Cromarty Arts Trust are the twenty eighth recipients of Hands Up for Trad’s Business Limelight Award. The “Limelight’s” are a monthly initiative (launched in October 2012) that recognises the outstanding contributions made by businesses and organisations who contribute, shape and influence the arts and cultural sector in Scotland today. Cromarty Arts Trust are a rapidly expanding company promoting Scottish culture in the Highlands with exciting events and festivals.
We asked Caroline Hewat of Cromarty Arts Trust the following questions.
What is your principal company activity?
We promotes arts and cultural eventsincluding music concerts and workshops, art exhibitiona and workshops and applied crafts courses including silver raising and stone letter carving. We host artists/musicians in residence and we look after 3 buildings in Cromarty-the Stables (main venue with gallery and 8 artists’ studios), the Old Brewery (venue, cafe and accommodation for 24 and Ardyne (main office and 5 self contained en-suite rooms) We organise weekend festivals including the Harp Village in September, Ukulele School in March, Crime and Thrillers in Aopril and WinterSing in November.
We also host Lauren MacColl’s Fiddle School in July and the Cromarty Film Festival in December.
When and where did the company first start trading?
August 1987 in Cromarty
What made you want to work in Scottish culture?
The Scottish Cultural scene is vibrant, dynamic and always interesting. The people you meet who work in it whether they are artists, musicians, writers, poets or event organisers are passionate and fully committed to what they do.
There is never a dull moment here and always some new challenge to work with.
Can you tell us of any particular company highlights?
Musician in residence Aidan O’Rourke composed a tune while he was here called ‘Gallows Hill’ He is still playing this tune on his many world tours. Donald Shaw composed the music for Hebrides- Islands on the Edge, BBC television series while he was staying here. Our publication ‘The Cromarty Suite’ was published last year at the Harp Village. It contains tunes by Corrina Hewat, Mary Macmaster and Patsy Seddon and has been sold internationally.
RSA artists have stayed here and used our studios to complete work- Rebecca Cusworth went on to create a highly acclaimed exhibition in Edinburgh. Nicola White finised off her novel here and went on to win the Dundee Prize for Literature last year. Richie McAffery came second in a prestigious pamphlet competion -MacCallum prize in Edinburgh in 2013. Last year our photographer in residence, Frank McElhinney went on to win a very special prize in London with a prestigious exhibition to follow.
There are so many highlights, – these are simply the ones that come to mind at the moment.
What are your company’s plans for the future?
We always look to improving the service that we offer our audiences, workshop partixcipants, artists and musicians. We take a great pride in doing this. We love our buildings very much and want as many people as possible to come and enjoy them too in whatever aspect of the arts and culture that interests them.
How will you celebrate receiving Hands Up for Trad’s Business Limelight award?
Well, I can feel a wee glass of something sparkling coming in here with my very small but very dedicated team who are the most loyal, hard-working, and dedicated you would ever find. They are always full of energy and ideas and very smiley too! A real treat to work alongside!
Contact Cromarty Arts Trust
19 Bank Street