Meet Lisa Kowalski: Teenage Singer-Songwriter From Paisley

Here at the American-Scottish Foundation, we have a long history of supporting young and emerging musicians from Scotland, looking to promote news around them and showcase their talents here in the States! When we heard Lisa Kowalski‘s tracks, we immediately wanted to know more about this talented singer-songwriter – and this teenage artist is certainly is a force to be reckoned with!

At just seventeen, Lisa has already recorded four tracks for her debut LP. And as if that wasn’t impressive enough, last month Lisa won the over 16s category of the Live and Unsigned competition in Renfrewshire, backed by Paisley 2021 and Brick Lane Studios Paisley.  Lisa was also given a special mention at the Scottish Album of the Year Awards in Paisley last month, along with other esteemed Paisley artists like Gerry Rafferty and Paolo Nutini!

Lisa, who hails from Paisley, Scotland, began working towards her music career at just thirteen. She drew inspiration from another young singer, American artist Taylor Swift. Picking up an old guitar, Lisa taught herself Swift’s songs by ear. Soon she had learned Swift’s entire back catalogue. Armed with a guitar and a melodic voice, Lisa hit the main street of Paisley to entertain shoppers and passers-by.

Since those early days busking in Paisley, the young songstress has been busy writing her own music and performing at local bars, music festivals, conferences, and charity fundraisers. She has even serenaded thousands of sports fans during half time at Paisley’s soccer stadium and Ice Hockey arena.

Though Lisa was born and raised in Scotland, she has family in the US, and American influences are a big part of her music. In addition to her enduring idol, Taylor Swift, American artists who have inspired Lisa’s work include Halsey, Hunter Hayes, and Andy Grammer.

Lisa’s professional singing career took off about a year ago, when she was awarded a cultural grant from Paisley 2021, which offers financial support to artists to help showcase the creativity and talent of Paisley’s own. This EP includes the country-tinged track “Hearts of Gold,” which recounts her early experience singing in the street and the warmth and encouragement she received from her first audience, the people of Paisley.

At the American-Scottish Foundation, we are eager to hear what else Lisa has in store, and can’t wait until she hits the recording studio again. 2017 has already been a year full of musical milestones for young Lisa Kowalski, and the future is looking bright for this free spirit. We are looking forward to seeing her in New York soon!

Plans underway for the 20th Annual NY Tartan Day Parade – April 7th 2018.

Plans are already under way for the 20th Annual New York Tartan Day Parade which will be held on Saturday April 7th, 2018.  Leading up to Parade many events are being planned by all of us involved in the week.

Mark your calendars and plan to attend. Registration will open in September for those wishing to march in the Parade.  ASF Members and friends are invited to join our unit, marching with us up Sixth Avenue.

We are often asked WHY is the Parade in April? It is held the Saturday nearest to April 6th as that is the day now recognized as Tartan Day.

In 1998, following the efforts of The Scottish Coalition USA (of which ASF is a founding member),   Senate Resolution 155 (S. Res.155), proposed by US Senate Republican majority leader, Trent Lott, was passed unanimously. This was followed by companion bill House Resolution 41 which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on March 9, 2005 – and by Presidential Proclamation on April 4, 2008.

The ASF is so proud to be a founding member of the National Tartan Day New York Parade Committee - which comprises the St Andrews Society of the State of New York, The NY Caledonian Club, American-Scottish Foundation, Clan Campbell and Carnegie Hall.  Together NNYTD organizes the Parade and associated events of the week, as well as our own individual events.

New York Metro Pipe Band lead the ASF up
Sixth Avenue for the 19th Annual NY Tartan Day Parade
The American-Scottish Foundation “unit” prepare to march in the 2017 Parade- a thank you to all who joined us.    

ASF Spotlights leading Highland Games in the weeks ahead

Upcoming Highland Games : ASF Guide to some of the leading Highland Games and Festivals around NA in the coming weeks




EVENTS YOU MAY ENJOY from our friends and partners

The New York Musical Festival offers ASF Members & Friends special discounts as announce exciting and extensive program from July 10th – August 6th                         Sharp Theater,  42nd Street, NYC.

Now in its 13th year,  NYMF was created to provide a platform for new shows, new perspectives, bringing new blood to the musical theater canon.

 ASF begin by spotlighting two productions opening the Festival  for which we have special ASF Member & Friends Codes:

- 15% off performances of My Dear Watson, using the code ASF2017 at checkout. Max 4 tickets per order.  Box Office Link:

- 15% off the Opening Night of Dorian Gray on Wednesday July 12, using the code ASF2017 at checkout. Max 4 tickets per order.                Box Office Link:

Based upon the legendary friendship of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. Through the mystery, action, and cleverness woven throughout Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, MY DEAR WATSON a dramatic musical told from the perspective of Dr. Watson.

The shows playwright,  Jami-Leigh Bartschi, is also arranging a small token for ASF attendees – when booking it will ask

“How did you hear about this show,” choose “other” and put ASF in there – you will receive “a small token of our appreciation when they check in at the show“.

