Shetland Arts

Our plan for a creative future (download the pdf)

“Our aim is that in 5–10 years, Shetland Arts will have a high performing endowment of IP that will feed income back into our venues and arts development programmes. It’s an ambitious plan, one that involves maximum exploitation of our IP assets by building on our greatest assets: Shetland as a place, Mareel as a venue and above all Shetland Arts as a social enterprise with creative practice at its core”.

Shetland Arts is the lead arts agency in Shetland (view Google Map of our central office location).

We’re here to support creative people. We believe that creativity is an important part of everybody’s life, no matter who you are, where you live or what you do.

We believe that art can change lives. What’s more, we all have stories to tell about what art has given us. Our challenge is to enable and empower our communities, groups and individuals to fulfil their creative potential.

Shetland has huge pride in its culture and creative traditions. Aspects of Shetland’s creative activity, such as textiles and music have, for many years, enjoyed an international profile. Increasingly, Shetland artists of all kinds are receiving the recognition they deserve in a global marketplace.

Shetland has an international brand that sets it apart from many other communities whether they exist on islands, in towns or cities. The value of this identity cannot be underestimated: it is a gift that we need to nurture and support. It is vital to Shetland’s future. We believe that aspiration, innovation and ambition fuel creative places. These values support a creative landscape: places and spaces where people can feel safe to experiment, make mistakes and break new ground. We want creative people in Shetland to feel supported; to feel they can try out new ideas.

Who we are: Shetland Arts was founded in 2006. It brought together the work of two organisations whose collective histories provide Shetland Arts with a local, national and international reputation for arts development and delivery, built over 20 years of work and innovation.

What we see: Shetland celebrated as a place where inspiration and innovation are valued; where people want to live, work and study; where individual creative opportunity is available to all; where each achieves their full creative potential; where personal development improves life circumstances, styles and choices; the full social and economic potential of the islands is achieved.

Shetland Arts today runs the Garrison Theatre in Lerwick, Bonhoga Gallery in Weisdale Mill and promotes a year round programme of music, craft, theatre, literature, visual arts, dance and film events. We also own and operate Mareel, the UK’s most northerly music, cinema and creative industries centre.

Shetland Arts Consultancy: We are a creative social enterprise with a team of highly skilled practising arts professionals. The consultancy service we offer never consists of more than 30% of the work that we do, so our staff bring up-to-date and actual experience to any job, with the fees you pay going straight back into supporting arts development in Shetland. For a guide on our fees and more information please take a look at our Rate Card.

Shetland Arts is governed by a Board of Trustees.

Shetland Arts is core funded by Creative Scotland and Shetland Charitable Trust. Shetland Arts Development Agency is a registered charity (sco37082) and VAT registered (671 2655 32).

Where we are: Shetland Arts is based in Lerwick, in Scotland’s Shetland Islands, a group of over 100 islands, the most northern land mass of Britain with the North Sea to the east, Atlantic Ocean to the west, 600 miles north of London. Find out more about Shetland at and

Donations: To make online tax efficient donations to Shetland Arts please go to The Big Give.

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