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November 21, 2014 - by Noel Young

Duncan MacDonald, the woman who set up Scotland Week in America, retires after a lifetime linking both nations

DUNCAN MacDonald, who was responsible for bringing together the many organisation in America that support Scotland, has retired in her nineties.

Her Scottish legacy was strngthened when Duncan became executive director of Scottish Heritage USA and in 2012 Duncan received the Wallace Award for her work founding the Coalition.

Alan Bain, the current president of the American-Scottish Foundation and the Scottish Coalition, and himself one of the best-known American Scots, said: "She is a national treasure, no question. The amount of energy, interest and enthusiasm she puts into her work for Scotland is extraordinary."

THE woman known as the "first lady of Scotland in America" has stepped down from the Scottish Coalition , the organization she founded 18 years ago to bring together Scottish charities in the United States.

This week Miss Duncan MacDonald, now in her 90s, who remains executive vice president of the Caledonian Foundation - was reflecting on her packed career in media in the US and particularly her Scots connection.

Of all the things that has pleased her down the years she says: "What I am proud of is bringing together the Scottish Community in the US."

She has had an astonishing career in America from work as a TV producer in the late 40s to running a daily radio show in New York, to writing a column in Yankee magazine for 15 years. In all she has written 5000 articles.

Duncan - she took her grandfather's name because she didn't like her own name Dorothy - was born in Texas but her grandparents came from Forfarshire (as it was then known).

The Scottish connection really took off, however, when, rehearsing for a Broadway audition, she was told to 'get rid of that Texas accent'.

So she got a voice tutor - Hamish Cochrane (Scots as you will have guessed ) - and eventually met Bill McDonald of the New York St Andrews Society who talked a lot about Scotland as he tried to get guests on her radio show.

At one point Duncan was sent to Scotland to interview famous figures, including Sir Compton Mackenzie, author of Whisky Galore.

The trip sealed her love for Scotland: "I felt at home the moment I arrived," she says. Then back in the US, she became executive director of National Friends of Public Broadcasting. She travelled the country setting up friends groups.

"It was the experience of building groups around the US that gave me the idea for the Scottish Coalition.

"One day an executive in my office mentioned the American-Scottish Foundation and said the US-born president, Lady Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton could use some volunteer help. Would I be interested? So I took on that job.

"My time with Lady Hamilton was very interesting. Natalie was a person to whom no one answered No. When she decided to honour Scotland through the efforts of ASF, there were flags along Fifth Avenue from one end to the other.

"She wanted a number of celebrities to come over from Scotland for a conference, and she had planned a "day" of events.

"When I saw the long list , I said, 'Lady Hamilton, this is ridiculous. Why don't you invite your guests for a WEEK rather than just for one day?' And so that was decided. The press releases went out with the heading: SCOTLAND WEEK - NOVEMBER 10-17, 1974."



September 22, 2014

BBC World GMT: Scottish American Reaction Sept 19th, 2014



Alan Bain, Chairman of the American Scottish Foundation talks to BBC World live in Edinburgh after Scotland voted "no".

 




September 19, 2014

THE AMERICAN-SCOTTISH FOUNDATION
issues the following statement on Scotland's historic vote :

"Following a long and extensive democratic process, the Scottish people have spoken and have made known their wish to remain part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The American-Scottish Foundation looks forward to continuing to support Scotland in the coming months and years as a bridge between Scotland and America, and to serving the American Scottish community in the U.S.A through our active role in, and as a founding member of:

The National Tartan Day New York Committee
The Scottish North American Leadership Conference
The Scottish Coalition, USA

and through the many other events, programs and projects we organize."

 


September 19, 2014

Scottish-Americans mixed on keeping kingdom united

The American Scottish Foundation, based in New York, was careful not to take sides in an issue that had become passionate for some with ties to Scotland.

The "foundation looks forward to continuing to support Scotland in the coming months and years as a bridge between Scotland and America," Executive Director Camilla Hellman said in a statement...


Read the full article here...


September 18, 2014


Alan Bain was interviewed by Taiwanese TV about Scotland...

蘇格蘭獨立公投 在美蘇移民:太瘋狂

 


Ties to Scotland Bring Debate to U.S.

September 14, 2014 - by Scott Calvert

Question of Union With U.K. Stirs Talk of 'Braveheart,' American Independence; Soothing Pub Clients



Paul McGinlay stands in his store, WM Glen & Son, in San Francisco on Friday. He said he would party in a kilt if the independence side wins. Jason Henry for The Wall Street Journal


Though her ancestors left Scotland in the 12th century, Virginia resident Patricia Reynolds feels such strong kinship for the place that she has become a vocal supporter of Scottish independence.

"This is a nation going for self-determination, with the ability to use its natural resources to benefit its own people," said Ms. Reynolds, a University of Mary Washington assistant education professor. "If that isn't the American way, I don't know what is."

With Scotland set to vote Thursday on whether to end a 307-year-old union with the U.K., Scottish-Americans and Scottish expatriates across the U.S. also are watching—and debating—a campaign that polls suggest is too close to call.

In Scotland, the two sides in the referendum appealed for support Sunday. British Prime Minister David Cameron, who will speak in Scotland on Monday, is expected to make another plea to Scots to reject independence. "There's no going back from this. No re-run. If Scotland votes yes, the U.K. will split, and we will go our separate ways forever," he is expected to say, according to a transcript of excerpts from his speech.

A survey released late Saturday by ICM Research for the Telegraph newspaper put support for independence at 49% of those surveyed with 42% against. Two other surveys put support for the union at 47% in both, versus 43% or 41% and a survey by Panelbase for the Sunday Times also put the union camp slightly ahead.

Ms. Reynolds said she took up the cause after hearing Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond make his case in a speech five years ago. She has a pro-independence sticker on her car and helps administer a Facebook page devoted to the issue.

In Houston, Heather Smith Vacker, a Scottish-American teacher, said a yearning to separate from England has been passed down through the generations since her ancestors emigrated to the U.S. But Ms. Vacker, 50, said she isn't sure Scotland is prepared to be its own country.

About 5.4 million Americans report Scottish ancestry, 2012 U.S. Census estimates show, and 3.1 million identify as Scotch-Irish-Scots who came via Ireland. Census officials said people can check both categories.

While many Scottish-Americans may pay scant attention to the politics of an ancient homeland, one who closely follows events there is Rep. John Duncan Jr. , a Tennessee Republican who co-chairs the Friends of Scotland Caucus in the House.

"I'm very much pro-independence," he said. "If they follow free-market, small-government policies, they could become very, very prosperous and be a wonderful place."

The debate is roiling Scottish expatriates in the U.S. The referendum is too touchy to discuss with friends, said Alan Bain, the 78-year-old chairman of the New York-based American-Scottish Foundation, which is neutral. For most expats, he said, the passion is fueled by an emotional attachment and historical precedence.

But he has heard concerns ranging from a possible impact on pension values to the fate of the Union Jack, the U.K.'s national flag. "This is not a 'Braveheart' moment," said Mr. Bain, who moved to New York in 1961. "This is something that is very significant for a whole swath of people, not just Scots."

Matt Girvan, who grew up in Scotland and moved to the U.S. eight years ago, said he has spent the past year trying to convince his family to vote yes on his behalf. Nonresidents can't cast ballots.

"Our history of independence is too strong; we even managed to stay independent of the Roman Empire," said Mr. Girvan, a 35-year-old technology entrepreneur living in Truckee, Calif.
Paul McGinlay, vice president of a seller of Scottish whiskey and clothing who lives in Belmont, Calif., said with a laugh that if the independence side wins, "I'll put on a kilt and go partying with a few people."

Other expats say their homeland should remain with the U.K.

"A small country like Scotland is probably going to do better with uniting," said Eddie Morgan, an Atlanta resident who was born and raised in Scotland and holds dual British and American citizenship. The Emory University pharmacology professor, 59, is past president of the Burns Club of Atlanta, dedicated to promoting Scottish culture and the literature of Scottish poet Robert Burns.

The vote has divided his family, with he and his mother, who still lives in Scotland, supporting "no," and two siblings backing "yes." Mr. Morgan described himself as nationalistic but worries that a split could disturb Scotland's economy.

Alan Purves, who moved to the U.S. in 1979, said there are too many unanswered questions concerning sovereignty, such as what form of currency would be used. Independence backers want to keep the pound sterling and form a currency union with the U.K. Without one, an independent Scotland could use the pound unilaterally, create a new currency or join the euro. Also, he said, supporters cite Scotland's big oil reserves as a source of future revenues, but those are declining.

"If I could vote, I'd follow my head, not my heart," said Mr. Purves, 67, a retired corporate executive who lives in Pleasanton, Calif.

In Chicago, interest is so keen that the Duke of Perth, a pub with an extensive Scotch selection and a Robert the Bruce burger, plans to break its no-television rule so patrons can watch the election returns.

Co-owner Jack Crombie, who moved to the U.S. from Scotland 30 years ago, said that while he is in the "aye" camp, the pub is staying out of it.

"I don't want to alienate any of my customer base," Mr. Crombie said, merrily trilling his Rs.
In Canada, which has a large and influential Scots diaspora, more than 15% of the population claims Scottish heritage. Every province has its own official tartan.

In Pictou, Nova Scotia, the self-professed "Birthplace of New Scotland," Ann Emmett says talk of the referendum has been mainly limited to the British tourists who visit her hotel and bar, the Braeside Country Inn.

Kilt-maker Margaret Struth-Gaff says few Canadians have been talking about the referendum in her Ontario shop, Burnett's & Struth Scottish Regalia Ltd, which sells all-things tartan to Canadians.

Drinkers at the Loose Cannon Scottish Public House in Canada's eastern province of Nova Scotia were alive with discussion: on baseball and hockey.

Officially, Canada is in the "No" camp. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and John Baird, his Minister of Foreign Affairs, have both said they would like to see the U.K. stay together. But the lack of fervor among Scottish-Canadians may have something to do with the fact that the families of most have been in Canada since the 19th century, said Professor Robert Young, who follows secession debates around the world from Western University in London, Ontario.
"We haven't had many Scots come lately…so I don't think you will see as active an involvement in Scots life" as you may with ethnic groups who have arrived more recently, he said.

— Ana Campoy, Jim Carlton, Ben Kesling, Alistair MacDonald, Cameron McWhirter, and Melanie Grayce West contributed to this article.



New York Quartet play for Sick Children

July 31, 2014


New York quartet

An American string quartet yesterday took time out of their busy touring schedule to bring their music to youngsters in Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital (RACH).

The group, from the InterSchools Symphony Orchestra of New York, are currently performing in the Aberdeen International Youth Festival.

And Orli Morag,14, Julia Zhong,15, Amory Benjamin and Isaac Scheinfeld, both 16, had young patients, their families, and staff singing along during their lively recital in the children's ward.



Orli said the group were delighted to be able to perform at RACH – and were thoroughly enjoying their time in Scotland.

"We were so happy to be here, it was really fun and everyone got into it. I have been to the UK before and it never ceases to amaze me how wonderful everyone is here," she said.

"We are all in the same orchestra then Isaac and I decided it would be fun to make a quartet, and we have been one for five months.We have been enjoying the festival and the atmosphere.We saw a dance troupe from Israel and the Czech Republic, and the Chinese marching band."

Emily Findlay, from Orkney, was among the enthusiastic audience yesterday.

The 18-year-old is fighting neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer. She was first diagnosed with cancer when she was 14 but it returned in February after an 18-month period of remission.

She said it was lovely that the quartet had been able to find time to play at the hospital.

"It was great to get folk to come here and play. It is really nice to have something different. I think lots of the kids really enjoyed it," she said.

David Cunningham, chief executive of the ARCHIE Foundation, said the performance made a real difference to the children.

"We were delighted to welcome the quartet of young New York musicians to RACH, especially when they are so busy with the festival," he said.

"The ARCHIE Foundation has a long standing association with the American Scottish Foundation, who have helped us to bring this quartet to the hospital.

"It is a partnership which we very much value and we are extremely grateful to the young musicians for bringing their music to us, it has made a real difference to the day."

 


August 22, 2014 - by Katrina Tweedie

Letter from America: Family ties and fond memories of Scotland

Alan Bain, Chairman of the American Scottish Foundation, was born in London and lives in New York but his heart will always belong to Scotland.


Alan Bain, President of The Scottish Coalition

 

It is difficult to convey to those that have not found themselves outside of Scotland for an extended period how profound the feeling of distance and loss can be and how profound and deeply rooted the connection and sense of belonging to the Homeland is.

I have felt this personally but never as keenly as when flying into Edinburgh Airport many years ago for my Aunt Betty's 80th Birthday.

As I looked out of the window of a low flying propellor plane I felt a magnetic impulse arising out of the ground that reached into my seat in the aircraft and tugged at me.

It was the most extraordinary and unworldly sensation.

Yet I grew up in England, the son of Scottish parents.

While growing up I spent a good amount of time with my extended family that was dispersed around the Borders, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Fife.

I enjoyed them all. They were well travelled, interesting and, importantly, indulgent, especially my Aunt Mae, who developed my life long passion for white pudding, the first choice, black pudding and haggis.

Aunt Elizabeth, meanwhile, made sure that my cousins and I were indoctrinated into the finer points of Scottish History.


Alan Bain with his Paternal Grandfather outside
the Family home in Wormit, Fife

 

Throughout my life in America Aunt Betty would sending clippings of articles involving Scotland of which she thought I should be aware.

One I remember vividly was an article, complete with her annotations, on how the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC had been started with funding provided by Mr Smithson, a Scot after his offer of funding for a similar venue in Scotland had been turned down.

My father, too, made sure I was acquainted with Scotland's history. I remember climbing to the top of Ben Nevis, going to places where the Covenanters had met, seeing the Soldiers leap at Killiecrankie and being transfixed by the salmon jump at Pitlochrie while learning of that species migratory journey.

I had the good fortune to meet my late wife Linda, who claimed Macfarlane blood, at a school dance held at St Margaret's, a girls' school in the same area as The Gunnery, a New England boys Preparatory School to which I had been sent as exchange student for one year. The Gunnery had been established in 1850 by Mr Gunn, of Scottish descent.

Linda and I got engaged during a Highland tour with the family.

Little did she know that this would be a precursor to a lengthy involvement with Scotland but she supported my involvement in the Foundation and a family investment in the revival of The Carloway Harris Tweed Mill.


Alan Bain with the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton with Calum Bannerman


After completing National Service in the British Army, three years as an undergraduate at Cambridge and been called to the English Bar as a member of the Inner Temple, I left the UK for a three-year law degree program at Columbia University Law School in New York City.

On arrival in the City I joined clubs with which I thought I would have a natural affinity including the St Andrews Society, the St George's Society and the American-Scottish Foundation (ASF).

ASF was the one that I enjoyed the most because of its lively social program, particularly its Annual Scottish Ball and the Wallace Award event. The latter recognizes Scots and American Scots who have made a significant contribution to American Scottish relations.

Most of all I was struck by its Mission to serve as a bridge between the USA and Scotland. In 1993 ASF's Board asked if I would be prepared to assume the presidency of the Foundation.

After more than 20 years running the Foundation I have learnt that the strength of connection and belonging is a universality, even among those separated from Scotland by many generations. I liken it to the impulse that draws the salmon back to spawn in the same place.



New York celebrates Scottish culture with Tartan Week

May 13, 2014 - A video by the British Consulate New York




May 26, 2014 - by Noel Young

Business profile: Meet the Scot who has helped bolster Scottish-American friendship over the past 20 years

President of The Scottish Coalition, Alan Bain, has built the relationship between universities, industrialists, pipe bands and those who want to connect with America.


Alan Bain, President of The Scottish Coalition


Alan Bain is the London-born Scot who many believe has done more to bolster Scottish-American friendship than any other over the past 20 years.