Jay Sharp Theater
416 W. 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 8:00 pm 
Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 1:00 pm
Friday, July 14, 2017 at 5:30 pm

 With found objects and big imaginations, an outcast troupe of players re-invents Oscar Wilde’s 1890 gothic tale of the young and mysterious Dorian Gray.

 Gray’s dashing looks are captured in a single portrait that allows him to remain young and untouched as he spirals into a lifestyle of dark secrets and dangerous indulgences. Featuring a haunting and romantic score, DORIAN GRAY begs the question: Do our sins define our true nature or are we damned by ignorance and mediocrity?

ASF catch up with World Peace Tartan Ambassador Craig Weir in New York.

TARTAN is one of the most recognizable cultural icons anywhere in the world. It is also a metaphor for interconnections, interdependence, equality and diversity. The World Peace Tartan was created to promote a global message of peace and can be used to illustrate humanity’s desire for a harmonious and sustainable future.

No automatic alt text available.The World Peace Tartan has become a great friend to the NYC Tartan Week, and many of us involved in the week. The Alexander Robertson School are one of the oldest schools in New York, have adopted the Peace Tartan as their official tartan in honor of their scottish roots – as have The Highland Divas

You can check out the World Peace Tartan and purchase items such as scarfs and broaches at

Image may contain: one or more people, people on stage, people dancing and indoorA leading Ambassador for the World Peace Tartan is one of Scotland’s leading pipers, Craig Weir, who in 2015 performed the world premiere of his tune “The Immigrant’s Lament” on Ellis Island. Watch this performance online at

His professionalism and talent were extraordinary and we were excited to find out he was part of a Celtic rock band back in Scotland, Gleadhraich

Gleadhraich (Scottish Gaelic meaning “noise”) were invited to play at several gigs during this year’s 2017 Tartan Week as well as marching in the Parade.Their performances at New York Caledonian Club Ceilidh and then at the Post Parade Party at BB. KIngs Blues Bar Club N.Y.C. “rocked the house”.

The response was fantastic -so much so we wanted to give you the opportunity to check them out online if you missed them or wanted to hear their music again.

The American-Scottish Foundation® is proud to also be an Ambassador for the World Peace Tartan.

Entertaining with the Countess of Carnarvon at Highclere Castle

At Home at Highclere Castle – Entertaining at THE REAL DOWNTON ABBEY’ by The Countess of Carnarvon

Highclere castle

Highclere Castle photos and all photo images by David Griffen©All Rights Reserved

The Countess of Carnarvon new book ‘At Home at Highclere – Entertaining At The Real Downton Abbey’ is now available on Amazon.

Full of historic anecdotes, and receipes including this wonderful Victoria Sponge receipe.

Be sure to check out Ellen Easton’s article  (ASF Members and Patron) Teatime at Highclere Castle- The Real Downton Abbey and enjoy more of Ellen Easton’s Tea Travels™ articles and recipes

 Highclere Castle Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 25 minutes, Total Cooking Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 10

Victorian Sponge Cake Apparently, as a child, Queen Victoria wasn’t allowed to eat sweet things very often, but during her reign the practice of taking afternoon tea was popularized and a little sweet something to sustain
the Queen and her guests in the late afternoon became de rigueur. Thus the Victoria sponge or Victoria sandwich cake was named and makes for a delicious addition to afternoon tea.


4 medium eggs, at room temperature
2 sticks softened unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
1 cup superfine sugar, (also known as caster sugar)
1 3/4 cups self-rising flour*
2 level teaspoons baking powder
4 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream (also known as double cream)
2/3 cup strawberry jam
Powdered Sugar for dusting

*You can substitute Bisquick baking mix. Self-rising flour is excellent to use for quick breads, biscuits and pancakes. To make your own self-rising flour use the following ratio mixture: 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt. Leftover Self-rising flour mix can be stored in an airtight container in cool, dark place for up to 1 year.


Preheat the oven to 350° degrees F

Grease and line the base of 2 × 20cm (8in) sandwich tins. Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter, sugar, flour and baking powder and mix everything together until well combined.
(The easiest way to do this is with a hand-held electric mixer or a stand mixer, but you can use a wooden spoon.) As soon as everything is blended together, stop mixing. The batter should easily fall off a

Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and gently smooth the surface of the batter. Place the tins on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Don’t open the oven door during the cooking time or the cakes will sink. The cakes are done when they are golden-brown and coming away from the edge of the tins and a knife inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool in their tins for 5 minutes before turning the cakes out onto a wire rack. Remove the lining paper.

Whisk the cream in a bowl until it forms soft peaks.

When the cakes are completely cool, spread one cake with lots of thick, delicious jam, then pipe (or spread) the whipped cream over the top. Sandwich the cakes together and finish by dusting the top of the cake with a little icing sugar. Serves: 10

Norwegian Airlines begin new services North East regional airports to Edinburgh

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Exciting news from Norwegian Airlines as they announce new routes into regional north east airports – flying directly into Edinburgh at greatly discounted rates.

