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Report on the traditional arts

Young Scots seeking to improve their skills in traditional music or dance may get the opportunity to be mentored by a master exponent of the art.

That is one of the recommendations of the Traditional Arts Working Group report, published today (Sunday), that explores the cultural legacy of Scotland's past as reflected in traditional art forms.

A wide range of Scotland's traditional arts were represented on the working group, including song, dance, music, storytelling, poetry and drama. The report's recommendations to help preserve Scotland's traditional arts have been welcomed by Culture Minister, Fiona Hyslop.

Presenting the BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year award on Sunday, in Glasgow's City Halls, Ms Hyslop said:

"Traditional arts play a unique role in Scotland's culture, heritage, economy, education and community life. This report brings together many achievable ideas that could help to ensure the continuity of these unique skills and traditions through generations of Scots to come.

"The idea that key individuals might pass on their skills and expertise to a younger generation via some kind of mentoring scheme is particularly attractive. I have asked the Scottish Arts Council and Creative Scotland to look at how this might work in practice and to make recommendations.

"The report also recognises that traditional arts make a significant contribution to Scotland's economy; I have already asked for an assessment of that contribution to be carried out.

"I would like to thank David Francis and the rest of the group for this thoughtful and practical report. I intend to respond fully in June, once the feasibility of its recommendations has been further explored with other public sector agencies."

David Francis, convener of the Working Group, said:

"The process of putting together the report for the minister has been really useful in giving us a snapshot of the traditional arts community's key concerns at this stage in its development. We found, by and large, a confident community in good heart.

"We hope that the recommendations in the report, if taken on board by the relevant authorities, and the traditional arts community itself, will help to increase the recognition of the importance of the traditional arts and help to build the esteem in which this important part of our culture should be held."

The Traditional Arts Working Group was formed in February 2009 to make recommendations to Ministers on how the traditional arts should be supported and their future secured:

The membership of the Group was David Francis, Fiona Dalgetty, Stuart Eydmann, Mary-Ann Kennedy, Ruth Kirkpatrick and Mats Melin.

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