Category Archives: Uncategorized

ASF Scots In Us Podcast CURRENT EPISODE: Monday November 21st 7PM

This week, we have have turned our focus to children and share with you the wonderful work each of our guests are undertaking: Join us as we are In conversation with David Cunningham CEO, Kids Operating Room as we learn of the work of this Scottish charity who are bring children access to life-changing and life-saving surgery from Africa to Latin America, transforming the lives of vulnerable children.

 We are joined by Virginia Radcliffe and Ruby Zajac from Glasgow based Licketyspit  Theater Company who shares with us their innovative ways they connect and engage with young people and their families using music, drama and play.

 Author Pavle Sabic joins us and introduces us to the best travelled and kindest of Otters, Walter the Wanderer.

With music from Hannah Read, Alan Frew and Iona Zajac from Lickeyspit.

You can listen to our podcast on a variety of platforms, including AnchorApple Podcasts and Spotify.

Poppy Scotland – Light up Red – in honor and support of the Armed Forces community.

Throughout Scotland as a 2020 Remembrance Day Poppyscotland  have undertaken a wonderful initiative which sees buildings throughout Scotland bathed in red light in honor of Remembrance Day, and in support of their vital work at Poppy Scotland for the Armed Forces community

ASF share an image by young Scot and ASF Friend Martin Urquart of Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum part of Poppyscotland Remembrance Day Appeal

Highland and Island Voices

The Highland and Islands of Scotland are understandably much romanticized owing to no lack of films, tv shows and books which have depicted these areas and the people who live there with a great deal of fantasy and historical intrigue.

If you’ve ever wanted to hear about what life is actually like in the Scottish Highland and Islands then there’s a brilliant platform called HI Voices which features new guest contributors every week sharing their experiences, perspectives and insights and it’s well worth checking out.

Set up as a rotational Twitter account with accompanying blog by Domhnall Macsween in 2013 HI Voices offers a glimpse into the people who live and work in the Highland and Islands and it’s a real treasure to take a look at.

Recent contributors include Eilidh Smith who describes her experiences living in Strathpeffer and spending time in Achmore on the Isle of Lewis. Currently Eilidh is working at the Gairloch Museum and in a recent post she shared this insightful comment about Highland life:

” Living and working in the Highlands and Islands, we have a canny ability to adapt, to change our plans and make the most of whatever is thrown at us. Maybe that comes from years of coping with ever-changing weather, knowing we need to change tack and adjust to fit the fronts as they move through. Maybe it’s that our communities are close and small enough that we know someone who can help, or someone who knows someone who can help… “

The feeling of community spirit and togetherness that Eilidh describes is a central theme in a lot of the contributions on HI Voices as the people who live and work in the Highland and Islands seem to be very aware of the importance of kinship, of working together in harmony with each other as well as the land itself in order to thrive and survive.

Although the Highlands and Islands are wonderful destinations for tourists, drawing visitors from all over the world, they are places where people have lived for thousands of years and where distinct culture, customs and language has managed to survive despite many challenges and the never ending march towards globalization. The people who live there are rightfully proud of their roots and their identities.

Rhoda Meek from the Isle of Tiree shares some insights: “For me, our Scottish islands and especially the one I am lucky enough to call home, are so much more than a destination. They are living breathing places with an incredibly rich cultural heritage – and I see that culture sitting on the cusp of survival.”  

HI Voices moderator Linda Ross had this to say on the project:

“With the Highlands and Islands Voices account we go beyond the mythology of the region and hear from those who make the region what it is – a diverse area that, although steeped in a remarkable heritage, is so much more than the tartan and castles in the mists for which it is often celebrated. Our weekly curators show off the area as progressive, exciting and characterised by a landscape which is for living. Through them, the area has an online presence which reflects everything from the rich cultural scene to the industrial and technological developments which have been an ever-present part of modern life in the region. Perhaps more importantly, it gives a platform to the intricacies of daily life and leaves us with a tangible record of the reality (both positive and negative) of Highlands and Islands life. It picks up on the area’s inherent diversity and pride to remind us that there is no singular voice of the region; although people come together as ‘Highlanders’, the account shows us that being ‘Highland’ means different things to different people.”

www.hivoices.wordpress.com

Scottish Soccer Preview with Cameron Steer

Our Sports Reporter and Sports Ambassador Cameron Steer shares his insight on Scotland’s upcoming European Nations League game against Israel on October 8th.

