Formed in 2014, Newton Stewart Traditional Music Festival Association achieved charity status under the new name of Trad Music Trust in August 2018. The aim of the charity is to encourage, develop, support and promote traditional music, dance and language tuition, composition and performance in the Wigtownshire region of Dumfries & Galloway in South West Scotland.
The charity organises and runs the Newton Stewart & Minnigaff Traditional Music & Dance Festival which will be celebrating its 6th annual event over the 12th-14th July 2019.
Self-funded back in 2014, the festival has grown from strength to strength over the years and is now acknowledged as being one of Dumfries & Galloway's major annual events which, according to analysis by Dumfries & Galloway Council, had an economic impact of £130,320 in Dumfries & Galloway in 2018. The event was also nominated for a D&G Life Award, in the Tourism Champion category, rounding off an outstanding year for the organisation and for the region.
The charity is managed and run by a dedicated and committed Board of Trustees, Project Co-ordinator, Dance Co-ordinator and wonderful team of volunteers - parents, friends, family, the community, local businesses and organisations - who have all worked incredibly hard, since 2014, to create, develop and support the events and activities the organisation undertakes.
The organisation hopes to build on the outstanding success of the annual festival event and deliver a year-round programme of traditional music, dance, language and arts performances, tuition and exhibitions based in a new arts centre in the former Royal Bank of Scotland building on Victoria Street in Newton Stewart which was vacated by the bank in 2017 and which has remained empty since - yet another empty premises on the main street.
The overall aim of the new arts centre, as well as being a dedicated (much needed!) operational base for the organisation and the festival, is to support new events, activities and projects that will increase the charity's earned income to a level that covers the centre's running costs and the on-going delivery, and development, of the annual music and dance festival.
We want to become an entirely self-sustaining organisation; reducing reliance on grant support and, as a result, ensuring the long-term success and survival of the charity's projects.
The arts centre will deliver 1-to-1 and groupwork tuition for both adults and young people initially covering Guitar, Flute, Whistle, Fiddle, Singing and Bouzouki.
The venue will also host regular live music, dance and language performances, welcoming some of the very best musicians, performers and artists to the region to both entertain and teach local audiences.
The centre will also be available for hire, providing local groups, clubs, organisations, businesses and individuals with a first-class venue for their own events, activities, parties and special occasions.
We are looking for financial support to contribute to the costs of the initial internal renovations in the building which include fully accessible toilet facilities, a professional raised performance area, PA system, musical instruments and lighting.
Your generosity is hugely appreciated and it will ensure that this important, valuable, project is delivered to the highest possible standard, supporting traditional music, dance and language delivery in Wigtownshire and celebrating and championing the wonderful arts culture and heritage of Galloway and Scotland.