund community projects aimed at getting young people into traditional Scottish music.
They also complained that the application process had been misleading and very bureaucratic for a small organisation run by volunteers.”
She continued: “Creative Scotland can very easily find £150,000 to finance T in the Park, but seem unable to find £5,000 to keep traditional Scottish music and song alive.
“I was also shocked to see that the Scottish Government’s funding body for culture provides absolutely no funding for the Royal National Mod, which is of vital importance to the Gaelic community and is supported and followed by people across Scotland.
“I would have thought that Creative Scotland should promote Arts and Culture in all parts of Scotland, and would put particular emphasis on our own unique heritage.”
The TMSA have written to Mary to thank her for speaking up for them during the committee, and have arranged to meet her to discuss their concerns further.