Category Archives: news

September Member News

BIG ABERDEEN EVENT ON 22 SEPTEMBER 2014: There is still time to register to attend, see website for all the details.

EUROPEAN RESEARCHERS NIGHT,  26 SEPTEMBER 2014: See website for details of ‘Explorathon’ events – lots are free but some do require advance booking.

VISUAL ARTIST AND CRAFT MAKER AWARDS 2015: In a partnership with Creative Scotland, Aberdeen City Council has established two award schemes as a means of assisting individual artists and makers who reside in Aberdeen city. Funds can help towards activities that are integral to the practitioner’s personal and professional development, such as the immediate costs of researching, creating and presenting new work or advancing skills, technical ability and ideas. For further details on how to apply for up to £1,500 of funding please follow this link.  NB: Deadlines 30.11.14 & 21.02.15 and there is a Drop-In Session at Seventeen on the 25th October, 10:00 am – 14:00 pm.

FESTIVAL OF LIGHT ARTIST RESIDENCY PROGRAMME: Aberdeen City Council are holding an open call for an arts organisation, or partnership of organisations, to run the residency programme as part of Spectra: Aberdeen’s Festival of Light, in February 2015.   A budget of £50,000 is available to the successful organisation.Deadline for application is 5pm Monday 29th September. For further information, please contact (Elspeth Winram), or call 01224 644885, or visit the website.

JOB OPPORTUNITY: NESCOL  are looking for a lecturer in Performing Arts – deadline 19.09.14, follow this link for further details.

EXHIBITIONS: As featured in previous AB+ events news from Louise Steadman and Shelagh Swanson.
Breathless Breastless: Following the success of our first exhibition in June we are delighted to be exhibiting until Friday 3 October at The Arts Centre & Theatre King Street 3 Aberdeen. We are proud to have recently exhibited at Clariant, Dyce and have also been invited to take a small exhibition to The Saltaire Festival, Bradford where we will be exhibiting at Vicars Cafe for 10 days from 13th September. For more information see website.
OIL & GLASS: ‘In Bloom’, new works by resident artist Hannah Beresford from 13 September until 1 October.

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Guest Blog: Get Vital Funding with International Twinning Grant

Laura Paterson, Twinning & International Partnerships Officer

Aberdeen City Council’s Twinning and International Partnerships team is encouraging individuals, groups and organisations to consider the International Twinning Grant as a means of additional funding for cultural activities. Administered from the Common Good Fund, the funding offers financial support to events and exchanges which unite Aberdeen with any of its five twin cities.

Following confirmation of a successful application, funding of up to £7,000 can be provided to those interested in taking part in a twinning project. Several organisations from the city have benefitted from the funding, including Aberdeen International Youth Festival and Peacock Visual Arts.

The International Twinning Grant can provide additional support to a variety of activities, from collaborative projects to exchange visits. Aberdeen has built strong relationships with its five twin cities, and project grants continue to strengthen these links by providing vital financial assistance for a range of interesting and exciting twinning activities

Applications for the International Twinning Grant can be submitted throughout the year.

For more information contact Laura Paterson on or visit the website.


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We are delighted to announce the dates for the next three AB+ events which build on the success of our ‘Cultural Conversation’ series. In order to ‘increase the volume’ of cultural activity in the North East we want to put on events that will put our members in contact with as many relevant people as possible. So first things first, the dates are as follows:

TUESDAY 1 JULY 2014: Who, What, Where, Why, When, ACT Aberdeen, 7pm to 9pm.
This event will give members the opportunity to pitch their project to fellow AB+ members. All you need to do is have a new idea or project that you can talk about for 3-5 minutes and then its up to you how you continue the conversation with the audience. Are you looking for project partners, a venue, advice on getting your event or work noticed in the North East or maybe you are a new member and just want to introduce yourself in an informal and friendly atmosphere. The floor is yours – if you fancy making a short presentation please do let us know as soon as possible – just send an e-mail to and we will be in touch with all the relevant details.

THURSDAY 25 SEPTEMBER: Networking with the Networks. Evening event at location to be confirmed.
There are so many local and national networks in business, arts and other sectors where do you start when time is limited? This event will take the form of a network fair with invited speakers and networking opportunities to allow members to explore the values of existing networks.

THURSDAY 20 NOVEMBER: Finding the Funds. Time and location to be confirmed.
We know that finding and securing funding is an on-going issue that needs on-going input and creative thinking. We will invite a national funder to open the debate on finding the right funds for your project or organisation. We will also look at opportunities for business development, European Funding and partnerships with other sectors.

Our events are currently free thanks to continued support from Aberdeen City Council’s Cultural Fund. New members are always welcome so please do pass this information on to anyone who is working in the cultural scene in the North East. The last round of Cultural Conversations attracted over 250 members, there’s plenty of room for more.

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Come and see Aberdeen’s ‘Culture Show’ this Thursday

Our next free Cultural Conversation takes place this Thursday 16 January 2014 at ACT Aberdeen and we have a wide range of presenters including Oil and Glass Gallery and Workshop, Jazz Scotland and SHMU FM ready to share their ‘cultural wares’.

We had to reschedule this event from 5 December due to the weather but the good news is that now even more people can come along.

AB+ is organising these free events, with support from BP and Aberdeen City Council’s Cultural Fund, to stimulate debate and discussion around some of the key issues affecting culture in the Aberdeen area. 

Want to come along and join in some cultural ‘speed dating’? Simply come along to the café bar at ACT Aberdeen (on King St) at 6.30pm this Thursday for a 7pm start – do send us an e-mail to if you have time so we can make sure you are on our mailing list for future events (and to make sure we have enough complimentary drinks and snacks available).

