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Shetland Arts’ Creative Connections is a marathon, seven-day and night festival, celebrating the contemporary creative culture of Shetland, incorporating four summer schools, cultural and creative visits across the islands, showcase concerts and dances, a specially curated exhibition and an artist residency.  This event is part of Scotland's Year of Homecoming and takes place throughout Shetland between 3 - 9 August.

Now into its sixth year, Fiddle Frenzy is Shetland’s renowned fiddle school using top exponents of their craft to teach tunes and techniques drawn from the unique island traditions as heard world wide by our contemporary performers. In addition to the daily workshops held throughout the week in Lerwick, Whalsay and Fetlar, Fiddle Frenzy provides seven days of concerts in Lerwick’s Garrison Theatre, at the Clickimin Centre, in the village of Voe and on the island of Fetlar. This year’s showcase concerts include performances by Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham, Fiddlers Bid, Bryan Gear and Violet Tulloch, Fullscelidh Spelemannslag, Kevin Henderson, the Heritage Fiddlers and many more.

For 2009 there have been additions made to the week long summer school event.  ‘Art Craft Experience’ is based on Shetland’s well known textile culture, grown from our knitting techniques and continuous creative development. During the workshops the tutors will teach basic Shetland knitted structures and their contemporary application for creative textiles.  Afternoon visits will take students to the studios of some of Shetland’s visual artists, craft makers and applied artists, to see their work and share in their experiences of working as an artist in Shetland. Students will visit the Bonhoga Gallery for the ‘Diaspora’ exhibition featuring four Shetland artists who have chosen to live outwith Shetland, and four artists who have made their home in the islands.  An artist in residence with family connections in Shetland, Hazel White, will spend a month at The Booth, an artist living/working space in Scalloway.  She will take part in some of the workshops while developing a project around her work in digital jewellery.

‘Makkin’ Wi Wirds’ is the title of the writing workshops with T.S. Eliot Prize winner, Jen Hadfield, exploring ideas of place through praise poem, myth and music. Shetland has a well respected literature scene, and these workshops will give students the encouragement to realise their ideas and visit some of the dramatic sites that have inspired some very high profile writers, from Robert Louis Stevenson to Will Self. Students will have an opportunity to share their compositions by stepping up to the ‘open mike’ at Creative Connection Club nights.

Another integral part of Creative Connections is ‘Shetland’s Storytelling Festival’, our top storytellers accompany the afternoon cultural trips and provide an insight into the folklore of the islands and the contemporary yarning that still flourishes in day to day Shetland life, act as hosts for the concerts and the festival club and provide that invaluable insight to Shetland past and present.

Clickimin Comedy is a stand up comedy event on Friday 7th at the Clickimin Centre, Lerwick, featuring visiting comedians Michael Redmond, Steven Dick and Eilidh MacAskill together with local comedian Les Sinclair and compère Sandy Nelson. The event is part of Shetland Arts comedy development programme which has so far included events such as Stand Up At Sound and Stand Up Helly Aa.

Creative Connections ‘Festival Club’ at the Garrison Theatre, provides a chance, each evening after the concerts, for all students and visitors to mix and enjoy traditional music and storytelling sessions until the early hours.

Bookings can be make from Shetland Box office 01595 745555 or in person from Islesburgh Community Centre, King Harald Street, Lerwick.

Contact us for more information on Creative Connections.

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