A year-long community arts-based programme has been launched by the Aros Centre in Portree.
Entitled Tha Seo Math Dhuibh - Good for You, the programme aims to grow audiences by improving access and participation in the arts. A strong focus of the project is to make activities inclusive and accessible to people of all ages and abilities as well as boosting health and well-being. The project allows for new initiatives to be established and will provide employment opportunities and specialist training for artists.
Iseabail Strachan, appointed as the Project Officer, is currently in the process of engaging organisations, groups and artists to introduce what will be a diverse programme of workshops, walks, classes, performances and educational projects throughout Skye and Raasay.
As part of the Highland Culture: Take Pride, Take Part Investment Programme, the Highland Culture Strategic Board and Creative Scotland have invested in this audience development project which will engage the wider community in a variety of arts-based activities.
As a key partner in the project, ATLAS Arts will deliver Còig Sgiathan - Five Wings, a programme of accessible walks with artists across the five wings of Skye and in Lochalsh. The walks will be delivered in collaboration with Step It Up Highland (SIUH), the University of the 3rd Age (U3A), Staffin Trust and other groups. An important element of this programme will involve artists from Skye or Lochalsh joining each walk. This will provide an opportunity for walkers to be inspired and learn more about the unique approach each artist brings to the interpretation of what we see and experience when we are out walking.
Commenting on the award, Aros Managing Director, Donald MacDonald said: “This is designed to reach out to communities across Skye & Raasay with new opportunities given to those who are currently unable to access arts activities for what-ever reason. We wish to engage with as many people as possible and would welcome enquiries and contributions from groups and artists who see opportunities for engagement, self-development and audience development. The programme will include movement classes, story-telling, dance, walks, visual arts, film, poetry, writing and music.”
Commenting, ATLAS Director, Emma Nicolson said: “ATLAS is delighted to be developing a new project for Tha Seo Math Dhuibh - Good for You. Since its inception ATLAS has included walking within nearly all of its projects. Building on this experience of combining artists and walking Rosie Somerville, Còig Sgiathan - Five Wings project coordinator, is working closely with groups and artists of all kinds to develop an innovative and exciting programme. This walking project will provide new opportunities for locals and visitors that are not only good for our health but also creative and stimulating”.