Tag Archives: culture

AB + Weekly Round up

Art Exhibition coming to Fraserburgh

The opening of Breathless Breastless Project, breast cancer awareness art exhibition is coming to Fraserburgh this month. The exhibition, which has previously shown at 17 Aberdeen, ACT Aberdeen and at the Saltaire Arts Festival Bradford, will open at The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses, Fraserburgh on Tuesday 31st March 7pm, where it will be open to visitors for one month. This is a fantastic moving exhibition not to be missed.
The exhibition is being shown as part of The Moonlight Prowls 10th anniversary celebrations.

For More information please see


Music Industry Workshop Day

APA Creative Music Industries Programme present a Music Industry Day at The Lemon Tree on Saturday 21st March 2015 for young people ages 14-25 who have an interest in the Music Industry.

From 12pm – 4.30pm there will be be music industry professionals from around Scotland promoting their work and talking to young people about their own music and how they can promote themselves as an artist. sessions for our visiting professionals. In the evening, the day will be completed with a performance at The Lemon Tree between 6pm and 9pm from local musicians. If you’re between the ages of 14 and 25 and have a strong interest in getting involved in the Music Industry as a performer or behind the scenes then this event is for you. Information on song-writing, touring, and releasing your own music will be readily available on the day.

Workshops include-
12pm – 1pm: Music Production | North East of Scotland College: An overview, demonstration, and a chance to try, of some of the topics relating to Music Production.
1.30pm – 2.30pm: Hip-Hop/Rap | shmu: Bang On (Elliot Egerton) will be leading this session centred around the rap music industry and his experience of it.
3pm – 4pm: Music Journalism: 57 Degrees North lead a workshop on music journalism, including a look at the current state of the industry, and advice on techniques such as interviewing artists and reviewing
4pm – 4.30pm: Q&A: Breaking Into the Industry. The panel will be made up of a selection of industry professionals

Workshop numbers are limited so please contact creativelearning@aberdeenperformingarts.com if you require more information and to book your place

Fantastic offers available with Aberdeen Festivals-
Aberdeen Festivals
As part of the launch of festival season Aberdeen Festival has some great deals, which include 2-1 tickets to any of the festival, discount on restaurants and even accommodation. Fabulous if you are planning ahead for events this year (or would make a fabulous gift for someone)

With an array of fantastic festivals to choose from there really is something for everyone. You have to be quick as this offer is subject to availability and early booking is advised.

To see the current deals please see:


Thank you once again!

Our Culture in the North East: Life after the Referendum event yesterday was another fantastic success. With tough and insightful issues discussed. A big thank you to all of our attendees and a special thanks to the panel for taking part. Check out our Twitter feed @ABpoz to catch up if you missed it. We had a lot of live tweeting!

Keep your eyes peeled for our up and coming events and if your not already sign up to our mailing list so you don’t miss out on any announcements.

If you would like any cultural events featured in our weekly roundups please get in touch. We love to hear from you.

Have a great week

The AB+ Team

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AB+ Weekly Round Up

5th of March AB+ Event-

Culture in the North East: Life after the Referendum?

How is it March already! Our next jam-packed event has come around fast and will take place Thursday March 5th over lunch at Café Zeste, The University of Aberdeen. THIS IS NOW FULLY BOOKED BUT DO E-MAIL IF YOU WANT TO BE ON RESERVE LIST!

This one is a bit different with a ‘Newsnight’ style panel debate with AB+ members invited to submit questions for the panel via the Chair. Our Chair will be Fiona Stalker, radio and TV presenter and she will be joined by;
 – Janet Archer, CEO of Creative Scotland
- Cllr Marie Boulton, Depute Leader & Spokesperson for Culture, Aberdeen City Council
- Mark Fisher, theatre critic, editor and freelance journalist
- Professor Chris O’Neil, Head of School, Gray’s School of Art, Robert Gordon University.

Date: Thursday 5 March 2015
Timings: 12pm registration for a 12.30pm start. Debate will be followed by a light networking lunch.
End time: Approximately 2.30pm
Venue: Café Zeste, (within Crombie Hall, just off the High Street), King’s Campus, Aberdeen, AB24 3DS

Please get in touch with us with your questions!

This event has limited spaces available; please RSVP to Aberdeen.positive@gmail.com or @abpoz a.s.a.p to reserve your place.