As President of The Scottish Coalition, an organisation embracing six Scotland focused organisations in the US, and Chairman of The American-Scottish Foundation (ASF), he has helped build the relationship between universities, industrialists, pipe bands and all sorts of people who want to connect with America and visa versa.

In 2002, under his leadership the ASF was the founding member of the National Tartan New York Committee, which initiated the annual New York City National Tartan Day Parade.

Alan also helped get Tartan Day off the ground in Washington DC.

The success of both events led to a Presidential Proclamation designating April 6, in perpetuity, as National Tartan Day.

Today, hundreds of thousands of American-Scots celebrate their ancestral heritage around the country on this date.

The New York based businessman says he is delighted to bring Scotland and its diaspora closer together for mutual benefit.

"The Scottish role in the formation and creation of this country is so deeply embedded that most Americans think of the individuals who were instrumental in the country's creation as Americans," says Alan.

"The truth is there's a very strong Scottish connection throughout the US given the many people of Scottish descent," he adds.

"The key challenge is to develop and grow the connection between the US diaspora and their Scottish origins."



Alan Bain's Tartan Day Parade in New York with Jack McConnell, Sean Connery and Mayor Bloomberg

Alan's status as Scotland's man in America began more than 20 years ago when his company, World-Wide Business Centres, offered rent-free office space in Manhattan to The American-Scottish Foundation.

The Scots were in good company. Another of Alan's clients was Michael Bloomberg, who was to become a communications billionaire - and Mayor of New York.

He became a big supporter of Alan's Scottish events including the Tartan Day march, serving as co-Parade Grand Marshal with Sir Sean Connery, both of whom were parading in New York City Tartan.

Cambridge-educated and the son of Scottish parents another of Alan's accomplishments was to reinstate the Wallace Award.

The Wallace Award is given to Scots, American Scots and, on occasion, to Americans, who have made some special contribution to American Scottish relations.

As part of the Washington DC Tartan Day events the Award was presented on the Capitol Hill steps but following the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center it returned to its original New York City format.

One recent honoree was Sir Ian Wood, billionaire boss of the Wood Group who said he was encouraged to see the Scottish traditions, culture and nationality celebrated so enthusiastically in the heart of New York City.

In October ASF, along with ChicagoScots, who run the annual Scottish American Leadership Conference, will host a second Homecoming conference in Edinburgh.

The purpose of the 2014 conference - the first was during the Homecoming in 2009 - is to focus on maximizing the benefits to be derived from the relationship between Scotland and its diaspora, and is called "Forging Ties that Bind".

"This is a time of great excitement for Scotland with so many high profile events on the calendar," said Alan. "I hope to provide a unique Scottish American viewpoint."



New York celebrates Scottish culture with Tartan Week

May 13, 2014 - a video by the British Consulate New York




The man who created The Kelpies

May 5, 2014
By Steven Brocklehurst - BBC Scotland news website



For the past eight years, Glaswegian sculptor Andy Scott has been working on the biggest project of his life. The Kelpies are two 30m-tall horse heads made of steel, now standing alongside the Forth and Clyde Canal near Falkirk.


They started off as a drawing on his Dutch girlfriend's kitchen table in Amsterdam and after eight "tortuous" years they are finally built and open to the public.

The £5m Kelpies are the centrepiece of the 740-acre Helix Park, which has been built on reclaimed scrubland between Falkirk and Grangemouth and they are already becoming one of Scotland's most photographed landmarks.

Read more...


The Kelpies

April, 2014

During the display of the Kelpies maquettes in Bryant Park as part of the festivities surrounding Scotland-Tartan Week in New York, the following news clips appeared on network television. These clips are repoduced here with kind permission of the networks. Double click to play...

WABC - Eyewitness News:



WPIX - PIX News:





Scotland Tonight: Interview with Kelpies sculptor Andy Scott

April 17, 2014


Standing at 30 metres high and weighing 300 tonnes, the Kelpies have already become a widely recognised landmark in the Scottish landscape.


On Thursday a spectacular half-hour pyrotechnic display marked their official launch.


The event also kicked off the John Muir Festival, celebrating the life of the Scottish conservationist on the 100th anniversary of his death.


Following the launch, the sculptor behind the Kelpies, Andy Scott, spoke to Scotland Tonight.


Watch here
...


Tartan Day Parade in New York

from the Scottish Diaspora Blog, April, 2014


It was my privilege to walk with the American-Scottish Foundation on this year’s Tartan Day parade – the 16th annual parade in New York. It was a truly brilliant experience and I met many interesting people. Being able to walk down 6th Avenue, with spectators waving the Saltire all round was simply brilliant. A big thank you to the Foundation and the people I met during the day!

Public displays of Scottishness in New York, featuring kilted pipers, tartan trews and the Saltire waving in the breeze, are, however, by no means a late twentieth-century invention. One of the earliest celebrations that saw a large assemblage of Scots parading through central New York was that of the Scott Centenary in 1871. Among the other events pursued during the day of celebrations was a banquet at the famous Delmonico’s restaurant, and the laying of the foundation stone for the statue that was to be erected in honour of Sir Walter Scott in Central Park. Among those invited to Central Park was General Sherman. Though Sherman could not attend the event, he sent a letter to apologise for his absence, also noting that America owed much to Sir Walter Scott. It was, in fact, ‘America’s obligation to the great author, who has woven the crude tradition of his native land into  tales of exquisite and everlasting interest to the whole civilized world’ that made the statue a suitable proclamation of America’s recognition of Scott (reprinted in New York Times, 15 August 1871). A replica of John Steell’s Scott Monument in Edinburgh, the statue was officially unveiled a good year later in November 1872. Scottish sentiments were on display again, with a legion of Highlanders from the 79th Regiment, the National Guard and the Caledonian Club being present at the unveiling.










Kelpies In New York City For Scotland Week

April, 2014


Two 15-foot-high steel models of the largest equine sculptures in the world have been unveiled in New York City's Bryant Park as part of the launch of Scotland Week. The larger-than-life installation, known as The Kelpies, have been created by Scotland's leading public artist Andy Scott.

Creating a majestic, awe-inspiring atmosphere in Bryant Park, The Kelpies are the original 1:10 scale design models of Andy's 100-foot-tall sculptures located in the heart of the new 900 acre Helix Parkland in Falkirk, central Scotland.

With one horse rearing up and the other at rest, a dramatic sense of motion is created. The sculptures are made from hundreds of small pieces of steel plate painstakingly welded to create the forms. The Kelpies were then galvanized, a process that involves dipping the sculptures in baths of molten zinc. The full scale sculptures are the largest equine sculptures in the world.

Inspiration for this work came from the Clydesdale horses that, for centuries, pulled boats and cargo along the towpaths of the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals in Scotland.

Artist Andy Scott said:

"The Kelpies began their US tour in summer of 2012 in Chicago, then to Indiana, and it is with great pleasure that I debut them in New York City at Bryant Park. I am honored to take part in a celebration of Scotland's innovation and creativity during Scotland Week this April.

"We have received tremendous support from The City of New York Parks and Recreation, the Bryant Park Corporation, the American-Scottish Foundation and the Scottish Government to get the scale models on show in Bryant Park and I am confident they will help put Scotland, and the Helix project, firmly on the map – not only for resident New Yorkers, but for the many thousands of international visitors to the city."

The Kelpies trumpets the arrival of Scotland Week in April which comprises a diverse programme of Scottish-inspired events and activities that showcase the very best of Scottish culture.

Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop, said:

"The Kelpies creatively illustrate how inspiration can be drawn from Scotland's history and heritage to exhibit a modern piece of art. As we approach Scotland Week, we're proud to bring a touch of Scotland to central Manhattan."

The Kelpies will be on Fountain Terrace in Bryant Park from March 21 through April 22. Bryant Park can be accessed between 40th and 42nd Streets, and 5th and 6th Avenues.

Dan Biederman, President of Bryant Park Corporation, said:

"It is a great pleasure to work with the American Scottish Foundation and the Scottish Government to host these sculptures and the week of special performances around them in Bryant Park. The park is one of the busiest public spaces in the world and a perfect location for showcasing arts and culture."

Alan L. Bain, Chairman of the American-Scottish Foundation, stated:

"When we first met with Andy Scott in Bryant Park a year ago, this was the vision and hope and now through the efforts of so many The Kelpies are here with us in New York.

"This has been a terrific collaboration of so many led from the team at Falkirk Council, Scottish Canals and all at the Helix project to the great support of Bryant Park, New York City Parks and the Monuments."


The Kelpies Debut in Bryant Park, New York City

March 20, 2014
SCALE VERSIONS OF THE WORLD'S LARGEST EQUINE SCULPTURES - THE KELPIES - TO BE SHOWCASED IN
NEW YORK’S BRYANT PARK


Bryant Park, in New York City, will welcome two 15 ft tall scale models of Glasgow-born artist Andy Scott’s ‘The Kelpies’ sculptures from March 21st to April 23rd next year, in the lead up to the internationally acclaimed week of Scottish celebrations in the city.

Read more here...



Robert Burns in a night of celebration

January 19, 2014
On January 17, 2014, The American-Scottish Foundation invited members and friends to join them for their 19th Annual Burns Night celebration. This Robert Burns celebration was held in association with The University Club which is located at 1 West 54th Street, New York, NY.

The evening began with a reception and whiskey tasting and guests were then piped into dinner where a traditional Burns night dinner followed.

Now the mission of The American-Scottish Foundation, an international not-for-profit organization is to establish links and strengthen ties between Scotland The United States, through the pursuit of contemporary social, cultural, educational and business activities.

The foundation's mission is as important today as when The American-Scottish Foundation was founded in 1956 by Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton.

So if you'd like to find out more about this wonderful foundation and all the good work they do then click HERE and find out more!



ASF BURNS SUPPER

January 17, 2014

The American Scottish Foundation is holding its 19th annual Burns Supper in NYC tonight. Recently we spoke with Alan Bain, Chairman of the ASF, about this evening’s event.

What is the history of the ASF’s Burns Supper?
Our Burns Supper started in the early 1990’s. I was head of the American-Scottish Foundation, and also on the board of a private club. The club management was noting the absence of social activities in the dead of winter, and I remembered my father, a Scot and a great Burns fan, talking about Burns Suppers. I suggested they might enjoy hosting a Supper in conjunction with the ASF, and so it began. Our first Burns Night Supper was in January 1995.

How has the event evolved over the years?
The foundation is about to host its 19th dinner. There have been a few fundamental changes – for example, many in our audience are not familiar with Robert Burns, and an in-depth lecture for the “Immortal Memory” may be too cerebral. Also, some Scots’ accents were too difficult for American ears! [laughs] But the audience really enjoys Burns’ music and words, so we have had skillful performers act out such works as “Holy Willie’s Prayer” and “Tam O’Shanter.” These are greatly enjoyable. We also often have the “Toast to the Lassies” and “The Lassies’ Response” sung using Burns’ songs, the toasts concluding with duets. Over the years, the music has become less operatic in style and more country/folk. Recently, we have enjoyed Alyth McCormack from the Isle of Lewis, Fiona Kennedy from Aberdeen, and Phaime Gow from Edinburgh. We’re delighted that Maureen McMullen and Mike Ogletree are returning this year to perform the toasts.

Who attends?
What is particularly successful about the program is the partnership between the club and the ASF, resulting in attendees from both groups. We also welcomed women at a time when several Scottish-American societies were men-only. We pick an early date for our dinner as there are several Burns Suppers in New York City, and this enables local Scots to attend more than one. And over the years, we’ve continued to encourage our members to bring new people, introducing them to this great tradition.

What can they expect to experience this year?
The evening is a celebration of Robert Burns in true Scottish style. We will have over 250 guests joining us, many returning each year. The setting we have heard described as “the nearest one can come to a Burns celebration in the Highlands,” a grand paneled dining room in a landmarked building designed by a Scot. Guests are greeted to the strains of the Foundation’s piper and enjoy a whisky tasting reception before being piped into dinner. Once seated and Grace is said, the music begins, performed by Maureen McMullen and Atlantic Seaway, Then it’s time for the ceremonial Haggis procession, where it is carried into the room by the chef, the piper, the whisky bearers – it’s a lot of fun. The “Address to a Haggis” is a key element of the evening, and will be performed by Ken Donnelly. Originally from Glasgow, Ken is a banker, a former board member, a member of the Burns Society, and great orator – his delivery is dramatic, clear and compelling. During dinner, there are short introductory remarks about Robert Burns, his reputation and the celebration of his life occurring around the world. Ambassador Uden will bring greetings from the British Consul General; Alfred Bissett, former president of the St. Andrew ‘s Society of the State of New York, will give the Toast to the Queen; Darren Burgess, Second Secretary, the Scottish Government, will bring greetings from Scotland; and John Booth, Head of Marketing, the Scottish Government, will give the toast to the President. The musical toasts will be followed by the Reels (an energetic set of Scottish dances led by Hannah Read) and the drawing of the Winter Raffle, bringing the formal part of the evening to a close. The bar stays open and the dancing continues until 11:00pm.

Why is it an important gathering for the Scottish community there?
Scots around the world have a deep love for Robert Burns’ music and poetry, and especially his themes of humanity and compassion. When the holidays have passed, and spring is far away, it’s wonderful to be able to get together with family and friends, celebrate his spirit, and feast and sing and dance. The success of the evening comes from a mix of the audience, their enjoyment, the opportunity to celebrate Burns’ memory, and being part of a cultural tradition that is being shared around the world.

What are the future plans for the soiree?
We recently discussed this with several of our members, and they did not want us to change anything. So for now, I expect that the evening will continue in much the same vein – keeping it fresh and with new musical talent. The Reels are a growing element and have added considerable vitality to the evening.

What else does the ASF have on tap for the coming months?
On February 25th, we have a New Member Night at a wonderful spot, Cafe Tallulah. Then on March 19, we’ll be heralding the arrival of the Kelpies to Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan! These are two 15-foot-tall scale models of Andy Scott’s massive 100-ft. horse sculptures. They will be on display for a month, making Bryant Park a center for the celebration of Scotland in New York, and connecting with the formal opening of the Helix Project with the full-size Kelpies in Falkirk, Scotland. The rest of February and March will be devoted to preparing for Tartan/Scotland Week (now up to two weeks) in April. For the ASF, 2014 is going to be a landmark year. We are involved in events not only in New York but also in Washington, DC. For example, Ross Gillespie and Tricia Malley, award-winning photographers from Glasgow, will have an exhibit entitled “As Others See Us” at POP International in the Citicorp Building. The exhibit consists of portraits of well-known Scots incorporating lines taken from their favorite piece of Burns’ work. The ASF is a founding member of the National Tartan Day New York Committee, and continues to work organizing the Tartan Day Parade in New York City, coordinating events that week, and assisting the Scottish Government in implementing its plans to bring its tourism and Homecoming messages to an American audience.


SCALE VERSIONS OF THE WORLD'S LARGEST EQUINE SCULPTURES - THE KELPIES - TO BE SHOWCASED IN
NEW YORK’S BRYANT PARK


Bryant Park, in New York City, will welcome two 15 ft tall scale models of Glasgow-born artist Andy Scott’s ‘The Kelpies’ sculptures from March 19th to April 22nd next year, in the lead up to the internationally acclaimed week of Scottish celebrations in the city.


PRWEB, December 18, 2013

One of the world’s highest profile public spaces is to showcase a major new arts project which is set to transform Scotland’s tourism map. Bryant Park in New York City, will welcome two 15 ft tall scale models of Glasgow-born artist Andy Scott’s ‘The Kelpies’ sculptures from March 19th to April 22nd next year.

