Ross-shire arts group to hold the purse strings on £40k freelance musician fund

Music studets at a Fèis Rois lesson pre-Covid.

Freelance musicians can now apply for a share of a £40,000 fund aimed at providing crucial support through the coronavirus crisis.

Distributed by Ross-shire based traditional arts organisation, Fèis Rois, the Youth Small Grants Scheme is aimed at freelance folk musicians and other creative practitioners involved in traditional music projects for children and young people across Scotland.

Applicants can apply for between £500 and £5000 to deliver these projects. This fund is open to freelance folk musicians, artists and creative practitioners living and working in Scotland looking to work directly with children and young people.

As the fund directly supports freelancers, this fund is not open to applications from organisations, local authorities, groups or clubs.

Fiona Dalgetty, Fèis Rois chief executive, commented: “At Fèis Rois we enable people of all ages to access, participate in, enjoy and benefit from the traditional arts, across Scotland and even further afield. This new fund will allow many of Scotland’s top traditional musicians and creatives to continue their work with young people, at a time when it has been severely impacted by the pandemic. Many of them have had to drastically adapt their ways of teaching and working, and having the additional support to continue their important work with young people is crucial to ensure our young people don’t miss out on the huge benefits that being involved in traditional music projects can bring.

“This fund is particularly aimed at activities with young people most affected by the pandemic and lockdown restrictions. Priority groups for the scheme include young people living in areas of social and economic deprivation, young carers, young people with disabilities, those experiencing mental ill health, and several other groups. Fèis Rois has an extensive track record in working with a wide range of young people, from music making projects in HMP Inverness to opportunities for young people in both foster care and in residential care. We are committed to supporting freelance musicians as they develop their projects to reach these groups and to make a positive impact through their work.”

The fund is part of a Scottish Government Covid-19 funding package administered by Creative Scotland to support the arts with Fèis Rois one of a number of organisations across Scotland distributing grants which will enable freelance artists to work with children and young people.

The funding panel, which consists of Fiona Dalgetty, Creative Scotland funding officer Siobhan Anderson, award-winning Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis and Ruairidh Gollan, a freelance musician and Fèis Rois board member, will meet in March to review the applications.

Successful applicants will be able to commence projects from the end of April this year and will have until March 2022 to complete their projects. They will also receive two training and networking sessions to support them with their projects.

The deadline for applications is March 14 and more information can be found on the Fèis Rois website,

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