Sustaining Life as a Creative Programme

The programme will support individuals through explorative and collaborative group sessions with experienced artists who will offer inspiration and practical advice to those looking to professionalise their existing practice and to pursue or sustain a creative life. 

The 6 day professional development programme will involve learning from experienced lead artists, Chris Biddlecombe, Gabrielle Reith Thomson and Aubin Stewart, who will, share real life experiences of how they have sustained and developed their different creative practices. Individuals on the course will map out and reflect on their own journeys to date, discover where they want to go next and explore the different routes they could take to get there. Practical support as well as useful tools and contacts will be given to assist individuals or small groups to take their ideas and creative practice forward.

The programme will take place on Thursdays & Fridays (10am – 2pm): 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27 March 2015.

Spaces are fully funded by the Creative Learning Team at Aberdeen City Council. 

Those wishing to sign up to the programme must submit no more than 2 sheets of A4 outlining your:
• Contact details
• Current experience in the arts and your art form/s
• Aims for the future
• Why you would like to go on the programme including what you hope to gain from it

If you can make all 6 dates 10am-2pm
• You may also attach your CV.

Please send this no later than Tuesday 3 March via email to 

Fantastic Opportunity for Writers in the North East

The producers at Aberdeen Performing Arts are putting a call out for 7-10 minute excerpts of new writing from writers based in the North East of Scotland along the theme of Black Gold, Northern Lights and My Aberdeen.

Submission Deadlines:

Black Gold- Monday 30th March 

Northern Lights- Monday 8th June

My Aberdeen- Monday 21st September 

The submission must be a monologue or a 2-3 hander but other than that please be as creative as you like. This is your chance to let your writing take centre stage and show work that is exciting, engaging and unexpected. 

The selected excepts will be rehearsed and performed script in hand by a professional cast under direction as part of The Lemon Tree Scratch Nights event on Sunday 12th April 2015.

For more information or to submit your script please email emerging producer Helen Milne on helen.milne@aberdeenperformingarts.com

Artists WANTED-
Mark Making
Another reminder about Smart Consultants fantastic Art Project. On behalf of Macmillan Cancer Support, SMART invite you to apply to be part of ‘Mark Making’, an exhibition of contemporary art, to be held at SMART’s city centre exhibition venue at Union Square, off Market Street, in a loft style unit overlooking Aberdeen Harbour.

This is an open brief to all creative practitioners working across all art forms and there is space within the venue to exhibit large 3D and sculptural works. We also have eight display cases to showcase jewellery and smaller 3D works.

For more information on submissions please see


We hope you all have a great week and we look forward to seeing some of you at our event on Thursday

The AB+ Team

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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 ewinram@aberdeencity.gov.uk (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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‘Our Business with Business’ Thursday 6 February Event

Our next free ‘Cultural Conversation’ takes place on the evening of Thursday 6 February at Carmelite, Aberdeen.

This will be an outstanding opportunity to interact with leading figures from both the business and the arts and ask any questions you have on sponsorship and in kind partnerships. 

The event will be a mix of presentations and networking and includes free food and refreshments.
Please note that numbers for this event are limited so please RSVP to aberdeen.positive@gmail.com a.s.a.p. and by 6pm on Friday 31 January at the latest.

Please note that registration will be from 6pm, the event will commence at 6.45pm and run until 9pm. If you are attending the launch of the SPECTRA Aberdeen Festival of Light  why not make time to come along to this event afterwards?
Our presenters will be;

If you’ve not already received an e-mail invitation to this event then you must not be on our free member mailing list so please do send a quick e-mail to Aberdeen.positive@gmail.com

Also don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @ABPOZ and RT the event listing.

Yours sincerely Stewart Aitken, Chair, AB+

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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 Aberdeen.positive@gmail.com 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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Fancy some cultural ‘speed dating’ this Thursday evening?

Our next free ‘Cultural Conversation’ takes place on Thursday 5 December at ACT Aberdeen from 6.30pm.  Presenters include Quids In Theatre Company, Jazz Scotland, Grampian Hospitals Art Trust and SHMU FM.

Anyone already working in or with the cultural sector in Aberdeen City or Shire OR anyone who aspires to make links with colleagues in culture is welcome.