   
Scottish sculptor Andy Scott, pictured with
Duke and Baron, the Clydesdale horses that
were the inspiration for The Kelpies.


The Kelpies - two 100ft steel horses heads which are the largest equine sculptures in the world - are the centre piece of the £43 million Helix land transformational project between Falkirk and Grangemouth in central Scotland and are expected to attract an additional 350,000 visitors a year to Falkirk – a town just 30 minutes’ drive from Glasgow and Edinburgh.

They will also boost the central Scotland economy by around £1.5 million per annum and provide the area with its second ‘top ten’ UK tourist attraction.

The Helix will transform under-used land between Falkirk and Grangemouth into a thriving urban green space. Once complete, it will be an outdoor recreational area open to all, offering easy access to picturesque woodland, a central park with a lagoon, linked walking paths and cycleways.

Thanks to terrific support from The City of New York Parks and Recreation, Bryant Park Corporation, and the American-Scottish Foundation®, the scale models (known as the Maquettes) will be seen by more than 250,000 people a day during the period they are on display next spring.

In addition, a program of lunchtime concerts is being planned around the sculptures on Bryant Park's Fountain Terrace as part of next year’s celebration of Scottish arts and culture in the heart of Manhattan.

Andy Scott, the Scottish sculptor who created The Kelpies, said:
“The Kelpies pay homage to Scotland’s heavy horses which played a vital role in agriculture and industry in Scotland. They exemplify the best of creativity, engineering and project management and are soon to be the largest public artworks in the country, and the largest equine sculptures in the world – they have been almost eight years in the making.

“It is a huge privilege to be invited to display the Maquettes at Bryant Park, and I am confident they will help to put Scotland, and the Helix project, firmly on the map – not only for resident New Yorkers, but for international visitors to the city.”

The Maquettes have previously been showcased in Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, as well as Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh.

Dan Biederman, President of Bryant Park Corporation, said:
“It is a great pleasure to work with the American Scottish Foundation and Scotland to host these sculptures and the ‘Tartan Week’ performances in Bryant Park. The park is one of the busiest public spaces in the world and a perfect location for showcasing arts and culture.”

The Helix development is being driven by a partnership of Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals and the construction phase for the 100 ft. tall Kelpies was completed in November 2013. Work on the site’s visitor and parking facilities is currently underway and the development will officially open to the public in the summer of 2014.

A spokesman for The Helix team said the unique agreement with the Bryant Park Corporation was a major development for The Kelpies and for Scotland.
He said: “New York City is said by many to be the cultural capital of the world, and so this unique opportunity to position The Kelpies as an International sculptural landmark and visitor destination represents fantastic recognition for the project, raising awareness of the beneficial impact it will have on the local area and on the whole of Scotland.

“It is a huge gesture of approval for The Kelpies to be chosen for this venue and a true accolade for the sculptures and The Helix. I hope that some of the thousands of people who see these sculptures on display in Bryant Park will take time in the future to visit The Helix if they come to Scotland.

“Bryant Park is within a few blocks of Times Square, the Empire State building and the New York City Library, and has a daily footfall in excess of 30,000 people per day and over 200,000 people pass by the park each day.”

The Maquettes have previously been showcased in Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, as well as Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh.

The Kelpies’ arrival in Bryant Park is a partnership between the Helix Project, The City of New York Parks and Recreation, Bryant Park Corporation, and the American-Scottish Foundation.

Bryant Park is a 9,603 acre public park, privately managed by the non-profit Bryant Park Corporation, located in the New York borough of Manhattan. It is located between 5th and 6th Avenue and between 40th and 42nd streets in mid-town Manhattan.

MEDIA CONTACTS :
For the Helix, Andy Scott and The Kelpies:
Charles Mann, Associate Director, 3x1
Tel. +00 44 141 221 0707 or +00 44 7825 153 599.
E-mail: cmann(at)3x1(dot)com

Nicola Macnaughton, Account Manager, 3x1
Tel. +00 44 141 221 0707 or +00 44 7725 638 246.
E-mail: nmacnaughton(at)3x1(dot)com

For the American-Scottish Foundation:
Camilla Hellman, Executive Director
Tel: 212 605 0338 x 4
Email: asfevents(at)wwbcny(dot)com


NOTES TO EDITORS :

THE HELIX: The Helix is a £43 million land transformation project being driven by a partnership of Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals. It will transform under-used land between Falkirk and Grangemouth into a thriving urban green space. Once complete, the Helix will be an outdoor recreational area open to all, offering easy access to picturesque woodland, a central park with a lagoon, linked walking paths and cycleways. The Helix will also open up Scotland's canal network by installing a new full-length canal link and a canal hub featuring the Kelpies http://www.thehelix.co.uk/

ANDY SCOTT: Andy Scott is a world renowned Scottish figurative sculptor, specialising in public artworks. He graduated from Glasgow School of Art with a BA Hons in Fine Art Sculpture in 1986. In addition to The Kelpies, his portfolio now extends to over 70 projects across the UK and internationally including several monumental landmark sculptures. A selection of his portfolio can be seen at http://www.scottsculptures.co.uk/

FALKIRK COUNCIL: Falkirk Council is a unitary authority which provides all local government services for the Falkirk Council area. Covering 112 square miles, it has a population of 151,570 and extends from Banknock in the west of the region to Blackness in the east and from South Alloa in the North as far as Limerigg in the south. The area contains varied countryside, including areas of considerable landscape quality. It also contains the port of Grangemouth and depends for its prosperity on a broad industrial base which includes sizeable industrial areas in Falkirk and Grangemouth http://www.falkirk.gov.uk/

SCOTTISH CANALS: Scottish Canals is the public body responsible for looking after all of Scotland’s canals. It conserves the waterways as part of Scotland’s heritage, ensuring they play a vital role in the way the country operates. The environment and heritage of the canal network is integral to the work of Scottish Canals, and the organisation ensures the canals are managed in such a way to ensure maximum enjoyment for all http://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/

THE AMERICAN-SCOTTISH FOUNDATION®: The American-Scottish Foundation is an international not-for- profit organization. Its aim is to establish links and strengthen ties between Scotland and the United States, through the pursuit of contemporary social, cultural, educational, and business activities http://www.americanscottishfoundation.com/

BRYANT PARK CORPORATION: Bryant Park Corporation (BPC), a not-for-profit company, was founded in 1980 to renovate, finance and operate Bryant Park, one of the busiest public spaces in the world, without government or philanthropic funding. In addition to providing security and sanitation services, and tending the lawn and seasonal gardens, BPC creates amenities and activities in Bryant Park for over 5 million visitors each year. BPC’s website http://www.bryantpark.org/ has more detailed information plus a complete schedule of the upcoming wide range of free events.

THE NEW YORK TARTAN DAY PARADE: The New York Tartan Day Parade will take place on SaturdayApril 5th, stepping off at 44th and Sixth Avenue, two blocks north of Bryant Park and The Kelpies.

In 1998 the U.S. Senate declared April 6 to be National Tartan Day to recognize the contributions made by Scottish-Americans to the United States. In 1999, two pipe bands and a small but enthusiastic group of Scottish Americans marched from the British Consulate to the UN—our first Parade! Since then, it has grown to include hundreds of pipers, thousands of marchers and many more thousands cheering from the sidelines.

Website for Parade details: http://nyctartanweek.org/tartan-day/

Further historical information of National Tartan Day is available at http://www.tartanday.org/history



By Rachel Loxton : December 8, 2013

SCOTTISH textiles have become the toast of the Big Apple, with sales in the millions of dollars and New York designers falling over themselves to praise Scots fabrics as the best in the world.


Harris Tweed is one of the fabrics attracting the attention
of New Yorkers. Photograph: Mark Mainz


Textiles from Scotland are having their moment in the spotlight after taking centre stage at a huge fashion event in New York.

The growth in popularity of tartan, plaid, lace and tweed was celebrated at the Initiatives in Art and Culture (IAC) conference in the fashion capital of the US. The event ended last night.

Now in its 15th year, the event is attended by representatives from luxury retail giants including Barneys and SAKS Fifth Avenue, and fashion insiders.

Designers including Stella McCartney, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton continue to push traditional Scots fabrics, after showcasing them on their autumn/winter 2013 catwalks.

Alan Bain, president of The American Scottish Foundation in New York and director of Harris Tweed Textiles, attended the IAC event.

He said Harris Tweed was now selling more than one million metres of cloth globally a year, with America taking 30% of it.

"The popularity just keeps growing," said Bain. "We expect to be selling 1.5 million metres soon.

"There was a time when Harris Tweed was in trouble, but we're going the other way now."

Between 2009 and last year, production more than doubled for the Hebrides firm, from 450,000 metres of cloth to over a million.

Bain said the resurgence of Scottish fabrics was down to the heritage. "It is the authenticity that people like and the high-level of workmanship," he said.

"People are willing to pay more for something so unique."

Luxury designer store SAKS recently created its own tartan.

Lisa Koenigsberg, founder of Initiatives in Art and Culture, said the appeal of Scottish fabrics was their "unparalleled luxury".

She said: "I believe Scottish textiles represent artisanship at the highest level.

"Because the tradition uses age-old techniques with materials drawn from the land and incorporates motifs that resonate through time, it remains an unparalleled luxury."

Simon Doonan, creative ambassador at Barneys New York, said Scots mills were providing inspiration.

"The fabulousness of Scottish textiles knows no bounds," he said. "It starts with tartan and it keeps right on going.

"So many European designers are inspired by the majesty of Scottish mills."

The development comes after Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) became the first British University to open a New York base.

The university's decision to open in the city's SoHo district is part of a project to boost global growth and presence.

Courses on offer include the fashion business and luxury brand management.

Bain said: "With the emergence of Glasgow Caledonian University here there really is a massive focus on Scotland in New York."




By Rebecca Cooper : December 5, 2013

ONE MAN'S DREAM OF A MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

Sam Eskenazi still wants to tell the story of Americans, from the country's earliest inhabitants to its most recent immigrants, in the Museum of the American People, a new museum near the National Mall in Washington.... read more...


 

RAINTOWN WIN 'DUO OF THE YEAR'
November 29, 2013


GLASGOW
: Country Music is certainly changing its image in the UK and this past Sunday, 24th November, witnessed the annual British Country Music Awards. The sold out crowd saw Glasgow duo 'Raintown'awarded 'British Country Music Duo of the Year' at the ceremony in London.

ASF have been great supporters of Raintown since hearing their debut single three years ago... and "Still Believe" is ASF's Christmas pick...


'Raintown' are Paul Bain and Claire McArthur and this real life couple have certainly been creating quite a buzz. They have recently performed a headline show at London's Bush Hall and will be bringing their band and some special guests to Glasgow's Grand Ole Opry on December 27th. Claire said,


"We are humbled to be accepted by a genre of music that we have grew up with and that has inspired us. It is great that so many young people are now getting into Country Music through the likes of Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum and another winner tonight Carrie Underwood."


In their acceptance speech they paid to tribute to the many international and UK festivals that have given them the outlet to perform their music. They are currently in the process of writing a new album, booking festivals, organising a tour for next year and re-releasing their Christmas song 'Still Believe (Love this time of the Year.) It is fair to say that the coming months are going to be a busy time for the pair. Paul commented,


"We are really grateful for the award and to everyone who has supported our music throughout the UK. We do not do this in isolation; we have great family, a superb band and amazing fans - none of this is possible without them. Thank you."


You can catch 'Duo of the Year,' Raintown with special guest Brian Hughes and introducing Sara Crockett and Jess Roberts at a Special Christmas Event at Glasgow's Grand Ole Opry on Friday 27th December. Tickets are available from www.raintownmusic.com or from the Grand Ole Opry on 0141 429 5396.




SCOTTISH NORTH AMERICAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
October 25. 2013

Prominent Scots from across the United States are meeting near Chicago this weekend for the Scottish North American Leadership Conference. Here, President of the American Scottish Foundation (ASF), Alan Bain, fills us in on his organization and the importance of the event.

INVOLVEMENT

IN 1993, ASF'S BOARD ASKED ME TO BECOME ITS PRESIDENT. I AGREED TO TAKE ON THE POSITION ON A THREE-YEAR TRIAL BASIS AS I KNEW VERY LITTLE ABOUT THE AMERICAN SCOTTISH COMMUNITY EVEN LOCALLY. I ALSO KNEW LITTLE ABOUT ASF EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT I ENJOYED ITS ANNUAL SCOTTISH BALL AND ITS WALLACE AWARD EVENT, THAT RECOGNIZED AN INDIVIDUAL THAT HAD MADE A SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO AMERICAN SCOTTISH RELATIONS.

GROWTH

THE CHANGE THAT I BEGAN TO NOTICE AS I BECAME MORE IMMEDIATELY INVOLVED BOTH IN THE COMMUNITY AS WELL AS WITH THE FOUNDATION WAS INCREASING INTEREST SHOWN IN AMERICA FROM A WIDE VARIETY OF SCOTTISH INSTITUTIONS. THIS RESULTED FROM THE ANTICIPATION OF SOME FORM OF DEVOLUTION AND RECOGNITION OF AMERICA AS SCOTLAND'S LARGEST TRADING PARTNER.

AS IS COMMON IN AN ALL VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION I FOUND MYSELF ENGAGED IN A WIDE VARIETY OF ACTIVITIES.

HIGHLIGHTS WERE:

IN 1991, SCOTLAND HOUSE, A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF THE FOUNDATION, RELOCATED TO 575 MADISON AVENUE.

THE FOUNDATION HAS FOCUSED ON PHILANTHROPY SINCE INCEPTION AND, IN 1993 IT DONATED $15,000 TO THE HIGHLAND FUND TO PURCHASE THE PROTOTYPE WIDE WIDTH LOOM FOR THE HARRIS TWEED INDUSTRY;

IN 1994, ASF DONATED $10,000 TO THE JOHN MUIR TRUST AND $10,000 THE BURNS STATUS RESTORATION IN NEW YORK CITY'S IN CENTRAL PARK.IN 1995, ASF DONATED $17,000 TO THE DUNFERMLINE FUND; IT WAS COFOUNDERS OF THE SCOTTISH COALITION, AN INFORMAL COALITION OF NATIONAL AMERICAN SCOTTISH CULTURAL, HERITAGE AND RECREATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS.

IN 1996, ASF INITIATED, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION, THE JOHN MUIR GOLF TOURNAMENT, NOW IN ITS 15TH YEAR, THAT FUNCTIONS AS A FUNDRAISING TOOL FOR VAN CORTLANDT PARK. THE TOURNAMENT IS PLAYED ON THE VAN CORTLANDT PARK GOLF COURSE, THE OLDEST PUBLIC GOLF COURSE IN THE UNITED STATES, THAT WAS FOUNDED BY ANDREW CARNEGIE AND A GROUP OF HIS FRIENDS.

IN 1997, ASF HOSTED ITS INAUGURAL SCOTTISH FRIENDS GATHERING IN SCOTLAND AT LENNOX LOVE SEAT OF THE DOUGLAS-HAMILTON FAMILY. LORD MALCOLM DOUGLAS-HAMILTON, ASF'S FOUNDER, WAS A MEMBER OF THAT FAMILY THAT FOUNDED ASF. THIS ANNUAL TRADITION CONTINUES TO THIS DAY.

IN 1990, ASF SPONSORED THE INAUGURAL NATIONAL TARTAN DAY PARADE IN NEW YORK CITY.

IN 2000, ASF SPONSORED THE INAUGURAL NATIONAL TARTAN DAY PROGRAM IN WASHINGTON, D.C. AND PRESENTED ITS WALLACE AWARD TO SENATE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY LEADER, TRENT LOTT, ON THE STEPS OF THE CAPITOL BUILDING. IT ALSO SPONSORED THE FIRST IN A SERIES OF FORUMS ON SCOTTISH SUBJECT OF SIGNIFICANCE TO AN AMERICAN AUDIENCE.

