Monday 16 December 2013

AAS anno 2013; a review and looking forward!

Last time this year, a call out was made for the new AAS Board members and some weeks later Bryony, Tom and myself sat down and selected the new Board, which was  appointed in January 2013. A lot has happened in what now seems like both a short time ago and a long year...

During the Spring and Summer, the AAS put on a Roadshow, in partnership with the Scottish Artists Union (SAU) and others in venues across Scotland. We were in Glasgow at the Lighthouse, the Big Cat Textile Centre in Newburgh, at the GoNorth event in Inverness, at Heart of Hawick with CABN, at Glenrothes with FCAC, at the SAU AGM in Edinburgh and coming up for our last event - delayed from October for various practical reasons - at the Stove in Dumfries on 21st January 2014. We had the chance to meet lots of makers and talk to you!

AAS has also been busy behind the scenes making connections and doing lots of talking. The results of these have been some exciting projects coming up;

AAS was successful in securing £5,000 AmbITion funding. The AmbITion fund was very much put together to invest and train the AAS Board in new digital technology and thus reduce need for face-to-face meetings as well as put an infrastructure in place to enable AAS to have a stronger and sustainable online presence and reach out to more people, in remote places. This will be happening in early 2014 and we will keep you posted on its development and what this might mean for you as a maker.

AAS has also been working on delivering some training events for makers on marketing/digital skills in partnership with Craft Scotland as we very much believe, whislt some excellent training is being delivered across Scotland, that this ought to be accessible for all so we are striving to making this accessible to all, at any time. The AmbITion funding will help us to work towards that.

The above partnership with Craft Scotland is the result of our ongoing dialogue with key partners in the craft sector. Craft Scotland have also formally offered AAS a place on the Craft Bench, which we are delighted about.

AAS has also been invited by Duncan of Jordanstone to be involved with the organisation of the Craft Festival Scotland 2014. This will be a nationwide week of events and exhibitions across Scotland. We are awaiting the outcome of the funding application. Fingers crossed!

AAS is still looking into the possibility of apprenticeships and attended the recent Building a Creative summit organised by CCSkills. We would like to develop this further but need have been busy with other projects so we hope we can develop, going into 2014 and beyond. AAS has already been talking to potential partners of how to develop this....

Not a mean achievement for a year's work of this Board! But, a few Board members are stepping down and we are looking for some new people to join the Board. So if you are keen to learn some new skills, make new connections, expand your network... get involved!

The current political climate in Scotland, with the funding directives from Creative Scotland, very much favour grass roots lead initiatives, in collaboration with key partners. The AAS charitable structure offers lots of advantages. 

So, if there any projects you are keen to get involved in, or would like to join the Board, please let us know at

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Meanwhile, on behalf of the Board, may I wish you all a delightful festive season and a creative splendid 2014!



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