Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland, Scottish Storytelling Centre
Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland (TRACS), based at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh is the national network for traditional arts. The organisation is made up of three art form networks: the Traditional Music Forum (TMF), The Scottish Storytelling Forum (SSF) and the Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland (TDFS). I have worked for all three in various capacities.
I have worked for TRACS in a freelance capacity since 2012, supporting various aspects of their policy, development, events programming and delivery. From June 2015 - June 2017 my specific role was as coordinator for the Scottish Storytelling Forum. This involved working directly with artists and creative practitioners, supporting the needs of a distributed creative network, creating opportunities and platforms to showcase work and supporting artists with professional development and advice. I organised several development days facilitating workshops for exploring creative practice as well as peer-led opportunities to reflect upon, discuss and seek to address challenges, issues and opportunities. The second main area was working with the public to widen access to and participation in traditional arts activities across the country and to enable storytelling to engage with key areas of Scottish life and society. This involved working with local authorities, schools, community groups and local cultural, artistic, educational organisations to build relationships. The third area was working at a strategic level to advocate and demonstrate the value of traditional arts to the policy environment. I organised a national conference in partnership with BEMIS Scotland exploring the cultural potential of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) as a creative pathway to active citizenship.
My role also involved contributing the programming of the summer festival TradFest Edinburgh | Dùn Èideann and the Scottish International Storytelling Festival (SISF); liaising with venue (Scottish Storytelling Centre) and box office staff; contributing to the Celtic Summer School with workshops, guest lectures and the occasional performance (song); contributing to the development of the People's Parish project and commissioning and editing the network’s biannual print magazine Blethers.