IN 2000, ASF PRESENTED FIVE NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC PERFORMANCES IN A TOUR OF "UNITY, SOLACE AND HOPE" THAT FEATURED THE REGIMENTAL BAND OF THE COLDSTREAM GUARDS AND THE PIPES AND DRUMS OF THE FIRST BATTALION SCOTS GUARDS FOLLOWING SEPTEMBER 11.

IN 2002, ASF, COSPONSORED WITH THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY, THE INAUGURAL CELEBRATION OF THE CENTENNIAL OF ANDREW CARNEGIE'S $5,200,000 GIFT TO THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY IN 1901 TO BUILD 65 BRANCH LIBRARIES, IN 2003, ASF SPONSORED WITH THE ILLINOIS ST. ANDREW SOCIETY THE INAUGURAL SCOTTISH NORTH AMERICAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE; IN 2004, HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDED ASF'S SPONSORSHIP OF MASTER CHEF, JERRY GOLDWYRE'S YEAR LONG TOUR OF THE U.S. PROMOTING SCOTLAND IN THE "TARTAN MOBILE" HOSTED FIVE TARTAN DAY 2005 THAT PLANNING MEETINGS IN SCOTLAND BRINGING TOGETHER SCOTTISH ORGANIZATIONS INCLUDED THE SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE AND VISITSCOTLAND;

IN 2005, ASF RAISED $35,000 FOR THE DOCUMENTARY FILM ENTITLED "HOLLYWOOD LIBRARIAN, THE ROLE OF LIBRARIANS IN FILM AND SOCIETY".

IN 2006, ASF CELEBRATED ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY WITH A DINNER AND WALLACE AWARD PRESENTATION TO ONE OF ITS MOST LOYAL AND GENEROUS SUPPORTERS. EUAN BAIRD, RETIRED CHAIRMAN OF SCHLUMBERGER.

IN 2007, ASF COMMISSIONED A STUDY OF "AMERICAN ATTITUDES TO CULTURE AND HERITAGE" THAT WAS UNDERTAKEN BY CAMPBELL RINKER, A COMPANY THAT SPECIALIZES IN MARKET RESEARCH FOR THE NOT-FOR-PROFIT INDUSTRY.

IN 2009, ASF HOSTED ITS ANNUAL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE IN SCOTLAND. THE CONFERENCE THAT WAS HOSTED BY QUEEN MARGARET UNIVERSITY AT ITS NEW MUSSELBOROUGH CAMPUS.

IN 2010, ASF HOSTED STUDENTS FROM THE DESIGN COURSE AT HAWICK HIGH SCHOOL AS PART OF ITS NATIONAL TARTAN DATE CEREMONIES GIVING THE STUDENTS THE OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT FASHION ESTABLISHMENTS IN NEW YORK CITY.

IN 2011, ASF SPONSORED STUDENTS FROM DANCEWAVE, A SOCIAL SERVICE ORGANIZATION HELPING INNER CITY KIDS DEVELOP LIFE SKILLS THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF MODERN DANCE VISIT SCOTLAND TO PERFORM AT THE INTERNATIONAL YOUTH FESTIVAL HELD IN ABERDEEN, IT ALSO PRESENTED THE PUBLIC CATALOGUE FOUNDATION'S UNCOVERING SCOTLAND'S ART COLLECTION TALK AND CHAMPAGNE RECEPTION AT CHRISTIE'S NEW YORK CITY HOME. ASF ALSO COLLABORATED WITH THE NY CITY PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT IN RELOCATION OF THE ALEXANDER HAMILTON MANSION BACK TO ITS ORIGINAL SITE AND TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE OCCASION TO CONNECT A DIRECT DESCENDENT OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON LIVING IN CHICAGO WITH MEMBERS OF THE DOUGLAS-HAMILTON FAMILY, THE FORBEARING OF WHICH HAD BEEN FIRST, COUSINS IN 1320!

IN 2012, ASF INAUGURATED ITS COMMUNICATION OF TARTAN DAY WITH ACCOMPANY HELD AT DAY HAMMERSCHOLD PLAZA BY THE U.N. BUILDING; AND ASF'S CHAIRMAN WAS THE HONORED GUEST AT THE NEW HARRYSHIRE HIGHLAND GAMES AND FESTIVAL HELD AT LOON MOUNTAIN, N.H.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITY

IN AN ALL VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS WITH LIMITED RESOURCES AND, UNTIL 2009 NO PERMANENT STAFF THE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN MY CAPACITY AS PRESIDENT I WAS TASKED WITH GIVING DIRECTION TO THE ORGANIZATION, CREATING AND IMPLEMENTING THE FOUNDATION'S STRATEGIC PLAN UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF THE BOARD. THE AVAILABILITY OF MY BUSINESS SUPPORT STAFF GAVE THE ASF BOTH CREDIBILITY AND VISIBILITY ON THE COMMUNITY AS IT WAS THE AUTO DATE TO THE "VOLUNTEER" NURTURE OF NOT ONLY ASF BUT MOST OTHER ORGANIZATION IN THE CITY. I WAS LARGELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS USING THE RESOURCES OF MY BUSINESS.

CHALLENGES

IN THIS DAY AND AGE RUNNING A SMALL VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION WITH LEGIBLE AMBITIONS AND WITH LIMITED RESOURCES PRESENTS A CHALLENGE SINCE FUNDING IS AT THE CORE OF YOUR ABILITY TO CARRY OUT ITS PROGRAMS.

DURING THE PERIOD 2000 TO 2006 I WAS FORTUNATE TO HAVE MY DAUGHTER JOIN ME AS A VOLUNTEER AFTER SHE HAD LEFT MORGAN STANLEY TO SEEK OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NOT-FOR-PROFIT SECTOR. SHE BECAME A FULL-TIME VOLUNTEER AND THE ADDITION OF ONE PERSON ON A FULL-TIME BASIS MEANT THAT ASF WAS ABLE TO SUCCESSFULLY UNDERTAKE CONSIDERABLY MORE IN TERMS OF PROGRAMS AND EVENTS.

THE INCREASED ACTIVITY WAS FURTHER CONSIDERABLY ENHANCED WITH THE ARRIVAL OF CAMILLA HELLMAN AS DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT AND EMMA ROBINSON WERNER AS HER ASSOCIATE.

THESE TWO INDIVIDUALS, SUPPORTED BY A BOOKKEEPER AND A TREASURES WHO SERVED ON PART-TIME VOLUNTEER BASIS. THIS GROUPING ENABLED THE ASF TO UNDERTAKE MORE AMBITIONS PROGRAMMING THAN HAS BEEN POSSIBLE WITH ONLY VOLUNTEER CAPABILITIES. THIS CHANGE HAS SIGNIFICANTLY ENHANCED THE ASF'S VISIBILITY AND STATURE IN SCOTLAND. AS A RESULT ASF HAS JUST OPENED AN OFFICE IN SCOTLAND AT RIDDLE COURT, ON THE ROYAL MILE AND IS CURRENTLY IN THE THROES OF ESTABLISHING A SCOTTISH CHARITY SINCE MUCH OF ASF'S WORK IS ACTUALLY CARRIED OUT FOR THE BENEFIT OF SCOTTISH INTERESTS.

REWARDS

THE REWARDS HAVE BEEN SIGNIFICANT. PERSONALLY I HAVE ENJOYED GETTING IN TOUCH WITH MY SCOTTISH ROOTS. ALTHOUGH MY PARENTS WERE SCOTTISH, I WAS BROUGHT UP IN ENGLAND AND, THUS ALL MY SCHOOLING, MY ARMY SERVICE AND UNIVERSITY LIFE TOOK PLACE THERE ENGLAND. IT WAS THEREFORE SOMETHING OF A SURPRISE TO ME THAT I HAD REACTED SO VEHEMENTLY WHEN TOLD OF ASF'S DISTRESS. I GATHERED THAT I MUST'VE UNKNOWINGLY ABSORBED A LOT OF SCOTTISH CULTURE FROM MY VARIOUS SCOTTISH RELATIVES AS I TRAVELLED WITH MY PARENTS TO VISIT THEM IN SCOTLAND.

IT WAS ALSO FORTUNATE THAT, GIVEN MY BUSINESS ACTIVITIES, I WAS ABLE FROM INCEPTION, TO TRAVEL TO SCOTLAND AT LEAST FOUR TIMES A YEAR AND A EDUCATION MYSELF THROUGH REGULAR ENGAGEMENT WITH A WIDE VARIETY OF INTERESTING PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS. AND, IN DOING SO, I CAME TO RECOGNIZE THAT THERE WAS A REAL NEED FOR ASF TO ACT AS THE BRIDGE BETWEEN SCOTLAND AND UNITED STATES THAT ITS FOUNDER HAD ENVISIONED.

BESIDES THE FEELING OF DOING SOMETHING THAT WAS USEFUL IN FOSTERING RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES; AN ACTIVITY THAT GAVE ME GREAT SATISFACTION I ALSO HAVE THE GREAT HONOUR TO HAVE BEEN RECOGNIZED BY TWO OF SCOTLAND'S LEADING UNIVERSITIES, EACH OF WHICH CHOSE TO GIVE ME AN HONORARY DEGREE IN RECOGNITION OF MY WORK ON THE HALF OF SCOTTISH AMERICAN RELATIONS.

LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

I ATTENDED THE LOON MOUNTAIN GAMES AS THERE WAS TO BE A CAUCUS TAKING PLACE THAT INVOLVED SEVERAL IMPORTANT AMERICAN SCOTTISH ORGANIZATIONS, SUCH AS THE COUNCIL OF SCOTTISH CLANS AND ASSOCIATIONS (COSCA) AND THE ASSOCIATION OF SCOTTISH GAMES AND FESTIVALS (ASGF), THAT, LIKE SO MANY OTHER SCOTTISH AMERICAN ENTITIES THAT REPRESENT KEY COMPONENTS OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT SUSTAINS THE AMERICAN SCOTTISH DIASPORA, HAVE NEITHER THE ENDOWMENT, BENEFACTORS, SPONSORS OR THE REVENUE STREAMS TO ENABLE THEM TO ADEQUATELY FULFILL THEIR RESPECTIVE MISSIONS.THE AMERICAN-SCOTTISH FOUNDATION IS IN A SIMILAR SITUATION. IT HAS LARGELY BEEN SUSTAINED BY A FEW BENEFACTORS AND THE BAIN FAMILY AND MY COMPANY,WORLD-WIDE BUSINESS CENTRES,OVER THE PAST 20+YEARS.

RECOGNIZING ASF'S NEED TO PROTECT ITS FUTURE I STARTED AN INVESTIGATION OF THE BROADER NEEDS OF THE AMERICAN SCOTTISH COMMUNITY, AND CONCLUDED THAT THE ISSUE NEEDED TO BE ADDRESSED IN A MORE HOLISTIC WAY.

I REALIZED THAT THE INVITATION FROM VISITSCOTLAND TO REPRISE THE SCOTTISH NORTH AMERICAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE IN SCOTLAND IN 2014 WAS A PERFECT PLATFORM TO BOTH STIMULATE A DISCUSSION OF THE NATURE OF THE IDEAL RELATIONSHIP THAT SHOULD EXIST BETWEEN SCOTLAND AND ITS DIASPORA AND ADDRESS THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THERE EXISTS A BASIS ON WHICH THE LONG TERM STRUCTURE THAT UNDERPINS THE EXISTENCE OF SCOTTISH DIASPORA COMMUNITIES CAN BE SUSTAINED ON A BASIS THAT, CAN BE REALISTICALLY ACHIEVED AND ,IF SO, TO IDENTIFY THE STEPS THAT NEED TO BE TAKEN TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

AS THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION IN MY MIND LIES IN THE POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL BENEFITS TO SCOTLAND TO BE DERIVED FROM AN ENGAGED DIASPORA-THINK INBOUND TOURISM AS A KEY EXAMPLE-I WANT TO HAVE THE ISSUE PLACED BEFORE AN COMMERCIALLY MINDED AUDIENCE. HENCE MY REQUEST TO "BUSINESS INSIDER TO BECOME A MEDIA PARTNER FOR THE EVENT HELPING NOT ONLY ATTRACT AN APPROPRIATE AUDIENCE BUT ALSO TO DEFINE THE TOPICS THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED AND TO GIVE ADVISE ON THE MOST APPROPRIATE WAY IN WHICH TO POSITION THEM.

I AM DELIGHTED THAT CELTIC LIFE HAS AGREED, TO ATTEND THE 2013 SCOTTISH NORTH AMERICAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE. THE 2013 CONFERENCE'S OBJECTIVES ARE TO PROSPECTS FOR AN IMPROVED ENGAGEMENT BETWEEN SCOTLAND AND ITS DIASPORA THAT ARE TO BE PRESENTED IN 2014, HOW AND BY WHOM THEY ARE TO BE PRESENTED; WHAT SUPPORTING DATA SHOULD BE ASSEMBLED, AND WHO SHOULD BE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE, PARTICULARLY FOR SCOTLAND.

THE 2014 CONFERENCE DATE IN 2014 IS JULY 7TH.THE DATE WAS CHOSEN SO THAT THE LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE COULD TIE INTO A DIASPORA CONFERENCE BEING RUN BY PROFESSOR TOM DEVINE, EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY'S CHAIR OF DIASPORA STUDIES. AN ARRANGEMENT WHEREBY THE TWO WILL SYNCHRONIZE THEIR MESSAGE IS IN PLACE.

ONE FURTHER ELEMENT THAT FACILITATES OUR OUTREACH TO SCOTLAND IS THE FACT THAT ASF HAS JUST RECENTLY ENTERED INTO AN ARRANGEMENT WITH THE SCOTTISH HISTORIC BUILDINGS TRUST TO OPEN AN OFFICE IN ONE OF ITS PROPERTIES AS A PRELUDE TO LAUNCHING A SCOTTISH CHARITABLE ENTITY THAT WILL SERVE AS THE PLATFORM FOR ASF'S ACTIVITIES THERE. THESE ARE TAKING ON INCREASING IMPORTANCE. WE HAVE A GROWING TEAM IN SCOTLAND TO EXPAND THE SMALL GROUP THAT HAS CURRENTLY SERVES ON ASF'S BOARD OR AS ITS ADVISORS.

LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE EXPERIENCE

ON THIS OCCASION THE EXPERIENCE WILL BE SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT FROM PRIOR CONFERENCES IN THAT WE ARE SEEKING INPUT FROM THE ATTENDEES ON THE STRUCTURING OBJECTIVES AND OUTCOMES SOUGHT FROM THE 2014 CONFERENCE.

IN ADDITION TO BEING ABLE TO CANDIDLY DISCUSS THE ISSUES THAT THEY ARE INVOLVED WITH, ATTENDING INDIVIDUALS/ORGANIZATIONS WILL, AS USUAL, BE ABLE TO GAIN ADVICE FROM OTHERS WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED SIMILAR ISSUES AND HAVE PERHAPS ACHIEVED WORKABLE SOLUTIONS; OUR BEST PRACTICES DEVELOPMENT AND OBJECTIVES. THEY WILL ALSO HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY, AS NOTED, ABOVE TO SHAPE THE 2014 CONFERENCE PARTICULARLY THE AUDIENCE SHOULD,

IF THE PASTS HISTORY IS ANYTHING TO GO BY, COME AWAY FEELING THAT IT WAS TIME WELL SPENT, THAT NEW FRIENDSHIPS WERE FORMED AND MUCH HAS BEEN LEARNED.

