Traditional Arts Mentoring Programme

TRACS is delighted to be assisting Creative Scotland and other partners in delivering a pilot programme of Traditional Arts Mentoring, building on work undertaken by the Traditional Music Forum. The aim is to exchange knowledge, skills and experience between the generations.

The programme is aimed at early or mid-career practitioners in Scotland. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to work with an experienced practitioner and/or tradition bearer on sources, skills, creative approaches, professional challenges and confidence. This will be a mutually supportive dialogue, respecting different backgrounds and learning styles.

Two mentorship opportunities will be offered in each of the following:

Traditional Music

Traditional Song

Traditional Dance

Traditional Storytelling

A further two opportunities will be offered linking one or more of these artforms with Gaelic or Scots as the main medium. This does not exclude Gaelic and Scots forming part of the other mentorships.

The Traditional Arts Mentoring programme will run from June to September 2021, with the following pattern: an initial e-mail introduction, followed by two online sessions of two hours, as well as two in-person sessions, subject to Coronavirus restrictions at the time. Each session would have an e-mail follow-up to identify or confirm fruitful topics for further exploration. A final sharing of ideas will take place involving as many of the overall group as possible at Newbattle Abbey College, Scotland’s National Residential College for Adult Learning, in Midlothian, Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th September 2021, subject to Coronavirus restrictions applying at the time. It is TRACS’ intention to hold its annual Summer School at Newbattle on 24th/25th September.

Mentors will receive a professional fee plus travel expenses and accommodation where required. For environmental and Covid-19 related reasons, no travel will take place within or between adjacent regions of Scotland, apart from the Newbattle gathering. Those being mentored will receive an expenses grant, including travel and accommodation where required. TRACS will seek to be as flexible as possible in these arrangements, within budget constraints, and subject to the evolving public health situation.

TRACS has received recommendations from members of Creative Scotland’s Traditional Arts Networking Group for potential mentors, and will seek to match people in the most helpful way. Mentors will be supported by an experienced trainer in Mentoring skills and approaches.

Applicants for mentorship are invited to apply by Monday 12th April 2021, submitting a concise professional CV, and a one-page statement as to why they would like to participate in the Traditional Arts Mentoring programme. Please state which artform strand or strands you are applying under.

Applications should be submitted to Donald Smith, Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland, The Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh EH! 1SR, preferably by e-mail on For any further information contact  and/or David Francis on .