European Championship Qualifier vs Israel @ Hampden Park

Cameron hails from Lanark, and represented Scotland as a member of Scotland Men’s Lacrosse National Team and the Scotland National Football Team before coming to the US to study at Medaille College in Buffallo NY three years ago.

ASF Sports Ambassador Cameron Steer

“You have to respect the magnitude of the game” said Scotland boss Steve Clark, fully aware of the gravity of the upcoming match versus Israel in the European Championship Qualifiers.

Scotland have been on a solid run of recent form and are now a few good results away from qualifying for a major championship for the first time in over twenty years.

Recognizing the huge importance of the game, Clarke said his players “have a chance to make a little bit of history for their country.” It really is an exciting time for the Tartan Army, and especially for young people like myself who have never had the chance to experience Scotland play in a major tournament, is this the time?

The size of the Scotland squad has also increased for the upcoming fixtures, and understandably so, as Clarke went on to state, “Indeed the squad is bigger but we have three games in a very short space of time, it’s important we have options in the squad.”


Scotland manager Steve Clark gives a press conference ahead of Scotland’s big game against Israel.

Fitness concerns for the squad as a whole have also been expressed by the press in the build up to the fixtures. These concerns stem from the fact that thirteen members of the squad will play for their clubs the Sunday (4th October) prior to the international fixtures.

In response to these concerns Clarke said, “We’ve had good work in previous camps, so I think now that I feel comfortable that the principles of the way we want to play are more cemented.”

With Scotland sitting on potentially their biggest success of the last twenty years, it’s almost agonizing that they can’t have the famous Hampden roar around them as they strive for this incredible accomplishment.

Steve Clarke spoke on this noting, “the home advantage is eradicated by having no fans there, it’s something that we have to get used to, there’s not much point going on about the fans, we know that they are watching and supporting, socially distanced wherever they are.”

Playing against Israel is always a tough game for Scotland, with the sides sharing the points in a 1-1 draw last time out. Important then that we learn from our previous ties and use the experience to make ourselves better.

It really seems like Steve Clarke is starting to get things right in developing the identity of his team and their style of play, the quality of players has also increased with many of the squad representing some top English Premier League clubs.

Personally, I am very excited for the next couple months of international football and to see what Scotland can produce, but more immediately, I am so excited to watch them this coming week!

Cameron Steer

EDINBURGH IN AUGUST IS FESTIVAL CITY – and this year the Festivals are going Virtual….

Edinburgh in August is a Festival City, and even mid pandemic Edinburgh’s cultural celebration continues – all be it Virtually.

As Galleries and Museum slowly begin to reopen, mainly on a ticket in advance booking system, it is wonderful to see that the Edinburgh Festivals are finding Virtual ways forward.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe has Virtual programming each Friday through August and additionally Edinburgh International Festival announced this week that for classic music lovers 16 past concerts will be streamed through the rest of August.

For literary enthusiasts there will be in the coming days talks and readings around the virtual Edinburgh International Book Festival

AND we learnt today that Art enthusiasts will be able to enjoy a Virtual Edinburgh Art Festival,taking place August 15 thought the 30.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts and cultural festival in the world and is very dear to our hearts at The American-Scottish Foundation®.

It’s a unique and life changing experience for those who attend given the incredible range of cultural and arts events, performances and activities available each year at the Festival.

Taking place within the unique beauty that is the City of Edinburgh itself, a captivating city full of incredible history and architecture The Edinburgh Fringe Festival draws people from all over the world who return year upon year for this incredible experience.

With the festival unable to go ahead as usual this year due to Covid-19, ASF shares the exciting news that the Edinburgh Fringe Festival will be going virtual for 2020!