IMPORTANCE

THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS EVENT LIES IN THE FACT THAT SCOTLAND IS LARGELY UNAWARE OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THE AMERICAN SCOTTISH COMMUNITY OPERATES CURRENTLY. ORGANIZATIONS ARE LARGELY VOLUNTEER DRIVEN, UNDERFUNDED AND WITH LITTLE MARGIN FOR ERROR.

THE 2014 CONFERENCE, AS IN 2009, GIVES SCOTTISH DIASPORA COMMUNITIES CURRENTLY THE OPPORTUNITY TO STATE THEIR CASE TO THOSE IN SCOTLAND THAT MIGHT HAVE AN INTEREST IN LISTENING AND ADDRESSING FROM A COMMERCIAL, NON-COMMERCIAL , ALTRUISTIC REASON, THE ISSUES RAISED.

SCOTTISH COMMUNITIES AROUND THE WORLD ARE, IN OUR OPINION, INVALUABLE ASSET OF SCOTLAND. THEY NEED TO BE RECOGNIZED AS SUCH, AND, LIKE ALL ASSETS, MANAGED TO ENSURE THEIR CONTINUING VALUE. IT IS OUR HOPE THAT IF MESSAGE IS SKILLFULLY PRESENTED WITH A WORKABLE PLAN OF ACTION TO ADDRESS THE ISSUES RAISED IT CAN BE A TRANSFORMATIVE MOMENT FOR THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SCOTLAND AND ITS PEOPLES OVERSEAS

I HOPE THAT A PROFESSIONALLY MANAGED NON-GOVERNMENTAL BODY WILL BE ELECTED TO REPRESENT ALL THE INTERESTS INVOLVED BOTH THOSE IN SCOTLAND AND OVERSEAS THAT WILL ADVISE AND MANAGE THE STRATEGY THAT DEVELOPS FROM THE CONFERENCE.

ASF ENGAGES EXTENSIVELY WITH SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT AND ITS AGENCIES SUCH AS SCOTTISH ENTERPRISE, SCOTTISH DEVELOPMENT INTERNATIONAL, VISITSCOTLAND AND ITS CULTURAL AND HERITAGE DEVELOPMENTS. THERE IS DEFINITELY A DESIRE ON THE PART OF THE SCOTTISH AMERICAN COMMUNITY TO PRESERVE THEIR CULTURE AND HERITAGE. THE RESOURCES TO SATISFY THIS EDUCATIONAL NEEDS ARE AVAILABLE AND LARGELY ACCESSIBLE, IF ONE KNOWS WHERE TO LOOK. HOWEVER, THE TOOLS TO MAKE IT READILY AVAILABLE AND ACCESSIBLE ARE INADEQUATE ARE BECAUSE OF LACK OF DIRECTION AND FUNDING. AN EXAMPLE OF A SUCCESSFUL MATCH OF FUNDING AND PRODUCT HAVE COINCIDED IS IN THE AREA OF TOURISM. VISITSCOTLAND HAS A VERY SIGNIFICANT ANCESTRAL SCOTLAND PROGRAM THAT IT CAPITALIZES UPON BECAUSE IT HAS TAKEN A VERY COMMERCIAL APPROACH.

WE COULD ACHIEVE MORE BY EXPANDING THE REACH OF THE OUTPUT OF THE CONFERENCE IN DEFINING BEST PRACTICES AND COMMUNICATING THOSE ASPECTS ELECTRONICALLY VIA POSTINGS, WEBINARS AND THE LIKE. AGAIN, THIS REQUIRES A DEDICATED RESOURCES COMMITTED TO THIS FUNCTION. THE MECHANISM FOR FUNDING FOR THESE SUPPORT FUNCTION IS THE OUTCOME WE HOPE TO ACHIEVE THROUGH THE CONFERENCE.


NEWS OF SCOTTISH EVENTS
July 9, 2013

There is a growing sense of anticipation as more news is now being released around 2014 and the Year of Homecoming

Momentum is growing as we begin to learn more of the exciting plans surrounding the celebrations at Bannockburn, the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup... what a year it is going to be - and that is without us talking about all going on here in the States.    And this weekend Grand Father Mountain is the place where much will be discussed in addition to a great Highland Games taking place.


Grand Father Mountain, North Carolina


COSCA will hold their annual Scottish Clans Caucus just prior to the opening the Highland Games. Several members of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs including Sir Malcolm MacGregor of MacGregor, Convenor of the Council and Lord (Jamie) Sempil will join with Clans from throughout the US and Canada, and many leading organizations, to discuss ways to help strengthen the the Clans and Diaspora.

The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games is a three day event that has been held at Grandfather Mountains's MacRae Meadow for more than half a century. Each July, thousands of people from all over the world attend the Games, located in Linville, North Carolina, to celebrate Scottish heritage with traditional music, games, food and friendship.

http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001lWjQFAnCZk1cPZaCsRWN7gbhArj7go1jK6uebWmWVPGLrfpMhJRQsd0ibROvb2W63tOXERHiFEuUShKyJaKSkngXYAyT5UEdg4NcxbBzcJpRSl4PdDshKcRVBsf3y3NBVyi2Z9Q35oJPmWft54FNLg==
Grandfather Mountain Highland Games
Video on YouTube By Vicki Dameron.mov

SCOTLAND TAKES NEW YORK AS TARTAN WEEK ARRIVES
April, 2013

By Iona Crawford


Bagpipe players in the Parade (all images courtesy of Mark Beaumont or Cutty McGill for the American-Scottish Foundation)

“It’s been Tartan Fortnight in New York, from music to fashion, film, energy and business forums – but let’s not forget pipers, kilts and tartan!

Tartan Day Celebrations take place all over the States, and indeed the world, on April 6th. New York is an epicenter for Scotland Tartan Week celebrations and the corner stone is the annual New York Tartan Day Parade, where over 2000 pipers, societies, clans, and a large pack of Scotties and Westies take Sixth Avenue.

This year was the 15th Anniversary of the Parade, and The Luxury Channel invited the The American-Scottish Foundation, one of the Parade’s founding organizers, to give us their overview. In turn, they invited leading Scottish fashion designer Iona Crawford to take on reporting duties – kicked off by an exclusive meeting with Parade Grand Marshall Kevin McKidd – and to share with us a few of the highlights from throughout her busy visit to New York.” – Camilla G. Hellman, The Luxury Channel’s Director of Marketing USA.

Iona Crawford and Kevin McKidd pose for a picture

A crisp spring morning in Manhattan, with blue cloudless skies shining down on a fabulous patchwork of multicolored tartan. I arrived as the line up for the Parade was beginning to take, and the streets around Sixth Avenue were filled with highland warriors young and old, Shetland ponies in knitwear, Westies in tammie hats and kilts, with pipers getting ready for their day of pride and celebration….again, Scotland Day was upon us and there was a parade to be marched!


Grand Marshal Kevin McKidd waves to the crowds


This, the annual Tartan Day Parade, first established by the Canadians as their Tartan Day in the mid 1980s, has grown in stature and popularity as Scots from around the world meet to march in unison.

For me, whilst I was in Southampton New York around the same time last year, this was my first experience of New York Tartan Day Parade, and what an experience it was!

Vikings from Shetland

Meeting at the Algonquin Hotel around noon where organizers, Scottish politicans, winning bands and all manner of people were meeting – including a large group of Vikings from Shetland, I had the good fortune of speaking with Kevin McKidd, Grand Marshall for this year’s parade. Having only ever viewed Kevin in his roles as Owen in Gray’s Anatomy and Tommy in Trainspotting, it was utterly lovely sharing a conversation with the man himself, dressed in softly toned Howie Nicholsby 21st Century Kilts attire. I discovered that his daughter and I share the same name and that his parents had travelled from his hometown in Elgin to share his Scotland Day honour.


A Scottie wearing tartan

But I couldn’t stay with him too long as I too had an important role to play as co-judge in selecting the prize-winning Westies and Scotties, alongside Camilla Hellman from the American Scottish Foundation. I then had to rush back up through hundreds of kilted warriors to try and locate my group – losing Camilla in the melee of men, women, children, dogs and horses.


Westie twins wearing tartan

On the strike of two o’clock, with gusto the Parade began. Pipe-bands, each with their own signature composition, marched in time, batons twirling, highland dancers leaping and faces beaming with pride for their shared heritage, roots and fellow clansmen.


Bagpipe players in the Parade

Following the Parade, I went on to a reception, meeting up with leading Scottish sculptor Andy Scott, who was in New York scouting for a location to move the wonderful 20ft Kelpies from Chicago to New York – he was returning to Scotland to work further on the installation of the 100ft Kelpies, part of the Helix project on the Firth of Forth.

Photographer Ken Paterson then spoke with me about his exhibit at Federal Hall on Wall Street, In The Footsteps of John Muir, a month-long exhibition honoring John Muir. So much to see and do!

Tartan Week is an opportunity for people to meet, discuss and plan, and this week has been a whirl of that. Former Grand Marshall of the Parade Alan Cummings was opening on Broadway in MacBeth, a National Theatre of Scotland production, although sadly I didn’t manage to get to see the production.


Everyone wears tartan


I was keen to embrace as much music, arts, culture and heritage as possible. Musical concerts included performances by Stanley Odd, Rachel Sermanni, The Proclaimers, and The View. Roseanne Cash also performed a benefit concert for Sandy Relief in support of a campaign to repair of one of the Schooners damaged during Hurricane Sandy. It’s clear that New York is still reeling from the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty are shut to visitors, and Battery Park is a wasteland, having been hard-hit by a 14ft surge of water. As apparent as the devastation is, residents are confident that this won’t last for long – this is New York. I was sorry to miss Roseanne’s concert which took place on Monday night, the same night as From Scotland With Love hit the runway at Stage Forty8 in Midtown Manhattan. An annual Scotland Week show, the theme for this year – The Asian Dragon Meets The Scottish Lion – brought together a fusion of Asian and Scottish fashion design upon a glamorous runway.

For me, a definite jewel in the Scotland Week crown was the launch of Highland Heart, an exhibition of masterful photography by Scottish, New York-based David Eustace. Taking place within his very own studio on West 26th Street, Friday’s exhibition was more than heart-wrenching and reminded me why, as much as I adore New York, Scotland will always be home.


An Iona Crawford creation

My magnificently fast-paced week of meetings, shows, shoots, events and glorious sunshine in New York reached a magnificent crescendo, as I was exclusively invited to showcase my current collections within the spectacularly ornate surrounds of Manhattan’s famous Metropolitan Club duringThe National Trust for Scotland Gala Dinner. There could have been no more magical a way to conclude my week and better still, I know that time will be short before my next business trip to New York.

For more information on Iona Crawford, please visit www.ionacrawford.com or contact her on +44 (0) 7816504926 / iona@ionacrawford.com



 


In the Footsteps of John Muir

The exhibit "In the Footsteps of John Muir" is currently on display at Federal Hall National Memorial.

Scottish photographer Ken Paterson brings thirty beautiful images of both his native land and America's most amazing places to Federal Hall in honor of several anniversaries. April 21, 2013 would have been the 175th birthday of John Muir, one of America's most important conservationists and the man often called the "Father of the National Parks." Born in Dunbar, Scotland, Muir immigrated to America with his family when he was a boy. Additionally, April 6 marks Tartan Day, the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish Declaration of Independence.

The exhibit has been extended. Read more here...


PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The American-Scottish Foundation Announces a Sensational Program of Events Celebrating Tartan Day in New York City.

The countdown is on to the 15th Annual New York Tartan Day Parade, taking place on Saturday April 6th. The American-Scottish Foundation (ASF), a proud founder of the parade, invites to you to join the parade and take part in celebrating Scottish heritage and pride with a series of events taking place during Tartan Week.

American-Scottish Foundation, led by the New York Metro Pipe Band in the 2012 New York Tartan Day Parade

The first parade began along the sidewalk. This year we celebrate the 15th Annual NYC Tartan Day Parade on Sixth Avenue. I could not be more delighted or grateful to all who have made this possible, said Foundation Chairman, Heather Bain.

ASF is presenting a diverse platform of events from business, to film, to music and exhibitions - the events reflect ASF's mission to be a bridge between Scotland and America in multiple areas.

Beginning the Tartan Day weekend on Friday April 5th ASF presents "Our Energy Future: The Power of Partnerships in America and Scotland" hosted by Bank of America. The Forum brings together industry leaders, investors, policymakers and thinkers, to discuss the future of the renewable and clean tech energy sectors. Keynote addresses will be made by: The Rt Hon Lord Marland, Chairman of United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI) Business Ambassadors Group; MSP Members Duncan McNeil and Bruce Crawford of the Scottish Parliament and Francis J.Murray Jr President and CEO of New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERTA).

On Saturday, April 6th, Tartan Day - The 15th Annual New York Tartan Day Parade will step off at 2pm from 44th Street and Sixth Avenue. Acclaimed award winning Scottish actor, Kevin McKidd will lead the parade as this years Grand Marshall. Pipe bands, drummers and members of Scottish clans and societies will be joined by over a hundred wee Scotties and Westies as New York is awash in tartan and kilts.

ASF is proud to be one of the three founder members of The National Tartan Day New York Committee - organizers of the parade.

On Sunday April 7th, at the Brick Church, 62 East 92nd Street, at 12.30pm, an Observance of Tartan Day's history and message will be delivered prior to a performance at 1pm by Scottish artist Fiona Kennedy's production of The Kist.

In 1998 Senate Resolution 155 was passed establishing Tartan Day as a permanent celebration of the important role Scots have played in the formation of the Untied States.

The festival of celebration continues, on Monday April 8th, at 12.30pm, as the St. Columba School Pipe Band play a FREE concert at Bryant Park on the Fountain Terrace at 42nd and Sixth Avenue.

This is the band's second visit to New York from Scotland, having joined the parade once before in 2006. The band has played for HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, HRH the Princess Royal, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, and led the Scottish rugby team onto the pitch at Murrayfield and welcomed the arrival of the QE2 to the Port of Greenock.

In the evening on Monday April 8th ASF hosts a reception and viewing of "In The Footsteps of John Muir", a photographic exhibit by Scottish photographer Ken Patterson, at Federal Hall, Wall Street, The exhibit is presented in conjunction with National Parks Service, and is open to the public, free of charge, from April 3rd - 25th, 2013

On Thursday April 11th, ASF events continue with preview screenings of "We Are Northern Lights" at the Bryant Park Hotel. The highly acclaimed documentary is the result of the first ever crowd sourced film project in Scotland. The film shows Scots, and their country, through a myriad of different lenses - those of the Scots themselves. The evening will include a Q&A with Director Dr Nick Higgins.


LADY MALCOLM DOUGLAS-HAMILTON, 1909-2013


The American-Scottish Foundation® is deeply saddened to report the death of its last living co-founder, Lady Natalie Douglas-Hamilton, on January 14, 2013.

Details of her full and productive life, and links to her obituaries in the London Times and New York Times can be found on our History page and below.

Our thoughts at this time are with her family and all those who were close to her. Lady Natalie's funeral service was held on February 2, 2013 in New York City.





January 17, 2013 - By: Sora Vernikoff 

NOTEWORTHY NEW YORKERS: THE AMERICAN-SCOTTISH FOUNDATION

Robert Burns has been quoted as saying, “There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing.”

Well, one thing for sure is that on January 18, 2013, The American-Scottish Foundation is having its 18th Burns Night Gala Celebration.


This fundraising event will begin with a reception, a whisky tasting of Bowmore and Glen Garloch Single Malts, and all of this will be presented by David McNicoll, The Brand Ambassador for Fine Whiskies at Campari.  Mr. McNicoll will also be serving as the master of ceremonies for the rest of the evening’s events.

