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Between Islands Project Online

Despite some challenging circumstances in the past months, An Lanntair’s Between Islands project has now placed the majority of its activities online, with a range of short films, musical performances and three separate museum exhibitions now available to view on the dedicated website www.betweenislands.com.

The project, which is funded by LEADER, links arts and heritage organisations throughout the Northern and Western Isles, and was originally due to continue its series of events in the spring and summer of 2020. As the majority of the programme was based on live performances and physical exhibitions, the initiative had to be completely redesigned in order to take account of current restrictions.

Project coordinator Alex Macdonald explains: “The exhibitions were due to open in the museums in Uist, Stornoway, Lerwick and Kirkwall over the summer, but placing them online has actually presented the opportunity for broader audiences to view these resources. We already know that the project’s YouTube channel has been recording views from the USA, Canada, Germany and New Zealand as well as from across the UK, which is an extremely positive outcome.”

The project also published a book in December, featuring articles written by museum curators and UHI staff who had been involved in their earlier lecture series. In addition a CD featuring the artists who had originally intended to perform both at Shetland folk festival and the Hebridean Celtic Festival was released. The recording includes collaborations by artists from across the islands including Julie Fowlis, Kris Drever, Willie Campbell and Saltfishforty.

Alex continued, “It’s a testament to the determination of all our partners across Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles that we are able to regroup the project in a way that ensured these initiatives could be completed. As well as accessing the short films and museum displays, there is an activity pack for children that is downloadable on the site. We also aim to continue adding to these resources going forward, continuing the theme of encouraging collaboration through collectively promoting our Islands culture and heritage.”

The Outer Hebrides LEADER Local Action Group Vice Chair, Matt Bruce, adds ‘Amid the pandemics restrictions the Between Islands project has successfully managed to make the most out of a challenging period. The website will continue to be an invaluable tool and library whilst also being a great legacy of what has been achieved.’

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• An Lanntair’s Between Islands Project explores the heritage and culture of the Western and Northern Isles through collaboration.
• The project is part-financed by An Lanntair, The Scottish Government and the
European Community LEADER 2014-2020 Programme.
• Access to the separate museum exhibitions, children’s activity pack, short films series and musical performances on www.betweenislands.com.
• The Between Islands publication and CD are available directly from An Lanntair priced £10 and £15 respectively.