The Scottish Government announced today that it is contributing £26,000 from its Expo Fund to the Scottish Storytelling Festival, which celebrates the ancient art of telling folk tales, sagas, and myths.
The money will help organisers bring storytellers from Alaska, Scandinavia, and Iceland for this year's festival, opening later this month. The initiative will also see Scottish storytellers involved in future events in these countries in a move to develop international cultural links through storytelling.
"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," said Culture Minister Linda Fabiani, announcing the award. "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."
About the Expo Fund
The planned total expenditure for the Edinburgh Festivals Expo fund is £6 million over three years (2008-2009 to 2011-2012).
Resources of £1.308m 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.