After this tasting, guests will be joyfully piped into supper where a traditional Burns Night Dinner will be served.  Then orator Kenneth C. Donnelly will be introduced and will present Burn’s “Address to a Haggis.”  In addition, there will be musical entertainment from Pipe Major Andy Hamilton of The New York Metro Pipe Band and vocalists Maureen McMullen and Atlantic Seaway will also perform.

If you want a fun, educational and exciting evening out, while helping to support the mission of The American-Scottish Foundation to strengthen the ties between individuals, institutions and businesses of Scotland the The United States then click HERE and buy a ticket!

 


PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Monday, November 26th, 2012

NEW YORK’S TARTAN DAY PARADE TO BE HELD SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2013 - THE HIGHLIGHT OF TARTAN WEEK EVENTS

The 15th Annual Tartan Day Parade, the centerpiece of New York’s celebration of Scottish heritage, will take place on Saturday, April 6, 2013.  Once again, the Avenue of the Americas will be alive with pipers, dancers, Scotties and marchers, all celebrating Scotland in America.
The Parade is the highlight of Tartan Week, the yearly showcase of Scottish culture and traditions held around April 6, Tartan Day. A national day of recognition, Tartan Day celebrates the important and lasting impact that Scotland and those of Scottish descent had on the formation of our great country. Tartan Week is filled with a diverse and exciting range of Scottish-themed activities for all people.

The National Tartan Day New York Committee, Inc. was formed in 2002 by three local non-profit organizations: the St Andrews Society of the State of New York, the New York Caledonian Club and the American-Scottish Foundation, Inc., with Clan Campbell joining later. The Committee organizes New York City’s Tartan Day Parade and facilitates coordination of events and activities by the many groups who participate in Tartan Week.

 “We are proud to announce the Parade will continue,” said Lesley MacLennan Denninger, President of the National Tartan Day New York Committee. “The storm has devastated many parts of our city, but it has also helped bring New Yorkers together, community helping community, neighbor helping neighbor. To demonstrate our City's grit and resilience, we invite Scottish-Americans around the City and around the country to join us next April for Tartan Week 2013.”

A new National Tartan Day New York Committee, Inc. website will be launching soon, with information about visiting the city, marching in the Parade, and participating in the week’s activities. 

Parade Registration for Pipe Bands and Clan Groups will open shortly. For those who would like to march with The American-Scottish Foundation®, please contact us at: asfevents@wwbcny.com 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: 
Camilla G. Hellman, MBE - Director of Development / Emma Robertson-Werner - Arts & Culture Representative 
The American-Scottish Foundation, Inc. - Founding member of The National Tartan Day New York Committee, Inc.
Scotland House® 
575 Madison Avenue, 10th Floor,
New York, NY 10022-2511
Tel (212) 605-0338 (x4)
Fax (212) 605-0222
HISTORY OF THE PARADE:
THE NATIONAL TARTAN DAY NEW YORK COMMITTEE Inc.:
National Tartan Day New York Committee, Inc.
Organizer of New York City's Tartan Day Parade
150 East 55th Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10022
Tel: (212) 980-0844
Fax: (212) 223-0748

 




ST. ANDREW'S DAY : NOVEMBER 30, 2012

Dear Friends,

Today, as Scots and friends of Scotland all over the globe are celebrating St Andrew’s Day, Scotland’s National Day, I want to take this opportunity, on behalf of everyone here at the Scottish Affairs Office in Washington, DC, to thank you for all your support during 2012. We wish you and your families every good wish for the holiday season and the year ahead. It’s an exciting time to be Scottish as we look forward to 2013, our Year of Natural Scotland - a great opportunity to enjoy Scotland’s spectacular natural beauty – and one year closer to 2014, our Year of Homecoming, when Scotland will invite the world to celebrate our rich cultural heritage and to enjoy some major sporting events, including the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup golf tournament. You can find more information on what Scotland has to offer in 2013 and 2014 on Homecoming Scotland 2014 website and click here to view a St Andrew’s Day message by Scotland’s First Minister, the Right Honourable Alex Salmond MSP.

So, plenty to look forward to next year and beyond. In the meantime, thank you again for your support and happy St Andrew’s Day!

ROBIN NAYSMITH
Scottish Government Counsellor, North America






November 9, 2012

The American-Scottish Foundation® 
Wallace Award®Gala Dinner 



The Directors of the American-Scottish Foundation® invited guests to attend the ASF Wallace Award® Gala Dinner on Friday, November 9, 2012, at the University Club in New York City. The event honored:


Sir Ian Wood, CBE
- Chairman, John Wood Group PLC
Dr. Alan L. Bain - President Emeritus, American-Scottish Foundation®
Ms. Duncan MacDonald - Founder, Scottish Coalition

Past recipients include The Forbes Family, Sir Sean Connery, Senator Trent Lott and Euan Baird.

The evening benefited the ongoing work of the American-Scottish Foundation® and its Scottish partner The ARCHIE Foundation, together with the ASF Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort.

Pictures can be viewed here within this site and at Black Tie Magazine.

 



September 10, 2012 : By Caroline Brodie

US honor for Scots oil tycoon


Oil tycoon and philanthropist Sir Ian Wood will join the ranks of a handful of great Scots when he accepts a top honour at a dinner in New York next month.


The Wood Group chairman will follow in the footsteps of Sir Sean Connery, Lord George Robertson, Lord Smith of Kelvin and members of the Forbes family when he receives the Wallace Award from the American-Scottish Foundation.

The Aberdeen-based billionaire will collect the honour at a gala dinner in the University Club in Manhattan on November 9. Organisers say it is in recognition of a lifetime of global philanthropy and outstanding contributions to Scottish-American relations.

Read the full article here.

 


 


The Board of the American-Scottish Foundation® announces with great pleasure that The Duchess of Hamilton and Brandon, wife of His Grace The Duke of Hamilton and Brandon, Alexander Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, Patron of the American-Scottish Foundation®, gave birth to son and heir Douglas Charles Douglas-Hamilton, styled Marquess of Douglas and Clydesdale, on July 9th, 2012. Congratulations are extended to the Duke and Duchess on their very happy news!




New York celebrates the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

June 4, 2012

The American Scottish Foundation® and Jones Wood Foundry organized
Jubilee Big Lunch New York style....a great day in the Big Apple ... click on the image for ITV footage of the event.


 



The ASF on Women's View Radio

April 16, 2012 - A Chat with representatives of the ASF





From Kilts to the Caber

April 10, 2012 - by Ralph "Urban" Gardner

Everyone loves a parade (except, perhaps, if you live on Fifth Avenue). And when parades are held you don't have to tell people to put them on their calendars. They're so loud they need no advertising.

But even in New York it's still possible for parades to fly under the radar. I appreciate that it doesn't happen often, but you can be walking down the street, minding your own business, or waiting for the light to change, when all of a sudden a parade goes by.

A spectacle that may well fit that description is the annual Tartan Day Parade. Celebrating Scottish-American amity, it hasn't yet reached the blockbuster, traffic-snarling, perhaps-this-would-be-a-good-weekend-to-get-out-of-town proportions of such better-known brethren as the St. Patrick's or National Puerto Rican Day Parades.

Marking the culmination of Tartan Week—essentially one giant Scottish product-placement marathon—the parade kicks off this Saturday at 2 p.m. and marches up Sixth Avenue from 44th Street to 56th Street.

Unfortunately, I'll be away—and not because my idea of fun isn't wading through a sea of drunk, face-painted people waving flags. Indeed, I suspect part of the allure of the Tartan Day Parade, if I may be so presumptuous, is that there will be few spectators flaunting the open-bottle laws or blowing vuvuzelas.

Nonetheless, I managed to persuade Alan Bain, president emeritus of the American-Scottish Foundation, and Camilla Hellman, the organization's director of development, to get together with me a few days ago to preview the excitement that those who will be lining the avenue 10—or at least two—deep have in store.

"We always have Scotties," Ms. Hellman stated, referring to the little black terriers. "We had 160 last year."

"It's over that now," Mr. Bain boasted.

There are Westies, too—West Highland White Terriers. And they'll all be herded by MBAs attending the Mountbatten Institute, a one-year paid internship.

And obviously there will be bagpipers galore.

In the 2002 parade, I believe it was, the marchers tried to break the Guinness Book of World Records record for the longest pipe-band parade. They succeeded, if for no other reason than that the Guinness people hadn't yet thought to notice this category of human achievement.

I also wondered about floats. What parade would be complete without floats? I couldn't quite see steel bands and dancers in skimpy costumes (though Mr. Bain confirmed the rumor that kilt wearers often go underwear-free). But perhaps they could run a float that incorporated poet Robbie Burns, or Harris Tweed, or a whiskey distillery.

"Initially, we didn't feel we were ready for it," Mr. Bain said, referring to floats. "Now that we're beginning to feel our way, that may come."

Though not this year. However, he did mention something about golf carts.

Ms. Hellman added that Baxter Bear, a guy in a bear costume, would be doing a "walk about." I wasn't familiar with Baxter Bear, but apparently he's a big deal in Scotland, raising lots of money for charity.

"They thought there was a real bear," Mr. Bain recalled, of the year it was first mentioned to city officials that a bear would be joining the parade. "You should have seen the face of the parade marshal. He blanched."

The parade first kicked off in 1999, with actor Cliff Robertson as grand marshal. It marched a few blocks down Second Avenue. After 2000, it relocated for a couple of years to Central Park, then-Parks Commissioner Henry Stern joining the line of march in a kilt. The brief route went along Literary Walk to the Naumburg Bandshell. "He had his kilt back to front," Mr. Bain remembered. He didn't make a big deal of it, though he did coach Commissioner Stern on the proper way to strap his sporran, the pouch traditionally worn over the front of the kilt that contains one's wallet and car keys.

Sean Connery also sported a kilt, I assume correctly draped, though whether supported or unsupported I neglected to ask, when he led the parade in 2002, the first time it ascended Avenue of the Americas. Mayor Michael Bloomberg also made an appearance that year, though in slacks. This year it's being led by actor Brian Cox.

Mr. Bain said that even a modest parade is complicated; the bands must be spaced out so their music doesn't overlap and they also have to be assigned tunes to avoid redundancy. He estimates there will be 700 bagpipers and drummers and 2,000 participants in all. And then there's the weather.

"It's looking OK," Ms. Hellman stated cheerfully. "I did the 10-day forecast."

"Our vision was not to try to replicate the St. Patrick's Day Parade," Mr. Bain said, answering the question I was reluctant to ask. He sees it more as an opportunity to bring together the tri-state's Scottish-American community and also to raise public consciousness about all things Scottish. "We wanted to make people aware of both our fun side and our serious side," he explained.

Ms. Hellman and Mr. Bain almost forgot to mention the caber. For those unfamiliar with the object, the caber is a heavy pole, or log, about the length and girth of a telephone pole. It's used in the game of caber toss, the winner the contestant who not only throws it farthest, but most gracefully, having it land upright.

"It's quite difficult to transport," Ms. Hellman acknowledged. "It's 26 feet long."

"It's like carrying a coffin," Mr. Bain admitted. In fact, more than a half-dozen people typically lug it up the avenue.

As far as I'm concerned, a caber toss would definitely put the Tartan Day Parade on the map. You can have your floats and bands and even five-story SpongeBob helium balloons. Just give me a flying telephone pole.

Unfortunately, it's not to be.

"No toss," Mr. Bain said, shaking his head.

I suppose I see his point. The Tartan Day Parade's allure rests not only on its buoyant Scottish spirit but also its safety. "And there's no litter," Mr. Bain added.



 

MoAF and American-Scottish Foundation Honor Andrew Carnegie During NYC’s Scotland-Tartan Week

Museum of American Finance and American-Scottish Foundation Honor Andrew Carnegie During NYC’s Scotland-Tartan Week 2012 April 10 event includes opening of “Andrew Carnegie: Forging Philanthropy” exhibit
 
New York, NY – On Tuesday, April 10, the Museum of American Finance will open “Andrew Carnegie: Forging Philanthropy,” an exhibit on Carnegie's life and work, with a spotlight on his love of Scotland, his business life and his philanthropic activities.  The exhibit will be unveiled at an event presented in conjunction with the American-Scottish Foundation in celebration of Scotland-Tartan Week in New York City.
 
WHAT: “Life & Legacy of Andrew Carnegie” panel discussion, followed by reception and viewing of “Andrew Carnegie: Forging Philanthropy” exhibit
 
WHO: The Museum of American Finance and the American-Scottish Foundation will co-present this event.  Participants in the panel discussion include the following Carnegie experts: Vartan Gregorian, President, Carnegie Corporation of New York (Introduction); Peter Krass, award-winning author of Carnegie (Moderator); Ellen Condliffe Lagemann, Levy Institute Research Professor, Bard College; Martyn Evans, Chief Executive, Carnegie UK Trust; and Anthony Marx, President, New York Public Library.
 
WHEN: Tuesday, April 10, 6:00 – 8:00 pm (Panel begins at 6:00; reception to follow at approximately 7:00)
 
WHERE: Museum of American Finance, 48 Wall Street (corner of William Street), NYC
 
ADDITIONAL DETAILS: All are welcome to attend this event.  Tickets cost $45 and include a one-year membership in the Museum of American Finance.  For information and reservations, contact Tempris Small at 212-908-4110 or tsmall@moaf.org.  Working members of the press should contact Kristin Aguilera at 212-908-4695 or kaguilera@moaf.org for access to this event.
 
About “Andrew Carnegie: Forging Philanthropy”
The Museum of American Finance’s exhibit on industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie will feature objects and documents from the Museum’s collection, as well as from the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum and the Carnegie Corporation of New York Archives at Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library.  Highlights include George Soros’s Carnegie Medal for philanthropy, a $100,000 US Steel gold bond certificate issued to Carnegie for part of the sale of Carnegie Steel to JP Morgan, and the two-sided American/Scottish flag that flew at Carnegie’s Scotland estate, Skibo Castle, in the 19th century.  “Andrew Carnegie: Forging Philanthropy” will be on view through October 2012.

About the Museum of American Finance
The Museum of American Finance, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is the nation’s only public museum dedicated to finance, entrepreneurship and the open market system.  With its extensive collection of financial documents and objects, its seminars and educational programming, its publication and oral history program, the Museum portrays the breadth and richness of American financial history, achievement and practices.  The Museum is located at 48 Wall Street, on the corner of William Street, and is open Tues–Sat, 10 am – 4 pm.  For more information, visit www.moaf.org or connect with the Museum on Facebook or Twitter.
 
About the American-Scottish Foundation
The American-Scottish Foundation® is dedicated to the strengthening of ties between individuals, institutions and businesses of Scotland and the United States.  Founded in 1956 by Lord Malcolm Douglas Hamilton, the Foundation’s mission remains as it was then – a bridge between two great countries.  The Foundation champions the extraordinary and creative relationship for mutual benefit, with an extensive program of projects and events.  It is one of the founding partners in the New York Tartan Day Parade, and the Foundation held the first Scotland Week in New York in 1976.

For further information please contact : 
Camilla Hellman, Director of Development
American-Scottish Foundation
             
Kristin Aguilera, Deputy Director
Museum of American Finance   
212-908-4695kaguilera@moaf.org              


Click on the banner above to purchase tickets.



 

Song of Return take bite out of Big Apple with New York shows

March 20, 2012 - Scottish TV at www.stv.tv

After winning the first ever Big Apple Award competition, up-and-coming Scottish group Song of Return are jetting over to New York next month to play two showcase shows.



After their triumphant performance in Glasgow at The Garage's G2 venue in October 2011, Song of Return were crowned winners of 2011's Big Apple Award competition.

Dates have now been confirmed, and Song of Return are being flown to New York to play two unique gigs at Joe's Pub on Wednesday 11th April and at the Mercury Lounge on Saturday 14th April. As part of the competition prize, the band will be performing for Ian Ralfini, president of Blue Note and Manhattan Records.