A program of events has been announced by the Festival including performances, workshops, activities and discussions all in a virtual format this year.

Starting on Friday August 7th, AJ Bell Fringe on Friday will be a weekly live streamed show featuring a line up of artists representing the wide variety of talent at the Fringe. Streaming on the 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th August each show will feature 9 acts each night all for £9 (less than $12 a night!).

All monies raised will go towards the artists and venues therefore it’s vital that we get behind the Fringe on Friday event! Acts confirmed so far include Craig Hill, Daniel Sloss, Fern Brady and Sadia Azmat

Craig Hill

You can purchase your ticket directly from the Fringemakers page on the Edinburgh Fringe Festival website here www.crowdfund.edfringe.com/search/projects

Find out how YOU can GET INVOLVED with the Fringe this year as patrons are invited to PARTICIPATE in the Fringe! The Fringe Pick N Mix is a streaming platform where artists AND audiences can share short video clips to celebrate the spirit of The Fringe! Viewers can pick a clip to watch or tune into a mixed stream of submissions from people all over the world. To share your video go to www.edfringe.com/take-part/2020/picknmix

It is vitally important that we continue to patronize the events of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with their online events as the festival is an instrumental driver of the Scottish economy and provides us with unique and unforgettable experiences year on year. To experience the Festival is to have a life changing experience.

Artists who were due to perform at the Festival this year can also submit their event listings online to be displayed on the Festival listings guide online. Only those who were already registered to perform this year or who have performed last year are able to apply however all listings are at the discretion of the Festival. For more information see www.edfringe.com/take-part/2020/submit-your-listing

In addition to being able to enjoy events and activities from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe there are many wonderful pieces of merchandise available for sale online from the Fringe Shop online , the sales of which will go towards protecting the legacy of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

If you would like to make a donation directly to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, knowing that your donation will help to preserve the legacy of this incredible and unique festival you can do so here www.tickets.edfringe.com/donations 

With so many opportunities to engage with and support the Edinburgh Festival Fringe we encourage our members and friends to get behind the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year!

www.edfringe.com

HIGHLAND GAMES UPDATE ; September 20th, 2020 – we share news and updates

HIGHLAND GAMES UPDATE

Dunedin Highland Games Pipe Band March, Tampa FL - Apr 6, 2018 - 6:30 PM

Recent messages from ASF Members and friends show how important Highland Games are to our community, and we continue here to share news around Virtual Highland Games that are now planned in the weeks ahead – with a few ticketed Highland Games being planned.

Highland Games – September Updates as of September 20th, 2020

SEPTEMBER CANCELLED HIGHLAND GAMES:

September 5 – 6 San Francisco Highland Games, Pleasanton,  cancelled; with hopes to hold the games later in the year,
September 12 – 13 Kelso (WA) Highlander Festival – cancelled
September 18 – 20 Oklahoma Scotfeld – cancelled,
September 25 -27 Celtic Classic Highland Games & Festival (PA) cancelled

In person Highland Games – in hybrid form took place:
– September 12   Lancaster, PA, combined a celebration of Robert Burns, a Kirkin’ of the Tartan and a Highland Games.  The Covenanter Scottish Festival was a small, ticketed event with no gate purchases at the event itself:

VIRTUAL HIGHLAND GAMES

September 19 – 20 A Virtual New Hampshire Highland Games –
www.nhscot.org streaming live on Facebook and YouTube.

September In Person September Highland Games 
– September 19-20, Niagra Falls Highland Games will be a smaller event, reserved tickets only.

Michael Reid, ASF Board Director shares with us the late Summer/Fall Highland Games that are scheduled – Keep up to date with ASF News via our Facebook and website.

We will report on September, October and November in later editions as so much in flux)

One of a Highland Games most popular events –
the heavy athletics and the throwing of the Hammer is one of the most popular – weighing 22lbs.

