A CULTURAL PATHFINDER PROJECT FUNDED BY
THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT
AND PERTH AND KINROSS COUNCIL
As a result of the community based activities already running in East Perthshire,
the Scottish Government funded a Cultural Pathfinder project which looked
at the work of the stART group and saw how such a community approach can help to
deliver 'cultural entitlements' in a local area. It has informed Perth and
Kinross Council's approach to cultural entitlements and will continuer to provide an example
for other parts of Scotland. This additional support meant that the stART festival
can now expand and the benefits will be felt locally over a much longer period
rather than just over the 2007 festival weekend.
Developing Cultural Entitlements in East Perthshire will mean increasing
and promoting access to high quality arts and cultural activity in your local
community. We want to help you do more in your rural home communities without
having to travel to a major city. We already have a thriving network of voluntary
groups who work hard to provide activity locally and the stART group and Perth
and Kinross council have asked some of these groups how they would like to make
the arts more accessible. This wonderful range of events is the result.
Not only do these pages show the range of activities that local people have requested,
but they also highlight many of the groups that run regularly and form the
backbone of our local cultural life.
Looking at Cultural Entitlements also means protecting and celebrating
our own very special culture here in the Strathmore Valley. An aspect of which
has not been properly celebrated over time is that of our Travelling Folk. We are
very lucky to have the internationally renowned Sheila Stewart M.B.E living in
Rattray. In 2007 Sheila published her first book, a biography of her mother
Belle Stewart 'Queen Amang the Heather' (which was launched in Blairgowrie Library
before Christmas 2007), and has travelled all over the world singing the wonderful
songs passed down in the oral tradition from her family. Over the weekend of the
stART festival 2007, Sheila Stewart, her son Ian McGregor and author Jess Smith
shared the wealth of their songs and stories and crafts with us in Rattray
Church Hall. This was be a spectacular event. The National Portrait gallery worked
with us to create a moving portrait of one of our own Cultural Icons.
Follow this link to read more about the Scottish Government Pathfinder Project:
What are stART OOTs?
Over the months of March, April and May 2007, the "stART
took place in various venues in the
Strathmore area. These workshops were all hosted by stART's partners
who welcomed participation from non-group members.
Some stART OOTs took place during the festival itself. (They
are listed briefly below, please check the main
2007 festival listing
for more details.)
- Stone Carving
- Paper Flower Making
- Music and Song
- Piping the Old Way
- Story Round
- Turlie Basket Making
- Creative Knitting
- Images and Stories
- Music, Song and Stories
- Songs and Stories Get Together
- Storytelling and Ballads
To see the full listing of stART Oot Workshops that ran in East Perthshire in 2007,
please click here.
So, overall was the stART Festival 2007 a success?
According to stART Festival Chairperson Rachel Bower, yes it was.
“The responses we have received from people about their enjoyment of the festival has been
overwhelming. I don’t think any of us really realized quite how big an impact
the festival has on people’s lives. Some of the comments and stories that we
have heard have been really touching—a surprising number of people have been
affected in a very profound way by taking part in the
Here are some of the comments from people who took part:
“This workshop has changed my life forever-its been a lifetime ambition realised!”
(oil painting masterclass)
“I really enjoyed myself and I can’t wait to do it at home” (2D animation)
“I feel very privileged and have learned so much about
travelling people which was very enlightening. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.”
(travelling traditions storytelling)
There were 58 different workshops on offer throughout the weekend.
Just over 1,000 people took part. The largest group to take part was 5 –10 year
olds and, on average, only fractionally more women took part than men.
“Across the board, people have enjoyed their experiences and said they would
like the opportunity to be involved in the festival again.
With positive feedback like that , we can’t help but accept that the festival
has been a tremendous success” added Rachel
Every person involved in the event was given an evaluation form.
At the end of the festival the results showed that 93.9% enjoyed being involved
in the workshop and 76% were keen to attend another arts event because of the experience.
What next for stART?
“The greatest challenge now is to manage the snowball effect that the festival
is taking on. Every year the communities ask for more and more workshops,
which means more and more work and money is required. I really hope the
Scottish Government will continue to support culture and realise what a vital component access to
culture is in people’s lives in rural communities” Rachel concluded
How do we know it was a success?
Every person that took part in an event was given an evaluation form.
At the end of the festival, we looked at the forms to find out if people enjoyed the event.
Here are some of the answers we received.
Did you enjoy being involved in today's workshop?
Yes: 93.9% A bit: 4.5% No: 0.4% Blank : 1.2%
Have you ever taken part in arts workshops before?
Yes: 50% Yes: 50% No: 46.8% Blank : 3.2%
Are you more interested in attending arts event because of today’s workshop?
Yes: 76.9% A bit: 17.4% No: 2.4% Blank : 3.2%
Would you have liked to be involved in more Festival events?
Yes: 75.5% A bit: 16.5% No: 3.2% Blank : 4.8%
Do you feel more a part of the community as a result of today’s workshop?
Yes: 65.2% A bit: 25.9% No: 4.0% Blank : 4.9%
Are you happier as a result of today’s workshop?
Yes: 74.1% A bit: 17.8% No: 3.2% Blank : 4.9%
Do you feel more confident as a result of today’s workshop?
Yes: 46.6% A bit: 33.6% No: 11.7% Blank : 8.1%
How many miles did you travel to get here?
0-1: 31% 1-4: 9% 4-8: 34% 8-12: 11% 12-16: 6% 16-20: 4% 20+: 5%
(Did you know that the average
distance from the Strathmore area
to Perth concert hall is 20.9 miles,
and 19.6 Miles to the Dundee
Centre for contemporary arts?)