The Glasgow group's vocalist/guitarist Craig Grant said: "We are stoked to be going to NYC. I'm really excited to play at Joe's Pub which has hosted many huge acts.

"New York in general has a great musical heritage of course, but I feel also like it has a similar outlook, similar sense of humour to Glasgow."

The Big Apple Award was a new initiative launched in 2011 by Creative Scotland, in partnership with Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland and The American-Scottish Foundation.

The winner was selected in a unanimous decision by judges including Mark Millar from Clash, Matthew Rumbold from EMI, Roddy Hart and Yvonne McLellan from Island Records, and Caroline Parkinson from Creative Scotland who said: "It is our ambition for Scotland to be recognised as a leading creative nation and by partnering with Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland, the American-Scottish Foundation in New York and Clash Music, Creative Scotland are delighted to support the showcases of Song of Return at Scotland Week in New York."

Comprising members of Scottish acts such as Admiral Fallow and the disbanded Union of Knives, Song of Return are fronted by Craig Grant (vocals/guitar) and Louis Abbott (vocals/guitar), also featuring Dave Reekie (bass), Pete Kelly (drums) and Alex McNutt (programming/keys).

The band have been playing together for two years and released their debut album Limits in May 2011. Their Trajectory EP was issued in December 2011 on Kittiwake Records.

Owner of Glasgow's live music venues The Garage and The Cathouse and chairman of Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland, concert promoter Donald MacLeod said: "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that every emerging or breakthrough Scottish band dreams of. I wish an opportunity like this had existed when I was in a band.

"Song of Return are following in the footsteps of bands like Biffy Clyro and Franz Ferdinand to launch Stateside and it's all thanks to this fantastic competition".

Song of Return have also announced three Scottish dates at The Tunnels in Aberdeen on 29th March, Edinburgh's Wee Red Bar on Friday 30th March and Glasgow's O2 ABC2 venue on Saturday 31st. For more information on these and the New York dates visit songofreturn.com.

The Big Apple Award is the first international project undertaken by the The American-Scottish Foundation charity. Camilla G Hellman MBE, of the American-Scottish Foundation said: "We are looking forward to introducing Song of Return to a new audience in New York City.

"This is the Year of Creative Scotland and it is wonderful that the Big Apple Award is a part of that. The American-Scottish Foundation's mission is to be a bridge between these two great countries; this competition is a perfect example of that".

 



From BITES on TODAY

Ode to a Haggis: Bring out your inner Scot with a Burns Supper

January 25, 2012
By Lisa Granshaw
. Extracts:

"Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o' the pudding-race!" -- Robert Burns

At TODAY.com, we wax poetic about food every day, so we can really appreciate classic wordsmiths who emphasized eats, like Scottish poet Robert Burns, who dedicated an entire poem to the uniquely Scottish dish haggis. The poet, perhaps best known to Americans for writing "Auld Lang Syne," heard frequently around New Year's, would have turned 253 years old today. Around the world, fans will celebrate with plenty of food, including haggis, along with dancing, bagpipes and poetry.

Why honor Burns? Lesley MacLennan Denninger, chieftain of the New York Caledonian Club, told TODAY.com it's because he wrote songs and poetry that was relatable to all classes.

"A few years after his death at the age of 37, a group of his friends got together in his honor. They drank a toast to the 'Immortal Memory' of Robert Burns. People have been gathering together around the anniversary of his birth, January 25, ever since," Denninger said.


The haggis being piped in for the ASF Burns Night held Friday, January 20

Haggis is an integral part of the celebrations and is usually served with neeps (mashed turnips) and tatties (mashed potatoes). The subject of Burns' "Address to the Haggis," the dish involves sheep offal mixed with oats, onions and spices, usually encased in a sheep’s stomach and simmered together.


Read the full article at NBC online here.




Scottish Independence - The American perspective

January 24, 2012
By Brian Wheeler, BBC News, Washington - an extract:


'Mixed feelings'

No polling has been done on the subject so far, but the New York-based American-Scottish Foundation® canvassed opinion from some of its members for the BBC.

A spokesman said: "It appears that Scottish-Americans here in the US have mixed feelings regarding the issue.

"While most people are intrigued by the 'notion' of independence, they express a great need to know or understand more exactly what independence will ultimately mean for Scotland in real terms - economically, politically, internationally, and so forth.

"People seem keen to watch the events closely as they unfold, without actually supporting either position at this point in time."

If Alex Salmond really is planning to mobilise the Scottish diaspora ahead of a referendum, he may have his work cut out inspiring the troops.

Time, perhaps, to dig out the Braveheart DVD.

Read the full BBC article here


 

 

St. Andrew's Day Celebration

November 29, 2011


The scene at the St. Andrew's Day Ceremony

 

The Scottish Government held its annual St. Andrew's Day ceremony last week. The event was held at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, a perfect setting for the occasion as noted by the Scottish Government's Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop. Hylsop served as the host of the evening.

Guests listened to bag pipes play and sipped on samples of Scotch whiskey, the most popular spirit and the USA's largest single export. In the spirit of the holiday, many guests dressed in highland wear, celebrating their heritage like many other Scots worldwide.

"Our history is your history," said Hyslop in her opening speech as she discussed the connection between the USA and Scotland.

— report and photographs by Monica Stern-Morales

 


L: Gregory Robison, Fiona Mackay and Chris Zapirain. R: Douglas and Angus Kelly

 


L: Allison J. Rose and Shejana Andjelkovic. R: Eric Mcaleer and Chris Wang

 


L: Multiple speeches were given in celebration of the event. R: Stuart Cameron and Cindy Forbes Cameron.

 


Camilla Hellman, Heather Bain and Anne Kennedy

 




US Department of State - Scotland's St. Andrew's Day


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC

November 29, 2011



Statement by Secretary Clinton

On the Occasion of Scotland's St. Andrew's Day

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to congratulate the people of Scotland as you celebrate St. Andrew's Day this November 30. In Caledonian Societies and Scottish clubs from New York to Chicago, across America and the world, people of Scottish origin will be celebrating with you.

The United States has been enriched by Scottish influences since its founding. For more than two centuries, we have enjoyed strong ties of kinship, commerce, culture and discovery. We are proud to count many of our Founding Fathers among the trail-blazing Scottish-Americans who have helped shape and enrich our country. From Andrew Carnegie and Alexander Graham Bell to David Dunbar Buick and Ginger Rogers, Scottish-Americans have strengthened our bonds of friendship and cooperation. Today, we are working together to develop scientific breakthroughs, promote business, encourage energy security and expand educational opportunities.

As you celebrate this special day, know that the United States stands with you as a partner and friend. I wish the people of Scotland and those of Scottish descent around the world a happy St. Andrew's Day celebration.




Big Apple Award Winner to play at Tartan Clef Awards

November 2011

Congratulations to Song of Return who walked off with the Big Apple Award after an amazing live play-off featuring Woodenbox with A Fistful of Fivers, Finding Albert, Wrongnote and Leki Mera, who all put in fantastic performances. A great night was had by all.

Song of Return will now play live at The Scottish Music Awards – The Tartan Clefs in November and will next year be flown to New York City to perform during Scotland Week 2012.

Read more about Song of Return and the Big Apple Clef award within our own site here. More info on the group can also be found on their own site at www.songofreturn.com

Thanks to all the acts who entered the competition.

Learn more about the Scottish Music Awards here:

http://www.nordoffrobbinsscotland.org.uk




Who Will Pay for the Green Economy? New York Talks to Scotland on Energy Challenges

October 30, 2011 (PRWEB)

The American-Scottish Foundation® has brought together senior energy decision-makers and thought leaders who will gather at the SUNY Global Center on Monday, October 31, for the first American-Scottish Foundation Energy Forum.




Who Will Pay for the Green Economy? New York talks to Scotland on Energy Challenges

The future of energy in America and Scotland will come under the spotlight a high-level forum in New York presented by the American-Scottish Foundation® in New York.

Senior energy decision-makers and thought leaders will gather at the SUNY Global Center on Monday, October 31, for the first American-Scottish Foundation® Energy Forum.

David Bragdon, appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg last year to lead New York City’s sustainability agenda, and one of Scotland’s leading industrialists Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chairman, Scottish and Southern Energy and The Weir Group are among the speakers.

Heather Bain, the Foundation’s Chairman, said the forum will use Scotland and New York City and State as ‘critical laboratories’ to explore the challenges and the opportunities.

Topics will include who will pay for the green economy, how energy leaders will fuel the future, and creating smarter cities.

Other speakers at the one-day event will include Pete Grannis, First Deputy Comptroller, New York State, and former New York State DEC Commissioner, and Carl Arnold of the Sierra Club, New York on the role of environmental advocacy.

David Wilson, Director of Energy at The Scottish Government will discuss why Scotland wants to the renewable energy leader of Europe, and Khalil Shalabi will talk about how the New York Power Authority (NPYA) is helping deliver cleaner power across the State.

Ernest Tollerson of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will focus on the greening of transportation in New York City.

The forum will be chaired by Alan Capper, President of the Foreign Press Association of New York, Ed Crooks, US Energy and Industry Editor, Financial Times, and Ann Kayman, CEO of New York Grant Company, and a former Enterprising Women magazine ‘Woman of the Year’.

American-Scottish Foundation® Energy Forum, SUNY Global Center, 116 East 55th Street, New York, October 31, 2011.

http://americanscottishfoundation.com/events/energy_11.html

 



Alan Bain honored at Scottish Leadership Awards

October 7, 2011

Business leaders recognised at black tie bash

John Wood Group chief executive Allister Langlands has been chosen as the overall winner of the Scottish Leadership Awards.
 
Langlands was described as an “inspirational leader” by the judges. In the past year he has reshaped the whole business with the US$950m acquisition of Aberdeen-based Production Services Network and the disposal of Wood Group’s well support division to GE for US$2.85bn.

The PSN acquisition gives Wood Group a clear leading position across the world in the modifications, operations and maintenance of oil and gas production facilities.
 
He accepted the prize at the National Museum of Scotland in front of more than 300 guests.

Male business leader of the year was Bob Keiller, chief executive, of Wood Group PSN while Barrhead Travel's Sharon Munro won the female category.
Male business leader of the year was Wood Group PSN boss Bob Keiller while Barrhead Travel’s Sharon Munro took the female category.

James Watt and Martin Dickie, the founders of drinks firm BrewDog, were named young business leaders of the year.

Other winners at the ceremony in the National Museum of Scotland last night (Thursday) included John Reid of Michelin Tyre, Dame Professor Joan String from Edinburgh Napier University, Craneware’s Keith Neilson and Ian Grabiner of Arcadia Group.

The International Services to Scotland Leadership award went to US-based businessman and philanthropist Alan Bain.

Bain, who is President Emeritus of the American-Scottish Foundation®, has helped Scottish businesses for many years.
 
Recently, in his role as ambassador for BA, he managed to get a delegation from luxury American specialty store Saks Fifth Avenue to come over to Scotland to see what textile products it had to offer.
 
That resulted in an estimated US$3.5m SAKS order for Scottish textile products.



Winner of Big Apple Award Announced

October 2011

Song of Return wins Big Apple Award!



Song of Return

The American-Scottish Foundation® is delighted to announce that, following months of speculation over entries from some of Scotland's best up and coming musical talent, Song of Return won Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland's Big Apple Award, after a brilliant live performance at The Garage's G2 venue last night wowed the Award's judges.

The gig also saw storming mini-sets from the other four short listed finalists Laki Mera, Finding Albert, Wrongnote and Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers, who all received gifts from Guitar Guitar.

Song of Return is fronted by Craig Grant and Louis Abbott, joined by Alex McNutt, David Reekie and Ewan McDonald. The band has played together for two years and released their first album entitled "Limits" in July of this year. Craig said "We are delighted and amazed to be chosen from all the talented bands that played on the night, it's very humbling as we have been playing together for two years and are now starting to be recognised."

The Big Apple Award is a collaborative partnership between renowned music charity Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland, Creative Scotland, The American-Scottish Foundation® and Clash.

Winning The Big Apple Award means that Song of Return will play to an audience packed with music industry types at the Scottish Music Awards (the Tartan Clefs) this November, before being whisked away to New York City next year to play a variety of gigs all over Manhattan during Scotland Week 2012. The American-Scottish Foundation® looks forward to welcoming Song of Return to New York.

Also, whilst in the USA Song of Return will play for Ian Ralfini, president of both Blue Note and Manhattan Records, divisions of EMI in North America.

The winner was selected in a unanimous decision by judges including Mark Millar from Clash, Matthew Rumbold from EMI, Roddy Hart, Yvonne McLellan from Island, and Caroline Parkinson, Director of Creative Development, Creative Scotland who said; 'The Big Apple Award received a phenomenal response from a great many talented artists and bands and the judging panel had a very tough task whittling it down to the final five. The standard of the entries displays the shear wealth of musical talent Scotland has to offer.'


Ciaran O'Toole hosted the night and said to the fans; "We're not here to take your money for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland, but you are the future and should take five minutes on your break to check out the Charity and the Scottish Music Awards (the Tartan Clefs) to understand what music therapy and the charity does for these children". The Big Apple Award is the first international project undertaken by the charity.


"We're looking forward to presenting the winning Scottish band to a new audience in New York City. It's the Year of Creative Scotland and it is wonderful that the Big Apple Award is a part of it. The American-Scottish Foundation® mission is to be a bridge between the two great countries and this is a perfect example of that," noted Camilla G Hellman, MBE, of the American-Scottish Foundation®..

Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland

July 2011


Renowned music charity Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland and Creative Scotland have teamed up to launch a once in a lifetime opportunity for new and emerging Scottish bands to win The Big Apple Award, which will see the winner playing at the prestigious Scottish Music Awards held annually in Glasgow this November, and in New York City with the American-Scottish Foundation® during Scotland Week 2012.... read more details here in the latest press release....

http://www.tartanclef.org/big_apple.html




ASF Visit to PS65, Staten Island



June 15, 2011

Camilla Hellman, Development Director of the ASF and piper Matt le Pre paid a visit to PS65 on Staten Island - The Academy of Innovative Learning.

The children at the Academy have been involved in a project about Scotland. The first part of this was the production of a non-fiction piece about Scotland; the second, a book of historical fiction about Scotland, allowing the creative juices to flow! The latter piece took the longest, according to teacher Jessica Sanfilippo, as "we had to do our research before we began the writing process. Every student made a detailed book about Scotland's demographics, outdoors, culture and history."

The children were, of course, fascinated by piper Matt's bagpipes!

The principal of the Academy of Innovative Learning is Sophie Scamardella and the administrative assistant is Liz Rodriguez.




The Museum of American Finance and American-Scottish Foundation® Sponsor Exhibition Focusing on Alexander Hamilton’s Life and Legacy

June, 2011


Pictured with Museum of American Finance President David Cowan are members of Douglas Hamilton's family including his son and grandson on the left hand side of Alexander Hamiltons statue - and on his right representing the House of Hamilton is Diana Douglas-Hamilton

Tartan Week acted as a backdrop fo the opening of the Alexander Hamilton Lineage and Legacy exhibit co-sponsored by the Museum of American Finance and the ASF (see news item of March 8, below).


A lecture and reception in historic Wall Street Museum brought together the Scottish and American Hamilton family descendants for the first time in 300 years.

Alexander Hamilton is related through the second Duke of Hamilton to the Foundation's founder, Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton of the Ducal House.

The exhibit celebrates Hamilton's life and accomplishment as one of the founding fathers of America, Secretary of Treasury and economist.


The ASF is working with the New York Parks Department on developing the Hamilton Garden at St Nicholas Park in conjunction with the National Parks Service. A private visit was arranged for the families to visit Hamilton Grange which is now in the final stages of restoration.

