One of Scotland’s leading performing arts promoton charites has reached a new milestone in its 28- year history.
Marie Lewis, who is currently Producer and Finance Manager of SEALL, based in the south of Skye, is taking over the positon as Creative Director, held by Duncan MacInnes for almost three decades.
Sixty-nine-year-old Duncan, who began promotng performing arts in the south of the Island in the late 1980s, has gone on to receive a number of prestgious awards during his lengthy service to the Sleat community. In July he received his greatest honour to date: an MBE from the Queen for his services to the arts.
Duncan said: “SEALL is in a very excitng place now.
“The charity was started in 1991 with a group of like-minded volunteers running a few events each year in various south Skye venues.
“Now with the on-going and increasing support of many people on Skye, I am delighted that SEALL has become a leader in rural touring events in the UK. We have created four cultural jobs for the area and I am confdent that SEALL is a strong and sustainable organisaton.
“This has led to many new ideas and a grander vision for SEALL, so I am delighted to hand over a project that is in the very good hands of Marie Lewis as the new Creative Director.”
Marie, who lives in the north of the Island, will take the helm of the Sleat-based organisaton in November.
Marie said: “Duncan’s decision to retre this year is a very important juncture in the history of SEALL.
“Duncan has done such a great job in bringing quality performing arts to the Sleat community for almost three decades and I am eager to carry on this good work across the Island and into an excitng new future for SEALL.
“We are already forming new partnerships and forging important new relatonships with individuals and organisatons at a local, natonal and internatonal level and I look forward to programming some amazing events in venues across our communites for our year-round touring programme, The Skye Festval and the SEALL Festval of Small Halls.
“SEALL is very much a community-orientated organisaton with an ambiton to extend our reach right across the Islands of Skye and Raasay. The voice of the communites is all important to us and I should be really delighted to hear what people have to say in terms of what kind of performances they would like to see in their venues.
“We are also always on the look-out for new board members too. Anyone who is interested in the future of performing arts on Skye is asked to please get in touch and help us take SEALL forward.”
The hand-over will take place during SEALL’s AGM on 19 November and anyone interested in becoming a board member is asked to contact SEALL on 01471 844207 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
SEALL chair, Rosie MacDonald, said: “Duncan has been such a great asset to the Sleat community over the past 28 years and we have been so fortunate to have the beneft of his experience, vision and passion for the arts.
“Through SEALL, he has brought a wealth of excellent quality music, theatre, flm, literature and dance to the area, unusual in such a small rural locaton. The organisaton has become very well respected and well-known among performing artsts and other arts organisatons throughout the UK, due in no small part to uncan’s ability to network and fy the fag for SEALL
“Duncan is retring from SEALL but he won’t be far away and will continue to work on SEALL’s archive, which documents the organisaton since its incepton.”
Marie joined SEALL in October 2016 as part of the organisatonns succession planning.
Rosie added: “Marie is equally enthusiastc about performing arts and cut her teeth as Creaitve Director in 2018, having responsibility for organising and programming the SEALL Festval of Small Halls. This was a new winter festval for SEALL and was a great success.
“It is anticipated that Marie will expand on this success and take the arts further to additonal venues on Skye and Raasay, thereby contnuing SEALL’s traditon of providing our rural communites with some excellent entertainment.”
SEALL’s 2019 annual general meetng takes place in Sèomar hruinneachaidh, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, on Tuesday 19 November at 7.30pm. All welcome