We will be gathering at the ACT Aberdeen Café Bar from 6.30pm for a 7pm start with a view to the event finishing around 9pm.  Short, sharp presentations will be followed networking with presenters and fellow AB+ members.  Free drinks and snacks will also be served.

These ‘Cultural Conversations’ are a great opportunity to work collectively to promote cultural activity in Aberdeen City and Shire and are free with thanks to support from BP and Aberdeen City Council’s Cultural Fund.

To register for this event and to join AB+ for free simply send an e-mail to aberdeen.positive@gmail.com


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Got more to say about Culture in and around Aberdeen?

Our next ‘Cultural Conversation’ takes place on Thursday 5 December @ACT Aberdeen from 6.30pm.   For a full report on our last ‘Know Your Place’ event see our website.

AB+ is organising these free events to stimulate debate and discussion around some of the key issues affecting culture in the Aberdeen area.  If you want to simply come and watch then let us know but we also have a few slots for presenters left so do get in touch if you would like to ‘pitch’ your ideas.

Who Is This Event For?
Anyone already working in or with the cultural sector in Aberdeen City or Shire OR anyone who aspires to make links with colleagues in culture.

What Will The Event Be Like?
An opportunity to engage in some cultural speed dating!  We will get things started with some presentations which will be short and sharp but provide plenty of food for thought.  There will then be an opportunity to meet with presenters in an informal ‘market place’ setting followed by the chance to catch up with other AB+ members and guests.  Free drinks and snacks will also be served.

Where and When?
We will be gathering at the ACT Aberdeen Café Bar on Thursday 5 December from 6.30pm for a 7pm start with a view to the event finishing around 9pm.

Why Should I Attend?
These ‘Cultural Conversations’ are a great opportunity to work collectively to promote cultural activity in Aberdeen City and Shire plus they are free with thanks to support from BP and Aberdeen City Council’s Cultural Fund.

How do I register?
Simply send an e-mail to aberdeen.positive@gmail.com as soon as possible – we’d like to know how many folks are coming so we can organise enough drinks but if you want to just turn up on the night you are most welcome.

How do I become a presenter?
Get in touch with Emma Jackson at Aberdeen.positive@gmail.com as soon as possible – there are a limited number of slots available.

What Else?
Don’t forget to tell your friends about AB+ by forwarding this message – our events are free and it is free to join.

Yours sincerely
Stewart Aitken, Chair, AB+

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Cultural Conversations Know Your Place Report

Know Your Place, QueenAB+ logo ’s Cross Church 4th November 2013 7pm

Billed as the first of six upcoming ‘Cultural conversations’, led by the city’s newest cultural driving force, AB+, the evening promised to be a lively night of debate where individuals from across the arts, cultural, political and business sectors talked about place making, under the title of ‘Know your place’.

This blog is an edited and distilled version of some of the key points of the evening and represents an overview of what took place and some of the questions and comments that were put forward on the night.

Chaired by Jane Spiers, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Performing Arts the event ran to a question time style format with questions from the floor.

The panel members for the evening were Professor Ferdinand Von Prodzynski, principal of RGU and author of a recent paper on an Aberdeen City Centre regeneration strategy, Catrin Jeans, a practising artist based at Deveron Arts in Huntly and Barney Crockett, Labour leader of Aberdeen City Council.

Jane opened proceedings by asking each panel member for their thoughts on the topic and what each panellists view was on Aberdeen as a ‘place’.  Barney responded that Aberdeen is unique in the UK with regards to its peoples ‘sense of place’ however this had completely changed with the advent of oil finds off the coast which in turn gave Aberdeen an even more exceptional outlook and has been responsible for a dramatic speed of change in the region both culturally and demographically.

Jane as chair noted that it sometimes feels like Aberdeen is more connected to the rest of the world than it is to the central belt, this comment being acknowledged by the audience with a swathe of knowing sighs.

Practising artist Catrin explained that in Huntly, where she is part of a series of community based projects looking at teasing out artistic ventures in partnership with the community, explained that the focus of using the town as the venue had opened up creative experiences in Huntly for many who would not normally engage in the arts, and gave artists and residents an unlimited canvas on which to develop arts and cultural projects and participation.

