Tales from every corner of Scotland will be shared as more than 100 new projects were announced today (Friday 10 June) as part of the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories programme.
Events across Scotland will bring people together to share their stories and host celebrations following a hugely popular second round of the Community Stories Fund.
In this final round, over £545,000 of funding has been awarded across 136 projects which join the 45 projects confirmed earlier this year in the first round of funding, taking total support for the Community Stories programme to more than £740,000.
The 181 community projects and 21 larger-scale events supported through the Year of Stories Open Fund represent a bumper programme of activity to celebrate the Themed Year.
Scotland’s Year of Stories spotlights, celebrates and promotes the wealth of stories inspired by, written, or created in Scotland. Every community has its own tales to tell, places to highlight as inspiration for well-known books and films, visitor attractions that showcase our literary and storytelling heritage and all kinds of places and spaces where stories, old and new, can be enjoyed.
The Community Stories Fund has been designed to support organisations and community groups to take part in and celebrate the year, spotlighting the unique stories that matter to them. The fund is being 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 after communities across Scotland responded enthusiastically to the Community Stories opportunity.
Community Stories events will take place in every region of Scotland, including:
In the north of the country:
- Our Story: Closing the Queer History Gap in the Highlands will run gathering sessions to capture intergenerational LGBTQ+ voices for the Highland archival collection. Stories shared through oral history recordings, photographs and creative responses will also feature in a touring exhibition.
- As part of the Nairn Book and Arts Festival, Stories of Nairn community flag making workshops will see participants respond to local myths and legends, culminating in a storytelling parade.
- Ness Historical Society will present Ri tac an teine (By the Fireside), a series of four Gaelic events sharing and recording unforgettable stories from Lewis.
- Poet Shona Donaldson will work with school children as part of The Singing Land, raising the profile of the Bothy Ballads and creating new music inspired by the North East, to be performed at the Tarland Food and Music Festival.
- Orkney, Scotland and Norway: Stories in Music and Verse will spotlight and celebrate the deep ties between Orkney and the two countries through both music and poetry.
In the south and west:
- Wild Seed – a series of storytelling workshops led by and for members of Glasgow’s Black, South Asian, LGBTQ+ and migrant communities – will explore under-heard stories of seed journeys, such as the rice grains which were braided by enslaved people into their hair, or the heirloom seeds that New Scots have carried on difficult journeys.
- Govanhill – Scotland’s most ethnically diverse community with 82 languages spoken in the area – will play host to Govanhill Food Stories, telling this multicultural community’s stories through food. Activities will include storytelling performances, foraging workshops, taster sessions and a community food market.
- Glasgow Women’s Library will work with second and third generation immigrant women in Pollokshields, and surrounding areas, to share their untold stories in She Settles in the Shields – 10 Years On.
- For Compose the Environment, local school children will work with renowned composer Sir James MacMillan to create and perform new musical works which tell the story of the rich coalfield heritage of East Ayrshire and future regeneration of the landscape.
- Museum of Missing Myths is an interactive outdoor exhibition and performance which aims to explore Inverclyde’s rich local folklore. Audiences will be invited to peek into fairy-spotting peepholes, smell Terrifying Tommy’s terrible black tea, and spot the runaway Kilmacolm Panther, amongst other delights!
- Six new works from storytellers based on local Dumfries and Galloway legends and tales will be performed in pubs across the region in Howff Tales.
In the east:
- BE United Presents will share the stories of Scotland's Black community through live musical performances, spoken word and pop-up creative showcases at the Fruitmarket in Edinburgh.
- An all-female cast of fiddlers and storytellers will explore the stories of women through historic fact, creative narrative and melody in the University of Edinburgh’s Second Fiddle No More: the Stories of Scotland’s Forgotten Musical Women.
- A Poetry Feast of Mythical Beasts by Push the Boat Out will take place in Summerhall, Edinburgh, telling stories of Scotland's mythic past and reimagining iconic Scottish folk tales from a contemporary perspective.
- Dance Ihayami will work with senior members of the Scottish-Indian community to showcase their migration stories in A Happy Namaste as part of Edinburgh Festival Carnival. The stories will be brought alive through dance, readings, music and digital media.
- ‘Witch walks’ tours and TikTok videos will be just some of the activities taking place in Angus as part of The Forfar Witches Story for a New Generation.
- Anstruther’s Scottish Fisheries Museum will present Arctic Ventures – Forgotten Stories of Scottish Whaling through an exhibition and concert of traditional whaling songs.
