The multi-award-winning singer Julie Fowlis is among six professional mentors giving free advice to young artists under a new project to prevent a talent drain during the pandemic.
Highlands Youth Arts Hub, a consortium of arts organisations led by Fèis Rois, aims to counter the strain put on the arts world by Covid-19 and fears emerging artists will be deterred from a promising career.
The Creative in Your Community fund will provide £1,000 grants to 16-25 year olds, who live in or originally from the Highlands, to maintain and develop their creativity in dance, theatre, digital art, film, literature, music and visual art.
The fund is now open for applications at hyah.co.uk, with a deadline of July 24.
Filmmaker Thomas Hogben, choreographer Robbie Synge, award-winning visual artist Joanne B Kaar, theatre artist and director Jenna Watt and Highland writer, Anne MacLeod will also provide mentoring.
Julie Fowlis said: “This is a great opportunity for young artists to receive both financial and mentoring support to develop a project of their own.
“We are experiencing tough times within our sector and this feels like a very positive and forward-thinking scheme, which hopefully will support and inspire the amazing talent that exists in the Highlands.”
Robbie Synge added: “This is the sort of exciting opportunity I would love to have discovered when I first started out in the arts.
“I believe there is huge potential in artists working closely and inclusively with local communities to create encounters and gestures that invite positive reflection and action around almost any topic.”
Applicants must be in their final year at school and considering studying their chosen art form in the future, currently in further or higher education in an arts or creative industries discipline, or have recently graduated.
They are asked to devise a project, involving at least one art form, which engages with their community, collaborates with a professional mentor and explores some of the challenges faced in Highland communities or around the world today.
Fiona Dalgetty, chief executive, Fèis Rois, said: “The current global pandemic has really hit the arts and cultural sector hard.
“We have such a rich arts community here in the Highlands and it is under threat at the moment.
“We cannot risk losing the next generation of talented artists.”
The fund is supported by Creative Scotland and other organisations including Fèis Rois, Moniack Mhor, Eden Court, Highland Print Studio, Fèisean nan Gàidheal, Lyth Arts Centre, North Lands Creative, Youth Highland and High Life Highland.