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Make:IT:Happen with AmbITion Scotland

StellarQuinesFreakworksMakeITHappenThis is Lesley Anne Rose, Creative Producer of Stellar Quines who, following their AmbITion Scotland experience have really made IT happen for their theatre company by grasping the opportunities afforded by digital technologies. The picture also shows Hamish Allison, Managing Director at Freakworks at the Freakworks Studios in Edinburgh with whom Stellar Quines are working (and also with DCA – Dundee Contemporary Arts) to create a 3D cinema package of their theatre piece, ANA. Read more below!

Other Scottish organisations can now Make:IT:Happen too, by applying for newly available Make:IT:Happen funding to AmbITion Scotland, which supports Scottish arts, culture, and heritage organisations to grasp the opportunities offered by digital technologies. AmbITion Scotland is investing over £400,000 of National Lottery funds provided by Creative Scotland in strategic digital development and Scotland’s arts, culture and heritage organisations are invited to apply for investment to capitalise on opportunities presented by digital technologies.

The Make:IT:Happen fund is part of the national digital development programme that Rudman Consulting has designed and delivers with Culture Sparks, AmbITion Scotland: and has been created to help organisations to grasp the opportunities presented by digital technologies in order to grow business capability, capacity, creativity and confidence in these areas. Make:IT:Happen funding offers support through four digital investment strands:

  • AmbITion Approach (up to £5,000) supports organisations during the early stages of their digital development by providing an external specialist to help them assess and develop a wide-reaching strategy for organisational change.
  • Digital Content Development (£500-£10,000) gives organisations the opportunity to enhance their digital development activity through the creation, or better use of digital content
  • Organisational Development (£500-£10,000) supports organisations to take advantage of digital technologies to grow their businesses, develop ideas and improve operational capacity.
  • Sustainable AmbITion (£500 – £5,000) supports organisations to be carbon-aware and improve their green credentials through funding new digital technologies or approaches.

Make:IT:Happen funding can be used to support a project in its entirety or to augment a bigger digital ambition. Funds are available to not for profit arts, culture and heritage groups and organisations with relatively little or no digital knowledge/experience as well as well as to those that have some competence with digital projects, but limited resources.

Hannah Rudman, Lead Consultant, AmbITion Scotland said: “The Make:IT:Happen funding strands have been specifically designed to support organisations adapt to the social, cultural, economic and environmental changes that the digital technology revolution is driving. Given the successes that have already been achieved through AmbITion Scotland’s work in this area with some of Scotland’s creative community, we’re looking forward to continuing an inspiring and rewarding digital journey.”

The Make:IT:Happen fund has evolved out of the work that AmbITion Scotland has undertaken since its inception on 2009.  During that time, the project has enabled many organisations, large and small, digitally sophisticated as well as digital newcomers, to develop their businesses through opportunities offered by digital technologies.

Julie Tait, Director, Culture Sparks said: “Our experience has been that it’s easily accessible and focussed support that allow fresh ideas in the digital world to take shape rapidly. The Make:IT:Happen fund is responsive and offers a unique opportunity for arts, culture and heritage organisations to test out their aspirations for creativity and growth and to meet the insatiable demand from the public to interact with them in this way.”

Lesley Anne Rose, Creative Producer, Stellar Quines said:  “It’s fair to say that a couple of years ago Stellar Quines was in the digital Dark Ages. Like many arts organisations we stumbled into our first AmbITion workshop wondering what all the digital fuss was about and what it had to do with live theatre. The workshop turned out to be a Eureka moment in the company’s history as we emerged with our heads spinning with a new found realisation of the potentials of a brave new digital worldWe are now moving towards becoming a virtual hub for all those interested in women and theatre; delivering a series of creative digital labs where the interface between live theatre and the possibilities emerging through the virtual and digital worlds can be tested and to train ourselves and those who work with us in new skills, new outlooks and new understandings.

The latest example of this is the company’s development of an experimental prototype – a 3D digitised version of their stage production, ANA – a first for Scottish theatre. With it they are researching whether 3D film can offer an artistic and commercially viable experience of live theatre. Collaborating with Glasgow’s Digital Design Studio, Edinburgh Napier University’s Institute for Creative Industries and Freakworks film production company, Stellar Quines has now created a prototype and following an initial test screening of extracts to an invited audience, Dundee Contemporary Arts is now working with Stellar Quines to create a Digital Cinema Package out of this prototype which will be screened at DCA and in Scotland’s mobile cinema (the Screen Machine)- both AmbITion Scotland assisted organisations.