- Stirling’s Story of the Beatles – Music, People & Place will showcase the stories and a new collection of memorabilia around two concerts performed by the Beatles in the Stirling and Clackmannanshire area before they became world famous.
- Scotland Re:Design Fashion Festival in Dundee will explore Scotland's rich history of textile design and making, focusing on stories told by women, the LGBTQ+ community and those who speak indigenous languages.
Several projects will be hosting events at multiple venues around Scotland:
- Through online events, One Life, Two Cultures will share the stories of African and Caribbean Scots from the past 50 years, celebrating their cultural perspectives and positioning their experiences as integral to Scottish society.
- Four different Gaelic language events will be held across Uist, Skye, Inverness and Glasgow between July and December, highlighting significant themes in Gaelic literature in Ceithir Ceàrnaidhean (Four Corners).
- Deafblind Scotland will create a video of personal stories of members of the deafblind community in We All Have a Story to Tell, launching the film in person at the Scottish International Storytelling Festival in Edinburgh and at Deafblind Scotland's Learning and Resource Centre in Kirkintilloch.
- Whispers from the Woods & Wilds aims to educate people about badgers and invite creative responses through storytelling, creative writing and badger watching sessions across West Lothian and Lanark.
- Queer Stories: Small Town Boys will reveal the impact of Section 28, which prohibited the 'promotion of homosexuality' from 1988 to 2000, on a generation of LGBTQ+ Scots through a series of text, movement and dance performances. The first pop-up event will be in Dundee followed by a week-long tour across Scotland.
The Community Stories Fund is a central element in a programme of more than 300 events of all shapes and sizes celebrating the Year of Stories. Some events with special Year of Stories programmes, including Celtic Connections, Spectra and StAnza Poetry Festival, have already taken place, whereas others – from Dundee Summer (Bash) Streets Festival and the Edinburgh International Book Festival to An Tinne on Skye and Northern Stories festival in Wick – still lie ahead with lots for everyone to enjoy.
In addition to the 200+ grant funded projects, more than 100 events have signed up the Partner Events Programme – a free, non-funded promotional opportunity for events that align well with the theme of the year. Events which are animating Scotland’s places and spaces range from Paisley’s Sma’ Shot Day and Fringe by the Sea in North Berwick to exhibitions like The Book of Deer in Aberdeen and Jack Vettriano: The Early Years in Kirkcaldy. The opportunities for people to come together and celebrate Scotland’s stories will continue until the end of 2022.
Supporting 136 new projects
For the full list of supported projects from our new round of funding, we've created a downloadable document detailing the full schedule of projects.
Many of the announced funded projects are yet to finalise event dates. In our download, we've provided some information on the locations, and approximate months, for each project. Please keep a look out on each project's own channels for upcoming date announcements.
"Although we’re only at the halfway point, the Community Stories programme for Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022 has already seen an incredible array of imaginative and exciting projects across the country.
I’m especially pleased to see there is another bumper crop of projects taking place as a result of the extra support from the Scottish Government in this final round of funding. I would urge everyone to support these fantastic events taking place in their local communities.”
These exciting new events provide an amazing showcase of many sides of Scotland’s distinct, vibrant and diverse communities and culture.
“The fact that we have so many new celebrations to add to an already packed line-up is testament to the talent and creativity found across Scotland.
From icons of literature to local tales, the year encourages visitors and locals to experience a range of voices, take part in events and explore the places, people and cultures connected to all forms of our stories, past and present.
And it’s brilliant to see so many of these new events and projects telling Scotland’s fresh and untold stories. Year of Stories 2022 will shine a light on emerging and forward-looking talent and highlight the innovators that break boundaries across all forms of storytelling.
Six months into the Year of Stories, there has already been lots of spectacular events celebrating our country’s story and these additions herald an exciting new chapter to 2022 while also providing quality opportunities for artists, creatives and audiences, as our valuable tourism and events industry continues to rebuild following the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Stories are a rich and vital part of Scotland’s heritage. A way we make sense of the place we live and of our place within it.
The Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund has come at a time when that affirmation of the shared and unique stories each and every one of us have can be a vital building block of confident and inclusive communities as together we recover from the challenges of the last two years. I am proud that, thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to play a part in supporting the creation of this wonderful and diverse programme of events and activities that is driven by ideas from our communities."
"It's 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."
"It’s fantastic to have been funded as part of the Year of Stories. BE United have a track record of sharing the stories of many Black creatives around Scotland using the arts as a medium, to be part of a national program of events is inspiring. There is such diversity and contrast in lived experiences so I am sure the range of events will be extraordinary. I know that my team and our artists have got something special for you, be sure to catch BE United Presents at the Fruitmarket.”