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Know Your Place, Cultural Conversation, Monday 4 November, 7pm

A number of people have already signed up to attend our first ‘Cultural Conversation’ on Monday 4 November but there are still spaces available for this free event and we wanted to make sure the invitation is spread far and wide.

AB+ is organising these events to stimulate debate and discussion around some of the key issues affecting culture in the Aberdeen area so if you want to get involved get in touch.

Event Details

Date: Monday, November 4

Time: 6.30pm for 7pm start -8.30pm (drinks and snacks will be served after the debate).

Venue: Queens Cross Church, Albyn Place, AB10 1YN, Aberdeen.

Who Can Attend? Anyone who is interested in cultural activity in Aberdeen City and Shire.  This event is free thanks to support from BP and Aberdeen City Council’s Cultural Fund.

RSVP + Questions

Please RSVP and send your questions for the panel to as soon as possible.

This ‘Question Time’ style event will be chaired by Jane Spiers, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Performing Arts.  The panel has been chosen to reflect the diverse nature of the organisations and industries that must work together in order to create a better ‘place’ for Aberdeen and its citizens and includes; Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Robert Gordon University and Barney Crockett, Labour Leader.

Event Format and Purpose

‘Know your Place’ will be a wide ranging debate pinned to the topic of ‘Place-making’.   It’s about encouraging debate around the city’s current cultural vision and looking at what can be done to increase and intensify Aberdeen’s cultural output and appeal.  It’s also about looking at how other cities have addressed cultural perceptions and to find out what’s unique about Aberdeen as a ‘Place’ and how that can be applied to future policy and activity.

We hope you can join in the debate – please do submit questions for the panel in advance and join in discussion on the night.  Alternatively, if you are unable to attend we are happy to table a question on your behalf and report back.

Yours sincerely

Stewart Aitken, Chair, AB+

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AB+ AGM news & nomination form

The meeting will take place at Arts Centre & Theatre, Aberdeen on Thursday 23rd May from 6pm – 8pm with registration from 5.40pm.

During the event there will be a time of formal business, some presentations about AB+ and from invited speakers as well as a time for networking and refreshments. As part of the formal element of the programme I will be talking about some of the future plans for the organisation especially about how we are working with the 2017 UK City of Culture Bid team and also about a series of events we will be running from the autumn called “cultural conversations” where we want to look at some of the most important topics facing the sector. There will be an opportunity to give some input into the planning of these events during the networking sections.

Also during the A.G.M business we will be electing the board of AB+ for 2013/14. Any member can stand for the board and also for one of the office bearer roles. The board has a maximum number of 12 members and at the moment meets about every six weeks as well as some smaller project group meetings such as planning for the cultural conversations events.

We would welcome nominations to the board as a general member or as an officer (Chair, secretary or treasurer) as we are very keen that the organisation truly represents the breadth of the membership and has a cross section of cultural organisations, individuals and other interested parties represented.

If you would like to nominate yourself for the board can you please download & fill in this form or send the information in an email to our address – by Tuesday 21st May at 5pm. If you have any questions about joining the board or the organisation then please email and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

As well as the formal elements of the event we will be having some presentations from artists and speakers as well as opportunities to ask questions during the main event and the networking time.

We are also keen for people to use the occasion to promote their work so please bring leaflets, pictures and examples of work, as you wish and we will have some tables available in the café area for these to be displayed.

The A.G.M is also open to people who are not yet members of AB+ but are interested in the promotion and raising the profile of the creative and cultural industries in the North-east of Scotland.  People are welcome from all parts of the community and the membership is not just limited to artists or people working in the industry. Please encourage people to attend and there will be an opportunity for them to sign up on the night. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions please get in touch through the email Aberdeen.positive@gmail.comor our online site Please join, participate and share to help make AB+ a strong collective voice of the cultural sector in Aberdeen and the North-east.

Yours sincerely

Stewart Aitken Chair, AB+

AB+ Spring 2013 news

AB+ is very much alive and kicking . It is now a constitutionalised body with charity status and has recently been awarded an ACC cultural support grant which will help to progress the vision and mission of the organisation. Membership of the group is open to anyone interested in the cultural picture in the city and shire. We are in due process of planning an AGM & social networking night with inspiring guest speakers.

Please keep 6pm to 8pm 23rd of May free

Big Lottery proposals & ACVO

Frank Doran MP mentioned at the AB+ information and networking night the opportunity for more Aberdeen organisations to submit proposals to the Big Lottery and other funders and the need for expertise to be invested in the preparation of those proposals.

As highlighted to Frank, the unit that Alison Chandler leads at ACVO is funded by the Scottish Government to provide a comprehensive funding and business planning support services to all third sector organisations – charities, community groups, social enterprises, voluntary organisations – working or based in Aberdeen and this includes support with Lottery and other applications.

Please visit and explore what we have to offer or to contact me on 01224 686051 or

Constitution News (July 26th)

We’re pleased to announce that we have ACVO‘s Sandy Mathers helping us to create & shape our constitution. There are several options being discussed & considered in order to create the best possible platform for AB+ to function as an organisation to support the Creative Sectors in the North East of Scotland.

The content is based on the findings from the January 2012 conference – with extra information from the 2nd AB+ survey + consultation events, the most recent being July 24th with an initial invited group.

We will be running more workshops / discussions in order to help shape the constitution, so if you would like to be part of that discussion, please do email us : or just take 5 minutes to send us your thoughts via the survey :

We would like to hear from as many cultural providers & consumers as possible, so please do share this link. Lets all make AB+ the best it can be, for everyone involved in the Creative Sectors in the North East of Scotland.

AB+ (Aberdeen Positive)