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All of us at The American-Scottish Foundation® are looking forward to taking advantage of the new routes Norwegian Airlines have just opened up from the northeast USA to Ireland and into Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Ticket prices vary depending on when you are booking. We were just checking tickets later this summer and into September – they were as low as $99 each way – with many days quoting $195 each way

Stewart International Airport, Hudson Valley,
1 1/2 hrs from New York – Daily flights from 15 June

TF Green Airport (PVD), Rhode Island
4 times weekly flights from 16 July

Bradley International Airport (KBDL) Connecticut
3 times weekly flights from 17 June

BIG POINT TO NOTE: If you are flying INTO Stewart Int. Airport you do need to book a seat on the bus down to NYC Port Authority or you are looking at a taxi fare of over $200!!

Of course if you are staying in CT or Mid Hudson Valley this is very convenient.

Delta announces direct daily flights to Glasgow

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The American-Scottish Foundation® is so delighted to share the following news from VisitScotland and Glasgow Life, announcing the recent launch of Delta Airline’s new year-round direct service from New York City to Glasgow:

Extracts from the press announcement note:

… Scottish tourism is set for an American boost this summer with the launch of Delta Air Lines’ non-stop service between New York-JFK and Glasgow – which complements Delta’s existing daily seasonal service between New York-JFK and Edinburgh, launched last year.

All flights offer fully flat-bed seats in the Delta One cabin and complimentary on-demand, in-seat entertainment for every passenger on the aircraft.

Delta’s Scotland flights are operated in conjunction with joint venture partner, Virgin Atlantic.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Delta’s direct service between JFK and Glasgow is a fantastic endorsement of Scotland by one of the world’s biggest airlines and is a huge growth opportunity for Scottish tourism. This new service to Glasgow is well timed to exploit the increased interest in our culture and ancestral tourism among prospective visitors from across North America, where we saw an 18 per cent growth in 2016. This interest continues to grow thanks to a favourable exchange rate, initiatives such as our Spirit of Scotland campaign and Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology as well as the hugely popular television adaptation of Outlander.”

The United States is Scotland’s biggest international market.  Last year, the country welcomed 600,000 visitors from North America – an 18 per cent increase on 2015. These visitors spent £640 million – a 40 per cent increase on the previous year.

Delta’s Glasgow – New York-JFK seasonal service :

Flight number





Glasgow at 13:00

New York-JFK at 15:29



New York-JFK 23:23

Glasgow at 11:15

(next day)


In the Footsteps of John Muir: Bi-Coastal Opening

The American-Scottish Foundation is thrilled to once more have the opportunity to showcase the magnificent work of Scottish photographer Ken Paterson – both on the East and West Coast – as he takes you on a journey into John Muir’s world from Dunbar to Yosemite.

“In the Footsteps of John Muir” features Ken Paterson’s photos taken on the trails founded in honor of the “Father of the National Parks,” John Muir, one of America’s most important conservationists in American History.

Image via

The John Muir Way in Scotland winds its way 134 miles across Scotland’s heartland, running between the east and west coast. The route stretches from Muir’s birthplace, Dunbar through Falkirk, passing the famous Kelpies, to Helensburgh in the west.

 The John Muir Trail in America runs through the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California. The 210.4 mile trail has an elevation gain of around 47,000 feet, passing through Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks.

The John Muir exhibit returned to Federal Hall in NYC with new images on May 25, and it will be on display through July 25, 2017!

The exhibit is also on display at the John Muir National Historic Site, in the Muir-Strentzel House in Martinez, California through December 2017. Ken Parson will make an appearance there on June 10th, 2017, to speak about the journey and inspiration behind his photographs.

Find out more on the National Park Service Website, here.

The Barbour Scottie and Westie Tartan Dog Pack stars of the New York Tartan Day Parade.

The 19th Annual New York Tartan Day Parade took place in New York in April – and once again one of the most popular parts of the Parade was the Barbour Scottie and Westie Tartan Dog Pack.  A competition was held for the dogs that woud wear a Barbour Dog Coat.  Below is a report from Town and Country on the day AND most importantly on the Dogs!!

Image result for town and country logoThese Photos of Scottie Dogs Wearing Barbour Are the Cutest Thing You’ll See Today

Because sometimes you just want to look at puppies in vests.

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Over the weekend, thousands of people marched up Sixth Avenue in the 19th-annual Tartan Day Parade, the largest celebration of the Scottish-American heritage in the area. The scene included bagpipers, dancers, and bands, and appearances by celebrities such as grand marshall Tommy Flanagan, but the real stars of the event were the dogs.

Without further ado, we present the 2017 Tartan Dog Pack, a clan of Scotties and Westies decked out in puppy-sized versions of Barbour’s signature coats.

1That Face
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2A Barbour for Everyone
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 3Perfect Pairing
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 4So Handsome
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 5Plaid Looks Good on Everyone
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 6Everyone Say Doggy Biscuit
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7Yes, That’s a Tiny Tophat
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8 Leading the Way
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9Up the Avenue
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10Can You Even?
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