Funding for storytelling
Sagas, myths and folk tales will be on the menu later this month as storytellers from Scandinavia and other northern European countries join their Scottish counterparts in an international festival, thanks to funding from the Scottish Government.
The theme of this year's Scottish International Storytelling Festival which runs from October 24 until November 2 is Northlands and Sagalands, with £26,000 from the Scottish Government's Expo Fund enabling storytellers from Alaska, Scandinavia, Iceland and Ireland to take part.
The initiative will also see Scottish storytellers involved in future events in these countries.
Culture Minister Linda Fabiani said:
"Storytelling is one of our oldest art forms and a vital part of our culture which preserves and passes memories and tales down through the generations.
"The Scottish International Storytelling Festival is great and helps children understand our shared history and culture, through the celebration of contemporary and traditional storytelling."
Donald Smith, Director of the Storytelling Festival, said:
"We are very lucky never to have lost the old traditions in Scotland and now they are part of something changed, a creative cluster moving into the future as we face the challenges of climate change, environmental degradation and extreme divides between rich and poor. What the stories - and the storytellers - give to the present and the future is human values, a sense of what really matters, the ability to remember who we are and to dream a better world into being.
"The Scottish International Storytelling Festival provides opportunities for adults and children to be inspired, to be entertained, to take part and to explore the magic of live storytelling for themselves.''
The planned total expenditure for the Edinburgh Festivals Expo fund is £6 million over three years (2008-2009 to 2011-2012).
Resources of £1.308 million have been allocated in 2008-09. The assessment process and funding is administered by the Scottish Arts Council.
The Expo fund is available to all 12 Edinburgh Festivals to support the development of Scottish based work. The Storytelling Festival is the 10th festival to benefit from the Expo fund, with previous funding given to: Edinburgh International Festival (£277,000); Edinburgh Winter Festival (£225,000); Bank of Scotland Imaginate Festival (£26,400); Edinburgh Mela (£41,492); Edinburgh International Film Festival (£60,000); Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival (£41,370); Edinburgh Art Festival (£45,000); Edinburgh Fringe Festival (£200,000); and the Edinburgh Book Festival (£32,568).
The main role for co-ordinating and delivering the portfolio of Expo projects falls to Festivals Edinburgh, led by Faith Liddell. A panel comprising members of the Thundering Hooves steering group and Festivals Forum has recommended the projects for funding in 2008-09.