The first question of the evening put to the panel centred on heritage and history and the part this plays in establishing a sense of ‘place’.  It was suggested that we as a city don’t recognise and/or celebrate our heritage as much as we should.

Barney felt that we could be at the debate all night if started to go into the city’s fabulous history and acknowledged that yes, we could speak more about our historical and more recent achievements.

Catrin noted that at  Deveron they work within the history context and identity of town while professor Von Prodzynski spoke about history playing a hugely significant part in defining communities and, in turn, the city’s cultural output.

An audience member fielded a question to the panel about the great ‘Aberdeen culture myth’ and in particular the regions inability to support and nurture emerging artists or indeed established practitioners. The question was also asked about where are all the city art collectives, the graduates and the visual arts community are and is Aberdeen a good place to work and live for artists?

In response to this question Catrin stated that it was her understanding that Aberdeen doesn’t support its young artists.  There is no infrastructure for them, the rent for living space and studio space is too high.

Professor Von Prodzynski, as the principal for RGU, felt that the city had moved on and that Gray’s in particular had made a positive impact locally.  The professor referred to a recent study following on from the city centre regeneration work lead by RGU which found a much greater number of artists than suspected with the oil industry boosting artists in unexpected ways. One of the questions that came up here was around cultural confidence and the sector taking a look at everything that is taking place culturally and asking is all this work being celebrated? How do we tell people? Is it funded in a coherent way? Is this the problem we need to address and if so how?

During this discussion Barney made an interesting point by looking towards other cities and how Aberdeen is completely different from many other Scottish and UK cities.  In fact, he remarked, that after a recent visit to New York, he felt that model could come closest to Aberdeen in its financial make up with regards the arts as it is predominantly privately funded.  Barney shared that many UK cities are in a funding situation where they are supersaturated in public funding. He suggested that we need to get used to the fact that Aberdeen is a private sector place, little in common with other places and we need to work with that. Barney said that people aren’t used to supporting the arts here, we are in a very unusual situation and far more people work in the cultural sector in Aberdeen than in Dundee but they work as cultural workers in giant corporations.

Chair Jane Spiers suggested that the cultural sector, to some degree, needs to adjust its approach towards business and its support of the arts. She suggested that business doesn’t owe the arts a living; it’s not all about CSR and is a far more complex relationship.

An audience member fielded the next question to the panel asking what the role of business is. It was mooted that that the economic power of the oil and gas industry has resulted in a sense of disconnect with Aberdeen. Why are the artists going elsewhere?  There was a also a pre- submitted question around slowing down traffic in Aberdeen City centre which would allow people to take in more of what the city has to offer visually, instead of traffic dodging and noise pollution making up the mainstay of a person’s visit to the city centre.

An audience member from BP responded from the floor. He felt that the co- existence between the two entities should be constructive and would be interested to hear ways in which the relationship could be improved.

The member also commented that his overall feeling was that he would like Aberdeen to be known for excellence, pride and vision for the future.  Excellence in technology, pride in the arts and history, pride in forward thinking technology.  It was further noted that art and culture’s place is in excellence, culture plays into positioning the city globally, which positively impacts on everyone.

Questions continued the audience put another question to the panel, asking if we looked ahead what would the Aberdeen ‘brand’ look like in 10 years’ time? An example was given of the careful development over the last 20 years of Dundee’s brand.  The panel responded.

Catrin quoted Patrick Geddes when he said we should be looking to ‘Think globally, act locally’ and noted that the simplistic change of slowing down cars could make a huge difference.

Professor Ferdinand Von Prodzynski said that it was one of the themes of the analysis of cultural regeneration was how Aberdeen presents itself and wondered how the city allows people to connect with it in a different way.

Barney responded by commenting that whatever the brand were to look like it should be based in reality.

An audience member asked the panel’s view on a municipally controlled civil space. Do we need a civic space?

Ferdinand said that in his opinion civic space was absolutely vital and that Union Terrace is the place but it isn’t used as such. He felt that a blend of different civil spaces was realistic and that it’s about Identity more than just a geographical entity.

The final question from the audience was again around heritage and history and Aberdeen’s quarry and the part it could play in any future cultural activity in the city.  Almost all panel members were joined on their replies stating that this was indeed a striking area in the city and could play a part in lots of different future plans for the city.

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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 aberdeen.positive@gmail.com 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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