With so much in flux we ask that you stay in touch with the organizing committee of the games you normally attend and check status as with the ongoing challenges of Covid-19 all is subject to change.
ASF will share updates as we learn more. Keep up to date with ASF News on our website and Facebook pages. ___________________________________________________________________________

October Games – Arkansas Scottish Festival – October 9-11- Northeast FL Scottish Games & Highland Festival – October 11- Red Stone Highland Games Utah, October 14 -15- Texas Scottish Festival & Highland Games, Decatur, October 18-20- Iron Thistle Scottish Festival OKL, October 16-18

November Games- Coastal Highlands Games, SC – November 14 – Dunedin Scottish Games, FL – postponed to November 21-22, new location: Dunedin Community CenterV

Awaiting Dates we are hoping for this Fall- Latta Celtic Festival (North Carolina) – postpone – new date tbd – Sherman Celtic Festival & Highland Games (Texas) – new date tbd – Ormond Beach Celtic Fest (FL) – Postponed – new date tbd – Cheyenne Celtic Music & Arts Festival – Postponed – new date tbd – Celtic Fling & Highland Games (PA) – Postponed – new date tbd – Pikes Peak Celtic Festival (CO) – Postponed – new date tbd – Utah Scottish Festival & Highland Games – Postponed – new dates tbd – Savannah Highland Games (SC) – Postponed – new dates tbd (website says both postponed and cancelled…..) AD

This Month in History

Every month the American Scottish Foundation spotlights a person or event that illustrates the shared and enduring history, culture, and kinship between the America and Scotland.

JULY SPOTLIGHT ON JANE RANDOLPH JEFFERSON

Jane Randolph Jefferson

This  July The American-Scottish Foundation® spotlights  Jane Randolph Jefferson, who was born in the United Kingdom, to English and Scottish parents in 1720. Villanova University‘s Catherine Kerrison, in her book, Jefferson’s Daughters, which this year’s Daughters of the American Revolution National Headquarters Continental Congress spotlighted, wrote that Jane was proud of her Scottish heritage. Jane was a member of the Randolph Clan–the Randolphs had long been squires in England and Scotland.

As the Jefferson family’s “genealogist,” she was not only considered to be among the first families of the Virginia Colony, she thought the telling of family history important enough for her son Thomas Jefferson to once state that his maternal side could “trace their pedigree far back to England and Scotland…”.

University of Edinburgh

Not surprisingly, Jane’s first cousin twice removed, Thomas Mann Randolph Jr., studied at the The University of Edinburgh in 1785 before marrying Thomas Jefferson’s daughter Martha Jefferson Randolph in 1790.

It undeniable that Jane’s background coupled with Scottish Enlightenment thinkers that he encountered in his studies at the College of William & Mary allowed him exposure to the ideas expressed in the The Declaration of Arbroath 700th Anniversary Celebration—itself celebrating its 700th anniversary this year, which in turn is among the inspirations of his words in the The Declaration of Independence celebrating its 244th anniversary today

college at William & Mary

—John King Bellassi, President of the Council of Scottish Clans & Associations (COSCA) and Vice President of the National Capital Tartan Day Committee writes about this here https://www.clanchiefs.org.uk/two-declarations-common-purp…/

The University of Virginia holds a nice collection of Randolph-Jefferson correspondence at https://ead.lib.virginia.edu/vivaxtf/view…

Nice synopsis of Jefferson’s ancestry at https://www.monticello.org/…/research-a…/jeffersons-ancestry

Authors Alexander Leslie Klieforth and Robert John Munro state in their book, Scottish Invention of America, Democracy and Human Rights 1st Edition, on page 243, that Thomas Jefferson was first introduced to the Declaration of Arbroath by his College of William and Mary professor of rhetoric William Small. See https://www.amazon.com/Scottish-Invention-Amer…/…/0761827919

JUNE SPOTLIGHT ON JAMES GORDON BENNETT

James Gordon Bennett

On June 1, 1872, James Gordon Bennett, the founder, publisher and editor of the New York Herald, dies. Bennett built one of the biggest publishing empires in United States history, his paper becoming the highest circulated in America in 1866.

Bennett was born in Banffshire, Scotland, and at an early age traveled throughout Scotland.

