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Spirit:360, a commissioning programme for emerging and established creative professionals, is now open for applications and will support new work inspired by stories that reflect the theme of the Spirit of the Highlands and will be shown within the new visitor attraction in the transformed Inverness Castle when it opens to the public


By Ian Duncan

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Inverness Castle.
Inverness Castle.

High Life Highland and Creative Scotland today announced that Spirit:360, a commissioning programme for emerging and established creative professionals, is now open for applications.

It is open to writers, musicians, filmmakers, visual artists, and others, and the programme will support the creation of new work inspired by stories that reflect the theme of the Spirit of the Highlands.

Spirit:360 is a partnership with the Highland Place Partnership and £150,000 has been made available through Creative Scotland Place Partnership funding to support the new commissioning programme.

It will support and promote artists, with the completed commissions being showcased on a new online platform alongside the original story which has inspired the work. It is anticipated that some of the works may inspire larger-scale commissions for consideration within the new visitor attraction in the transformed Inverness Castle when it opens to the public.

Spirit:360 is open to creative professionals based within, or originally from, The Highland Council area. Commissions are available up to a maximum of £1,000 and applications are encouraged from those practising professionally across all art forms, including textiles, visual art, crafts, jewellery, music, film, photography, dance, written word and theatre.

Working with the creative and cultural sector in the Highlands, Spirit:360 will celebrate the creativity rooted within the communities of the area. It will also offer funding for the creative sector during this period of recovery from the impact of the pandemic while further developing the Spirit of the Highlands project.

Spirit:360 is supported by the Creative Scotland Place Partnership programme and is administered by High Life Highland, as part of the Spirit of the Highlands project and to find out more contact spirit.360@highlifehighland.com

Fiona Hampton, director of the Inverness Castle – Spirit of the Highlands project, said: “We are delighted to be working with Creative Scotland through the Highland Place Partnership to deliver this unique opportunity for creative professionals in the Highlands.

"This commissioning fund is open to people practising professionally in any creative medium and it offers support for new work at this challenging time. I’m very much looking forward to seeing the creative ideas from applicants inspired by the Spirit of the Highlands theme.”

Creative Scotland’s Karen Dick said: “Spirit:360 is a great opportunity to showcase and develop the vibrancy and breadth of creativity which exists in communities across the Highlands. We are very pleased to be able to support the programme through the Highland Place Partnership and look forward to seeing the creative work produced through Spirit:360.”

The transformation of Inverness Castle is supported by £15 million Scottish Government and £3 million UK Government investment through the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal. It will create a gateway for Highland tourism, contributing to reinvigoration of tourism across the area and providing much needed investment for the industry to aid the recovery from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The project will support economic growth throughout the Highland area, creating a sustainable, viable and must-see attraction that will celebrate the spirit of the Highlands.

The Inverness and Highland City Region deal is a joint initiative supported by up to £315 million investment from the UK and Scottish governments, The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and University of the Highlands and Islands, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth.


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