Small grants scheme launched to support Aberdeenshire-based artists and craft makers

Artists and craft makers in Aberdeenshire who would like to develop their skills are being encouraged to apply for funding through a grants scheme which has opened.

This autumn is the launch of the 2017 call to artists to apply for Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards (VACMA), a partnership between Aberdeenshire Council’s Cultural Services and Creative Scotland now in its fourteenth year.

Awards of between £500 and £1,500 are available and can help towards activities integral to the artist’s personal and professional development such as the costs of researching, creating and presenting new work or advancing skills, technical ability and ideas.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Wednesday, October 4.

Launch events for anyone interested are taking place to give an introduction to the scheme and the chance for an informal discussion with Arts Development officers:

• 7pm on Tuesday, September 19 at Woodend Barn, Banchory

• 6pm on Thursday, September 21 at Huntly Library, Huntly (preceded by a drop-in session from 3-5pm)

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education & Children’s Services Committee, Cllr Gillian Owen, said: “In the fourteen years the scheme has been running it has had a significant impact on a number of local artists, enabling them to improve techniques, advance their skills and develop their professional practice in terms of scale and national recognition.

“I also shows the commitment of the council’s Cultural Services to supporting the work of Aberdeenshire’s resident artists and encouraging innovative professional practice in contemporary arts and crafts.

“Applicants can include visual artists working in the fields of drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, moving image and film making.

“We are also interested in contemporary creative work designed and made in media such as ceramics, furniture and wood, glass, jewellery and metalwork, lettering, musical instruments, textiles and basket-making.

“If you work in the creative industries, are living in Aberdeenshire and are looking to develop your skills then these awards are the thing for you.”

Anne Petrie, Visual Arts Officer at Creative Scotland, said: “Creative Scotland is delighted to support the Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards which is a national scheme that offers a valuable opportunity for artists and craft makers, at all stages of their careers, to apply for small grants at a local level to help to develop their practice through new work, new skills or new opportunities.

To download an application form and guidance visit Aberdeenshire Council’s website or for more information telephone (01467) 536 153 or email

More information on Creative Scotland’s role in Visual Artist & Craft Maker Awards can be found on their website.