into the hands of local people’ it offers a wide range of services. from business advice to printing and graphic design. charged at cost, to non-professional and community groups who could not otherwise afford the work. Its much-used library facility offers information on everything from Business Start Up Courses and Advice for 16-25 year olds. welfare benefits. environmental health services. farmers guides to advice on buying and maintaining motorbikes.
One ofthe main difficulties faced by the council is the size ofits area. Stirling District covers some 800 square miles. An important part of its Community Action Programme has been to find a more direct way of reaching the local community to enable local residents to organise and represent their own needs. In the former mining villagesofCowie. Fallin and Plean a ‘Job Spot‘ service is offered in which new jobs are sent daily to the local offices so those unemployed in rural areas do not miss jobs as they come up in Stirling. ln Callander. an area traditionally geared to forestry farming and tourism where jobs are now under pressure. alternative ways of regenerating the community are being encouraged. A multi-purpose sports and leisure centre is being proposed along the lines ofa similar venture in Aberfeldy where halfa million pounds was raised from trusts and local government funds.
Three years ago the District Council set up a ‘pilot project‘. the first ofits kind. to investigate the need for practical support for local arts clubs and community arts development. Partly funded by the Scottish Arts Council. an Arts Officer was appointed and the District Arts Council set up. run by a committee elected from local arts clubs plus advisers from professional arts organisations. It decides on grants applications. which may be awarded to individuals or groups. amateurs or professionals.
One group it has helped is the Stirling Youth Dance Group. With an average age of thirteen. it began life as a break-dancing crew in the local railway station and was one of only two groups from Scotland to pass the auditions for the National Youth Dance Festival recently held in Wakefield.
Seventeen places on a Manpower Services Commission scheme have just been confirmed to create a mobile arts team with a remit to work at grassroots level in the local community and the Random Rythms Music Workshop — the only one in Scotland — was partly funded by the District Arts Council. It was the idea of three energetic but unemployed musicians who perform as the band Random Rythms. They raised £15.00() from trusts. the District Council and the District Arts Council and renovated and equipped an S-track recording studio and rehearsal space. It opened five months ago and has bookings every day. although they still have some way to go before it will run at a profit. The next step is to set up an
independent record label. I
One ofthe main reasons for putting together the extended Festival of Nordic Art at Stirling‘s MacRobert Centre was. according to the centre‘s director. Roy MacEwan. ‘to make use of the centre‘s complete resources. There should be cross-referencing with audiences finding one aspect ofthe programming enlightening another.’
The Centre. which opened in 1971. has a marvellously eclectic artistic policy. happy to combine Jimmy Logan in ‘Not Now Darling‘ with the Ronnie Scott Quintet and the Stockholm Sinfonietta. The centre. located at and partly funded by Stirling University. also acts as the region‘s Film Theatre — a role that is particularly popular with the students. ‘The Centre is not here as a complicated teaching aid. We do have an education role but it is much more broadly based. It‘s not a curricular thing but to generally give a range ofexperiences in the arts. Also it‘s the University‘s contribution to a community it could easily become isolated from.‘
Not having a resident theatre group means it is impossible to sustain a full season ofwork in both ofits 500-seat and ISO—seat theatres. In addition there is an exhibition space to fill. The lack of money also makes seasons such as the Nordic Season very difficult to organise. ‘Three years ago we had a Dutch Theme which showed the potential ofbuilding an integrated programme thoughout a season. but it has taken till now to follow it up.‘ Rather than being crammed into a short time. the Nordic events will continue until May 1987. running alongside usual attractions.
The idea for the Nordic Season grew out ofan original common strand ofevents — gradually. as more was added. the development of integrated programmes became possible.