Douglas Hamilton noted "The gathering in New York City was a wonderful and memorable event. The American-Scottish Foundation® represented Scotland well and made me feel more proud of my Scottish heritage ..."



See more of this project and ASF's involvement here.





A Concert for New York on September 12, 20111


On September 12 this year, The Lothian & Borders Police Choir and The West Yorkshire Police Brass Band will perform at lunchtime at Lower Slip, Water Street, New York, between 12:30pm and 2:00pm. All are welcome.


This concert is a cooperative undertaking between the ASF, The September Concert Foundation and the New York Police Museum.

We take this opportunity of sharing with you the latest press release from The September Concert which tells something of their inspiring initiative world-wide:

The September Concert Press Release



Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy in
Scotland announces The Big Apple Award!

May 2011

Renowned music charity Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland and Creative Scotland have teamed up to launch a once in a lifetime opportunity for new and emerging Scottish bands to win The Big Apple Award, which will see the winner playing at the prestigious Scottish Music Awards held annually in Glasgow this November, and in New York City with The American-Scottish Foundation® during Scotland Week 2012.

Read the full press release here...

http://entertainment.stv.tv/music/252124-scottish-bands-offered-chance-to-grab-the-big-apple-award-and-play-new-york/

 




Described as a national treasure, Texan born Miss Duncan MacDonald works energetically and enthusiastically for Scotland from her home on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.


A Scottish newspaper recently described Miss Duncan MacDonald as ‘the first lady of Scotland in America.’

‘And they’re not far wrong,’ says Alan Bain, president emeritus of the American-Scottish Foundation, himself one of the best-known American Scots.
‘She is a national treasure, no question. The amount of energy, interest and enthusiasm she puts into her work for Scotland is extraordinary.‘

Read more of Miss Duncan MacDonald here in an illustrated article by Noel Young.



From 'Spare Times for April 29-May 5', by Anne Mancuso; Published: April 28, 2011

Museum of American Finance (Friday through Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday) “Alexander Hamilton: Lineage and Legacy” examines Hamilton’s Scottish roots and early life in the Caribbean as well as his military, financial and political contributions to life in early America; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum and the American Scottish Foundation are co-sponsors of the exhibition, on view through July 12. 48 Wall Street, at William Street, Lower Manhattan , (212) 908-4110, moaf.org; $8, $5 for students and 62+; free for members and those 6 and younger.





One Hundred Twenty Scotties and Westies

That's something you didn't see in the St. Patrick's Day parade - but you will at the 13th annual Tartan Day Parade on April 9. The parade has always had these mascots of Scotland, but usually the number is around 50 - this year, says Camilla Hellman, Development Director of the American-Scottish Foundation®, they decided to step it up. They reached out to Meetup groups and to WoofWoof magazine and "we got inundated!" she says with a laugh. So many dogs are eager to wag their tails at spectators and strut their stuff up Sixth Avenue, that there will be eight Dog Herders, graduate students from the Mountbatten programs, to help the dogs and their people move in "a straightish line up the avenue." Read more here...

Furthermore, you can listen to key players from ASF and other organizations talking about the 2011 Tartan Week celebrations in this podcast from NY Irish Arts.




Shawlands Academy



Shawlands Academy, Glasgow, have planned their trip to New York to coincide with Tartan Week - and the opportunity to march in the 13th Annual Tartan Day Parade.

 

Part of the ASF Scottish Global Partners Junior project, they are doing school visits, taking part in ASF's "Celebrating Burns in Words and Music" in the British Garden on Thursday April 7th and also visiting museums and discovering all about New York during their five day visit.

 

Shawlands Academy pupils are pictured thanking the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Bob Winter, for the help Glasgow has given in helping to make the trip possible. Bob Winter is this year's Grand Marshal for the New York Tartan Day Parade on April 9th.



Museum of American Finance Opens “Alexander Hamilton: Lineage and Legacy” Exhibit During NYC’s Tartan Week

March 8, 2011

       

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On Tuesday, April 5, the Museum of American Finance will open “Alexander Hamilton: Lineage and Legacy,” a retrospective of Hamilton’s life that traces the extraordinary history of one of the nation’s most complex founding fathers. The exhibit, presented in conjunction with the American-Scottish Foundation, will coincide with the celebration of Tartan Week in New York City and will pay tribute to Hamilton’s Scottish ancestry.

“Hamilton’s principal goals—US independence, a stronger government and economic  modernization—are also his legacy”

 

Museum President David J. Cowen said he is excited that Alexander Hamilton, the country’s most important financial founding father, is being recognized as part of this city-wide celebration.

“Tartan Week has provided our Museum with a unique opportunity to bring together for the first time the American and Scottish descendants of Alexander Hamilton, who will be coming to view this exhibit and participate in the opening event on April 7,” said Cowen. “That will be an important moment in our Museum’s history.”

Beginning with Hamilton’s Scottish roots and his formative years in Nevis and St. Croix, the exhibit will chronicle Hamilton’s first years in America, his military career that readied him for politics and his role of founding father, as well as his numerous and varied contributions to the financial and government systems in the US. Although Hamilton was a true Renaissance man of his day, he is best known for his contributions in banking and finance. The exhibit strives to bring attention to the many facets of Hamilton’s contribution to the American founding era.

“Alexander Hamilton: Lineage and Legacy” will feature objects and documents from the Museum’s collection, as well as artifacts from The New-York Historical Society, Bank of New York Mellon, JPMorgan Chase, the Hamilton family and other private collectors. Exhibit highlights include several legal and financial documents signed by Hamilton, his Society of the Cincinnati medal, an original copy of his obituary and historical replicas of the pistols used by Hamilton and Aaron Burr in the duel in which Hamilton was mortally wounded.

Museum Chairman Dr. Richard Sylla, professor at the NYU Stern School of Business, guest curated the exhibit, which was developed and designed by Becky Laughner, assistant director of exhibits and archives, and Maura Ferguson, assistant director of exhibits and education.

“Hamilton’s principal goals—US independence, a stronger government and economic modernization—are also his legacy,” said Sylla. “The exhibit will show that Hamilton, the subject of many stiff portraits and cold statues, was really quite a passionate soldier, statesman and financier.”

Exhibit Opening Event: All are welcome to attend a panel discussion on Alexander Hamilton followed by a reception and viewing of “Alexander Hamilton: Lineage and Legacy” on Thursday, April 7, from 6 – 8 pm. The presentation, part of the Museum’s 2011 Henry Kaufman Financial History and Practices Lecture/Symposia Series, will feature Hamilton biographers and experts Richard Sylla, Richard Brookhiser and Thomas Fleming. Tickets cost $40 and include a one-year membership in the Museum. For information and reservations, please contact Tempris Small at 212-908-4110 or tsmall@moaf.org. Working members of the press should contact Kristin Aguilera at 212-908-4695 or kaguilera@moaf.org. For more information on Tartan Week, visit www.tartanweek.com or contact Camilla Hellman at 212-605-0338 or asfevents@wwbcny.com.

“Alexander Hamilton: Lineage and Legacy” will be on display through July 12, 2011. We wish to thank the following sponsors for their help and support in making this exhibit possible: Gander & White, the Scottish Government, International Beverage Group and the Downtown – Lower Manhattan Association.

About the Museum of American Finance

The Museum of American Finance, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is the nation’s only public museum dedicated to finance, entrepreneurship and the open market system. With its extensive collection of financial documents and objects, its seminars and educational programming, its publication and oral history program, the Museum portrays the breadth and richness of American financial history, achievement and practices. The Museum is located at 48 Wall Street, on the corner of William Street, and is open Tues–Sat, 10 am – 4 pm. For more information, visit www.moaf.org or connect with the Museum on Facebook or Twitter.

About the American-Scottish Foundation

The American-Scottish Foundation® is dedicated to the strengthening of ties between individuals, institutions and businesses of Scotland and the United States. Founded in 1956 by Lord Malcolm Douglas Hamilton, the Foundation’s mission remains as it was then – a bridge between two great countries. The Foundation champions the extraordinary and creative relationship for mutual benefit, with an extensive program of projects and events. It is one of the founding partners in the New York Tartan Day Parade, and the Foundation held the first Scotland Week in New York in 1976.

For further information please contact for :

Museum of American Finance   Kristen  Aguilera, 212-908-4695
Deputy Director  kaguilera@moaf.org  
www.moaf.org
 
American-Scottish Foundation, Inc.   Camilla Hellman, 212-605-0338
Director of Development asfevents@wwbcny.com.
 

 



Following the earthquake in Christchurch, NZ, an appeal has been launched through the AMERICAN NEW ZEALAND ASSOCATION INC (ANZA)

The campaign is Chaired by long time ASF friend and Golf Committee Co Chair Ian Phillips.  He was in Christchurch when the earthquakes hit and wrote  ....."I happened to be in Christchurch at the time....It was a frightening experience and one I am pleased to put behind me. I arrived back in NY Thursday evening in just the clothes I stood in at the time of the earthquake".


We hope you will join us in supporting the upcoming events they are holding. Details on donating, and ANZA's governance and tax information are available on their website www.AmericanNewZealand.org

The American-Scottish Foundation
Tel. 212 605 0338

 



Pupils gather in Holyrood for American-Scottish Foundation link up


November 11, 2010

Deputy Presiding Officer Alasdair Morgan MSP, welcomed pupils from 5 schools across Scotland who are involved in an initiative called Global Youth Partners, supported by the American Scottish Foundation®.

Global Youth Partners is an award-winning student exchange programme that connects New York City youth, ages 9-12, with students around the world through the internet.

The programme fosters global awareness and develops practical technology skills by allowing students to communicate online. The focus of this year's programme will be on urban sustainability and the dynamic systems that sustain life in Cities.

 

UK in the USA

Global Partners Junior Visit the British Consulate

On November 10, the Consulate hosted Global Partners Junior students from PS 160 and the Renaissance Leadership Academy for an unique video conference with students from five primary schools in Scotland.

Global Partners Junior, a program sponsored by New York City Global Partners, Inc., is an award‐winning student exchange program that connects New York City youth with students around the world through the internet.

Students communicate online about topics relevant to all cultures using an original curriculum. They post and read messages to one another and share media projects, video greetings and research facts about their communities.

During the video conference, students had the chance to ask each other about life in New York and Scotland as well as what each group of students does at school and at home to be more environmentally conscious. The event was hosted in conjunction with the Office of the Mayor, Commission for the UN, Consular Corps and Protocol and the American-Scottish Foundation®.

Sir Alan Collins was on hand to greet students along with Marjorie Tiven, NYC Commissioner for the UN, Consular Corps and Protocol, Santiago Taveras, Deputy Chancellor, NYC Department of Education and Camilla Hellman from the American Scottish Foundation.

Please see the report on the New York participation as found on the web site of the British Embassy, Washington.



 

US Department of State - Scotland's St. Andrew's Day


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC

November 29, 2010

 

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Scotland as you celebrate St. Andrew’s Day on November 30.

Scotland’s unique culture and traditions have long been admired around the world, and the special ties between our two nations date back to the founding of the United States. From Patrick Henry and John Paul Jones to Davy Crockett and Neil Armstrong, trail-blazing Scottish-Americans have helped shape the history of our country in profound ways.

Today, the United States and Scotland continue to share strong ties rooted in our common ancestry, values, and interests. Our people work together on many of the most pressing challenges of our time, and both houses of the United States Congress have Friends of Scotland Caucuses to further promote friendship and cooperation between Scotland and the United States.

I wish the people of Scotland a joyous St. Andrew’s Day celebration and a successful year ahead. We look forward to further deepening our friendship throughout the future.


 

 

John Muir Nature Trail Picnic and Hike

On Saturday, November 6, 2010, the ASF held a picnic and hike of the John Muir Nature Trail at Van Cortlandt Park.

The one and half mile hike was led by a park ranger and was an opportunity for ASF supporters of the Trail to not only enjoy the wonderful woodland but to see first hand the work that has been done and remains still to be done.


The American-Scottish Foundation® has worked with the City of New York Department of Parks & Recreation and the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy on the Trail from its inception.

In 1996, in partnership with Parks & Recreation, the ASF held the first of what has become the annual John Muir Golf Tournament,

In 1997, following the success of the first golf tournament the prior year, the American-Scottish Foundation® spearheaded with the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation the creation of The John Muir Nature Trail. The ASF is working closely with the Parks Department as it addresses the next phase of improvements to the Trail.

Margot Perron, Van Cortlandt Park Administrator, spoke of the major work the Trail still needs and projects now being planned as the hike through the woods - challenging at times - was undertaken. The ASF hopes that its members and friends will become even more actively involved in the Trail and is planning to organize bi-annual hikes of the Trail as well as building upon the Golf Tournament. This is scheduled for June 6th in 2011, and proceeds from the Golf Tournament go towards the upkeep of the Trail.

Details of the ASF Spring Hike will be posted shortly in our EVENTS section.

A Victorian trolley bus transported those coming from Manhattan. A 'thank you' to the Bronx Tourism Council and The Office of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. for the in-kind contribution of the Bronx Trolley for transportation on this day.




Pictured by the Bronx Trolley are ASF Board member Brian Andersson and Interim Chairman Heather L. Bain.

 


 

ASF sponsors Dancewave Company of Brooklyn

Dancewave’s pre-professional youth dance ensemble, the Dancewave Company, Brooklyn, New York travelled to Scotland to perform in the 2010 Aberdeen International Youth Festival with support from the ASF.

The Aberdeen International Youth Festival is the highlight of Aberdeen's cultural calendar, drawing participants from all over the world. The Dancewave Company, composed of 16 young people aged 13-18, was the only US group selected to participate this year and overcame many obstacles to make the trip.

See a press clipping from the Press and Journal and see more information within our Bursaries section.

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The Scots Guards Pipes and Drums come to New York

From David Patrick Columbia's NEW YORK SOCIAL DIARY. Photographs by PatrickMcMullan.com



The Scots Guards Pipes and Drums playing aboard the Intrepid to benefit “Heal A Soldier ’s Life.”


The Scots Guards Pipes and Drums came to New York and played at the British Garden in Hanover Square this past September 22nd to commemorate the memory of those who lost their lives on September 11th and to pay tribute to the long history of shared bloodshed between the Scots Guards, US Army and US Marine Corps. The American-Scottish Foundation® was the joint sponsor.

That evening they played at a gala aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. The evening was attended by HRH The Duke of Kent, Colonel of the Scots Guards.

The Guards will be returning to Afghanistan in March 2010 “to fight alongside the Amerian military in Helmand Province.



Scots Guards Pipes and Drums at Hanover Square


Ian A.L. Bain, Robert Douglass, Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, Heather L. Bain, Margaret R. Kennedy, Robert Callendar, and Alan L. Bain


Left: Annette Conway and General Sir John Kiszley. Right: Capt. Neil Gow, General James Conway, and Lt. Col. William Swinton


Left: Gail Hilson, General James Conway, and April Gow. Right: Edwina Sandys and Richard Kaplan


Left: Elizabeth Stribling & CeCe Black. Right: Duncan Bruce, HRH The Duke of Kent, Col. Alastair Mathewson


Left: Alan L. Bain, HRH The Duke of Kent, and Captain and Mrs. Roddy Gow. Right: Karin Wyser Pratte & Barbara Tober


Left: Captain Roddy Gow, Camilla Hellman, and Captain Neil Gow. Right: Evelyn Thompkins and William Bruder

 

The dinner on Intrepid was in aid of the Scots Guards Colonel's Fund. To learn more of the Fund and its work, please do visit: www.scotsguardscolonelsfund.com

 

You can also review the site of the Colonel's Fund Dinner on Intrepid at: www.scotsguardscolonelsfunddinner.org