In 1819, he joined a friend who was sailing to North America, landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, where Bennett briefly worked as a schoolmaster. to then sail south to Portland, Maine to teach there and in Boston, Massachusetts by 1820.

New York Herald Building, NYC 1895

He worked in New England as a proofreader and bookseller before moving to the Charleston Courier in Charleston,South Carolina. He moved to New York City in 1823, where he worked first as a freelance paper writer and, then, assistant editor of the New York Courier and Enquirer, one of the oldest newspapers in the City.

New York Herald June 20, 1861

By May 1835, Bennett began the New York Herald, and with it he transformed American journalism. Historian Robert C. Bannister considered Bennett a talented yet controversial editor who expanded traditional coverage by adding sports reports, a society page, advice columns, and election news while pioneering and coupling tabloid journalism with use of the new technologies of telegraph, pony express, and offshore ships to bring fast news coverage to reach the exploding market–and voters–of working men and women.

Victoria Mary Sharp, ASF Editorial and Marketing

ASF Community Calendar of upcoming events – October 19 : A Celebration of Scottish Culture with Alan Cumming OBE and special guests

ASF Members and Friends – join
On October 19th as 
The Quaich Project Scotland holds a NYC launch with
A Celebration of Scottish Culture – 9pm
at 
The Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse Lincoln Center
with 
Alan Cumming OBE
KT Tunstall​, Sculptor Andy Scott​, Alexandra Silber and special guests

Tickets $150 – ASF Members and Friends receive a Special $30 Ticket discount via link below

The evening is to raise awareness for this great new initiative underway in Edinburgh:

As Development Director Jules Halston explains…
” The Quaich Project reimagines and redevelops Princes Street Gardens Edinburgh….set against the stunning backdrop of Castle Rock and Edinburgh Castle, a space for all in the heart of Edinburgh.

The Quaich Project will see the building of a new theatre and world-class performance venue; landscaped and accessible gardens with space for reflection, play and socialising; improved public amenities; and a new visitor and heritage centre accessible from Princes Street. …”

Learn more at : www.thequaichproject.org

http://buytickets.at/therossdevelopmenttrust/306140
Members will need to enter the following access code to book tickets: ASF

ASF Community Calendar of upcoming events – October 16 : Scotland’s Picts, the Lost People of Europe

A fascinating talk and book signing by University of Aberdeen Dept of Archaelogy Dr Gordon Noble on his discoveries about Scotland’s Picts hosted by the AIA-NY Society’ – Scotland’s Picts, the Lost People of Europe

Wednesday, October 16, – 6.30pm 
University of The Graduate Center, CUNY
Fifth Avenue and 34th St., Room C197, Concourse” floor.

ASF Members and Friends are invited to attend – No Charge.

The Picts were considered a troublesome people, They were never conquered by the Romans who even had to erect Hadrian’s Wall to keep them out of the Roman Empire,

The Picts have a mysterious historical record – the lost people of Europe – until recent archaeological excavations in Scotland have revealed a powerful and sophisticated culture.

View National Geographic video on one of the excavation sites:https://vimeo.com/325854529

For further information on the event visit www.aia-nysociety.org

https://www.independent.co.uk/…/the-truth-about-the-picts-8…

ASF Community Calendar of upcoming events – October 18 : Tartan Talk

As all lovers of Scotland know Tartan allows us wonderful ways to express our style and heritage … and the fashion industry’s love of the vibrant tartans grows each year.

Celebrated fashion Coty Award winning designer Jeffrey Banks Design, joins with award winning Canadian fashion designer Michael Kaye
to present
Tartan Talk – part of FashionSpeak Friday 
on Friday, October 18- 7.30pm
at National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, New York,

Jeffrey Banks has co authored several books including Tartan: Romancing the Plaid. and Michael Kaye, whose custom tartan couture has earned him the reputation of being the “Bonnie Prince of Tartan”

ASF members and friends are invited to an illuminating presentation on how the humble Scottish tartan became the ultimate emblem of great taste and high fashion.

This event is free and open to the public but you do need to Pre Register.

For more details on the evening, click here…
and RSVP is required at nationalartsclub.eventbrite.com.