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‘innovative’ and ‘big’. Festivals Employees of funders and
and large events have a chance councils seem to have little
of getting the scraps from the perception of how long this takes
funding table, particularly if they and no real experience of dealing
can demonstrate the event will with the voluntary sector. If they
increase tourism and be good for had to spend 40% of their year
businesses. This leaves grass applying for next year’s salary I
roots groups who are trying to wonder how effective they could
improve the quality of local life in be at their job!
the funding wilderness.
Workshops and cultural groups
Yet this funding crisis has to have a lot to add to our cultural
be looked at in the context of life, but are treated as supplicants
a huge revival. Many festivals, rather than partners. There is
such as Celtic Connections held little or no communication with
in Glasgow each January, are them as to the strategy for the
selling more tickets than ever. Arts and they have no chance of
Fiddle workshops, such as ours, involvement in decision - making
who teach in schools, are finding processes. A new stream of
children and their parents are funding is occasionally announced
desperate for fiddle tuition. The for which they all then have to
demand is undoubtedly there, scrabble. If they were treated as
but unless grass roots workshops partners in the development of the
are supported, where are the Arts they could bring substantial
future musicians for courses at expertise to the table, which would
the academies such as RSAMD be enormously beneficial to the
and Newcastle going to come future of culture.
from? If village hall venues are not
encouraged, where are the up and It is a cliché, but it is valid
coming professional musicians - ‘nations that fail to invest in
going to perform? their own creative life eventually
wither and die.’ We need this
All groups who feel they have investment to sustain what has
something to offer want more been a remarkable period of
money, and it would be naive to achievement in our cultural life. I
think they could all be fully funded, fear that much of the expenditure
but future closures – of which I focuses overmuch on GDP,
fear there will be many - will not tourism and high profile events,
just be for lack of funding. Many rather than on community and
groups who are struggling will future sustainability of our culture.
cite ‘volunteer burn out’ as a main The risk is that the costs will, in
cause. This is exacerbated by the the future, be seen as a grudging
time taken by funding applications expenditure rather than as an
and reports back. In our seven investment.
years of running the Workshop
we have had to make 35 funding Mark Morpurgo
applications, often to the same
bodies but under different funding
streams. No two bodies have the Mark Morpurgo helps run the
same requirements for financial award winning Lochgoilhead
reporting, and no efforts are made Fiddle Workshop.
to simplify the funding procedures.
wanted by the
Scottish Folk Arts Group
The position involves developing the Scottish
Folk Directory and the Group’s related projects.
This is a paid part-time position, one or two days
per week, based in Edinburgh. Applicants must
be computer-literate and have an interest in folk
music and traditional arts.
For further details please email us at
The Living Tradition - Page 
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