Roy MacEwan has an obvious admiration for the way Arts in the contributing Scandinavian countries are organised. ‘They are not afraid of spending money. to take theatre abroad for instance. and though no money is ever thrown away. they are not penny-pinching. Nor are they merely preserving a cultural heritage. When you work with them you find a thriving arts world easy to key into and very supportive.‘ The lack of money MacEwan‘s own organisation suffers from he sees as no different from the problems
facing most of Britain‘s Arts organisations; The POSiIiOD over the last five years at the MacRobert has slowly grown worse while its reputation as a national arts organisation serving the whole of the country has grown. ‘This season will emphasise that national role but it’s not something that we will be able to do every year.‘
The art that MacEwan will be bringing to Scotland may seem strange — much certainly will be known only to experts here — but he feels that the style and the approach will be recognisable, ‘the
Ray MacEwan ol the MacRobert Centre
Scandinavian countries form a discernably unified cultural unit and one that in many ways has much in common with Scotland — we are all small countries on the edge of Europe.‘
Complete details from MacRobert Arts Centre. Stirling University. Bridge ofAllan. Stirling. (0786) 61081. (Nigel Billen)
0 Dance Theatre Raatikko Thu 25 - Sat 27. 7.30pm. £4 (£2.50). Two programmes. including a new full-length ballet and a humorous look at choreography. from Raatikko. a highly acclaimed. pioneering dance/theatre group from Finland.
0 Stockholm Sinlonietta Thu 9. 7.30pm. £6.50 (£2.50) A concert conducted by Grant Llewellyn of Copland, Mozart. Lidholm and Haydn. Bernard d‘Ascoli is soloist. 0 BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Sat 1 l . 7.30pm. £6.50 (£2.50). A concert of Grieg. Nielsen. Halvorsen and Sibelius conducted by Sir Charles Groves with Erich Gruenberg the soloist.
o Orion’s Belt Wed 8 Oct. £2 (1.40). Film adaptation ofJon Michelet’s cold war suspense novel directed by Ola Solum.
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o Tukak Theatre Company ‘Meeting Tukak' A strong. international theatre company from Greenland. Tukak (a word in Greenland meaning harpoon — chosen as a symbol ofstrength and purpose) present a selection of their work: ‘Inuit‘ on the theme of alienation: ‘Salad of the Season‘.a mixture of their work; ‘Tupilak‘. a parable about black magic and ‘Heaven and Hell‘. based on William Blake‘s poetry.
Mon 13. 7.30pm Inuit.
Tue 14. 10— 11.30am. Workshop. Tue 14. 7.30pm Greenlandic Evening (play. film and talk)
Wed 15. 10— 11.30am. Workshop Wed 15, 7.30pm Salad of the Season Scenes
Thu 16. 11)- 11.30am. Workshop Thu 16 2 — 6pm Mask Production Workshop
Fri 17. 10— 11.30am. Workshop
Fri 17. 7.30pm Tupilak
Sat 18. 1t).3()—4.3()pm MacRobert Open Day
Sat 18. 7.30pm Heaven and Hell
0 Flora Danica Thu 16.7.30pm. £3.51) (£2.20) A concert from Flora Danica. one of Denmark‘s foremost Baroque Ensembles.
0 BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Tue 28. 7.30pm £6.50 (£2.50) A concert of Rachmaninov. Grieg and Sibelius and the world premiere of Wm Wordsworth‘s 8th Symphony. conducted by Jerzy Maksyrnuik.
0 Folk Art from Norway, Sweden and Finland Gallery. Until Sat 4 ()ct. An exhibition of nearly fifty folk artists from the three countries. much of the work on natural materials.
0 Hans Christian Andersen — Papercuttings and Illustrations Gallery. Mon 6- Wed 2‘) Oct. Illustrations from some of the many different publications of the famous fairy-tale writer together with papercuttings made by the writer himself. also an artist.
0 Posters by Erik Bruun Foyer. Mon 6 - Wed 29 Oct. A collection of posters on the themes of flowers. nature and Finnish mythology. from the Finnish artist Erik Bruun. internationally renowned for his posters.
Scotland‘s newest university. Stirling was purpose-built on a campus site. Stirling set out straight away to make itselfdifferent by opting for two long American-style two ‘semesters‘. It also subscribes to continuous assessment. Stirling is still considered a ‘Mickey Mouse‘
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The List 19 Sept ; '26:. 37