SAG unveils £4.9m dance grant and new open door policy

EDINBURGH IS TO receive £49 million, the second biggest lottery award for the arts in Scotland, for the creation of a dance centre.

The Scottish Arts CounCil (SAC) announced the grant from its National Lottery Fund, which will allow Dance Base to move from its current location in the Assembly Rooms to a new dedicated building in the Grassmarket.

The announcement was the centrepiece of what is to be a regular, monthly press briefing, in a bid to tackle the SAC ’5 recent difficulties.

Recently the Scottish Affairs Select Committee gave SAC director Seona Reid and chairman Magnus Linklater a

public dressmg down, charging them with a lack of transparency in decrsion making.

However Reid and Linklater this week denied they had been stung into opening their doors to the media. Reid insisted: 'This idea pre-dated that meeting. However we are clearly not communicating adequately to MPs at least We firmly believe the impression they presented of us is a false one

She admitted they had been given a rough ride. ’Our work is not dedicated to elitist arts, but we have to be honest, it has been a salutary experience and we have got to learn from it '

She added that public meetings

TV team urge young Scots to help fight child abuse

THE TEAM behind the harrowing Channel 4 documentary Innocents Lost, which revealed evidence of the worldwide abuse of children, are coming to Edinburgh to encourage young people to take a stand.

Amnesty International Scotland’s annual youth and student conference features Kate Blewett, one of the programme’s producers and Fred Shortland of the Casa Alianza charity, whose work with the street children of Latin America was highlighted in Innocents Lost.

The programme highlighted chronic vrolations of children’s rights around the world, without offering potential solutions.

Now Amnesty aims to convince young people that they can act to make a difference.

Amnesty Scottish spokesman Sam Bartlett said: 'People act in different ways some write letters while others raise funds. The important lesson is that dramatic results can be achieved when a great many people act together.‘

Ann Clwyd, Labour MP for Cynon Valley in Wales, is another speaker at the conference at Edinburgh University Chaplaincy Centre on Sat 7 Feb.

Clwyd is the chair of the All Party Group on Human Rights, and she warned: ’We must work towards ensuring that human rights are viewed, not as a luxury but as a necessity.

’We cannot demand human rights for ourselves without ensuring that those human rights are enjoyed by others.’

(Stephanie Noblett)

24 THE LIST 619 Feb 1998

THE LEVELLERS are to plant a small

Why Levellers tour i breath of fresh air

forest of trees to compensate for the carbon diOXide (C0,) which Will be released by their ’Carbon Neutral' tour which kicks off later this month.

C02 is the gas which causes global warming and the folk rockers, who have often sung about environmental issues, have teamed up with the Somerset-based organisation Future Forests which works to recycle the air's oxygen by planting trees

The Levellers contacted Dr Richard Tipper from Edinburgh University’s Institute of Ecology and asked him to calculate the amount of CO, emisSions which would result from the tour.

Dr Tipper and his colleagues broke sources of emissions down into four categories: transport, power consumed at venues, fans' emissions and hotel accommodation. The total carbon emission was calculated at 75 tonnes.

Since five trees Will absorb one tonne,

THE MYTH that opera is elitist is to be tackled using Asian folktales, as Scottish Opera try to attract a new audience,

Their latest production, a double bill, intriguingly combines ASian stories with contemporary opera in two one-act pieces by Indian composer Param Vir.

Snatched By Gods and Broken Strings are being heavrly promoted in the ASian community as the company bids to change the poor image of the art-form.

Opera has been criticised for soaking up public subsidy while attracting only a privileged minority, but this is mistaken according to Roberta Doyle, Scottish Opera's head of press and marketing. 'Anyone who enjoys Les Miserables should be able to enjoy Madame Butterfly equally,’ she said.

However she admits opera has had an image problem. As a result, the company have launched a new poster campaign, featuring striking images of

would also be held in a bill} to increase openness and accountability. TltéEse ml; be attended by the hill council, allowir‘ig members of the public to ask questions and raise grievances The first two will take place in Glasgow and lnverness later this year.

Meanwhile new money has been made available for theatre through a £70,000 scheme to fund additional productions by building-based theatres which will play in more than one venue.

This is a reflection of SAC concern over the decline in the number of productions by such companies 'Cutting the number of productions

reduces the ile office income It is a cycle of dechne,’ said Reid, ’lt is threatening the Mablillv of some theatres.’

Meanwhile, the {-1.9 million award to Dance Base will help the company continue to develop dance in Scotland and it will eventually be part of a planned national network of dance centres

Morag Deyes, artistic director for Dance Base said 'Everyone involved in the company has been completely dedicated and we are excited about the expanded service we will be able to provide in the Grassmarket burldmg.’ (Stephen Naysmith)

The Levellers WI” plant 375 trees to absorb the CO, which their tour releases.

'We've been down; a lot of research into this area,’ said Dr Tipper ’The idea of planting trees to offset CO, emission has been accepted and is used by the United Nations in their

Scottish opéianght myths with legends

Striking: Scottish Opera's ad campaign

the Scottish Opera team taken by top Scots photographer David Eustace. This production seemed an ideal

The Levellers: Trees? A crowd!

strategies to combat climate change.’ Neneh Cherry, who appeared at last year‘s T in the Park, will follow SUit later in April with her own Carbon Neutral world tour. (Jonathan Trew)

The Levellers play the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, 1 March.

opportunity to interest an Asian audience, DOyle argued. 'We have never made a specific effort to attract the Asian community, but this seemed a good place to start. It is rare for operas to be based on eastern themes.’

Scottish Opera's publicity Will be carefully targetted wrth adverts in Asian newspapers, posters translated into Hindi and GUjerati and information distributed to community leaders

Ian Parker, editor of the newspaper Asian Voice, backed the idea. ‘lt could be perceived as irrelevant to the Asran community but Asian culture is more open to expreSSIng emotion via muSic, so it could be very popular,’ he said. (Stephen Naysmith)

Snatched By Gods and Broken Strings, Theatre Royal, Glasgow, 17 Feb and 21 Feb, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, 25 Feb.