Making New TRACS

One of Scotland’s newly funded cultural organisations is beginning work from its base at the Scottish Storytelling Centre this month. The purpose of TRACS (Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland) is to advance the dynamic contribution of Scotland’s traditional arts to contemporary society.

A series of development and networking days in February and March unveils the kind of issues at stake, and the scope of TRACS’ ambitions.  The series culminates in Trad Talk on Saturday 28 March which artistically explores crossing points between the traditional art forms, between Scotland’s languages, and between Scottish culture and society in a time of change, accompanied by two concerts of fusion, featuring impromptu folksters Nae Plans and the combined talents of Gaelic singer Kathleen MacInnes and Scots singer Fiona Hunter.

Gary West, Chair of TRACS, commented:
After two years of hard preparatory work, this is an exciting beginning for everyone involved. I commend all of these starter events which bring together people working at the coalface in all parts of Scotland.

TRACS is formed by three networks – the Traditional Music Forum, the Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland, and the Scottish Storytelling Forum – to encourage collaboration, share resources and effectively promote Traditional Arts activities. It is supported by Creative Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council.

Donald Smith, Development Director of TRACS, commented:
These events show that arts and culture belong to everyone in Scotland, and that they can express, enrich and energise our daily lives.

David Francis, Executive Officer of the Traditional Music Forum commented:
Traditional Arts are not old-fashioned; they are at the cutting edge of positive change in Scotland.

From Wednesday 29 April to Sunday 10 May 2015, TRACS will host the third annual TradFest – a feast of traditional arts across Scotland’s capital.

The development days and themes in the lead up to TradFest are as follows:

Fri 13 Feb | 10:30am-12:30pm | Free
Inter-Generational Network: Exploring Community Gardens
This networking event brings together Scotland’s intergenerational activists with storytelling and the traditional arts. Tap into the ongoing discussion on best practice, and the special focus on community gardening.

Sat 14 Feb | 10:30am-4:30pm | £36 (£30 Network Members)
Broadcasting in Scots
People speak naturally in Scots, but think that the media requires Standard English. A practical yet inspiring day on linguistic confidence and basic broadcasting skills. Get media savvy and relaxed all at once as Scots broadcasting reclaims its place in Scotland’s cultural diversity.

Sat 28 Feb | 10:30am-4:30pm | £18 (£15 Network Members)
Making It Ours: Intangible Cultural Heritage in Scotland
There is a worldwide movement to nurture intangible heritage, but what is it and who decides? Where is it in Scotland? ICH can be a pathway to local ownership of cultural resources and to creative inspiration that begins where we are. In this ‘melting pot’ day, we hear what is happening in Europe, and from those working to realise a new cultural dynamic in Scotland’s communities. This event is held in association with Museums and Galleries Scotland and The Elphinstone Institute at the University of Aberdeen.

Sat 7 Mar | 10:30am-4:30pm | £28 (£24 Network Members)
Further with Storytelling – National Network Development Day
Take the pulse of storytelling development in Scotland today. Refresh your thinking and be inspired by work in schools with children, in the workplace, in outdoor settings, with older people, in museums and faith communities. Where is storytelling at as a performing art, and as community art of wellbeing and open learning? If you are developing as a storyteller within your art, your work, or your personal journey, this is a day for you.

Fri 13 Mar | 10:30am-4:30pm | £36 (£30 Network Members)
The Arts of Memory in Later Life
The greatest music according to tradition is ‘the music of what happens’. How do we nurture that music in later life through storytelling, poetry, song, visual memory and music? This inspiring day brings together TRACS with the Scottish Poetry Library and Faith in Older People, to celebrate and nurture creativity at all stages of life.

Sat 14 Mar | 10:30am-4:30pm | £36 (£30 Network Members)
Beginning Well with Singing
Set yourself up for an inspiring year of song with invaluable insight into context, sourcing material and forging relationships. Ali Burns offers a day of preparation and encouragement for anyone leading or supporting singing groups and choirs, whether in education or community settings. In association with Scotland Sings – see for related workshops across Scotland.

Sat 28 Mar | 10:30am-4:30pm | £28 (£24 Network Members)
Trad Talk: Crossing Points
As traditions and artforms in Scotland feed off each other, and communities engage with their local heritage, this development day provides the perfect annual occasion for debate, information, inspiration, grumbles, ideas, friendships and strengthening networks. With so much in Scotland at “crossing points” what can bring focus and energy to help realise the traditional arts’ ambitions and “make a difference”?

For full details of these events and other workshops click here