Category Archives: News

Virtual 45th New Hampshire Highland Games this weekend!

This weekend, September 19th & 20th , will see a virtual celebration of the 45th New Hampshire Highland Games as a live online experience which we can all enjoy.

The New Hampshire Highland Games draws crowds of over 45,000 to New Hampshire each year for the three-day festival which is one of ASFs favorite Scottish Games and Festivals to attend.

The American Scottish Foundation has for the past few years taken part in heading up The Scottish Village tent sharing information on Scottish experiences – we cannot wait to be back in 2021 celebrating our love of Scotland.

Situated on the beautiful Loon Mountain, the NH Games is a must attend event for those who love to come together to celebrate their Scottish heritage, to enjoy the incredible Highland Games experience and to have fun!

Although the NH Games can’t go ahead as it normally would this year the Virtual Highland Games will be a wonderful celebration of the 45th anniversary of the New Hampshire Highland Games.

ASF President Camilla Hellman with the amazing Wolfhounds!

The organizing committee have programmed an exciting weekend of music, dance and activities for us all to enjoy and promises to ‘Showcase the Sights, Sounds and Smile of the Games’

The events will begin on Saturday afternoon as a wonderful video will go live to represent the Opening Ceremony of the Games, always a wonderful experience and a sight to behold.

There will be lots of exciting Scottish goodies and crafts at the Virtual Vendor Village and we are strongly encouraged to show our support for the vendors, all small businesses selling Scottish goods who have had their businesses significantly affected this year.

Saturday night will feature a live concert by Albannach, one of the New Hampshire Highland Games favourite bands who have a large army of fans in the Scottish Festival circuit in the US.

Join Jamesie Johnston and his crew for an hour of Albannach beginning at 7pm Eastern Time.

Albannach – Ready to rock!

You can make a donation to the New Hampshire Highland Games HERE

You can watch the concert live on the NH Games YouTube channel HERE 

For more information, programming and links see www.nhscot.org

Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival

Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival, Bloody Scotland takes place Friday September 18th – Sunday September 20th and will be an incredible celebration of Scottish literature, crime novels and stories!

The festival, which normally takes place in the beautiful city of Stirling, will this year take place entirely online, allowing crime writing fans from all over the world to be a part of the Bloody Sunday experience.

There’s a writing masterclass taking place this Friday 18th September which is an excellent opportunity to learn how to develop the craft of writing from celebrated writers including Louise Welsh and William Ryan. The McIlvanney Prize and Debut Prize announcement will also take place on Friday which celebrates the best in new crime writing in Scotland. Previous winners include a stellar roster of winners: Charles Cumming, Malcolm Mackay, Peter May, Chris Brookmyre, Denise Mina, and Manda Scott.

Saturday September 19th will see a huge range of discussions, panels and workshops taking place including Criminal Masterminds: a discussion with celebrated crime writers Lawrence Block and Ian Rankin and don’t miss Crime at the Coo Online a brilliant event featuring live author performances along with film of memorable acts from previous years.Sunday

Sunday September 20th will feature a series of gripping panels and conversations with novelists and writers including Denise Mina, Val McDermid, Chris Brookmyre, Mark Billingham and John Connolly.

For more information on program and ticketing please see the Bloody Scotland : Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival website at www.bloodyscotland.com

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival, October 17 – 31

Scotland is a land of stories, myths and legends. Its history, landscapes, scenery and of course people make for an incredibly inspiring environment for great stories to come from and some of the most celebrated literary figures in the world have come from Scotland ; Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Burns, Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir Walter Scott, David Livingstone, Iain Banks, Irvine Welsh, JK Rowling need we say more?

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival is a must attend event for those who love stories, literature and the magic of poetry. Each year it attracts thousands of people to the many events, performances, book readings and activities which take place as part of the Storytelling Festival program.

The theme for The Scottish International Storytelling Festival in 2020 is ‘In The Flow’ : An exploration of Scotland’s coasts and waters through music and storytelling. Scotland with its 7,330 miles of coastline has a rich history of stories which have emanated from or been inspired by events taking place on its beautiful coasts and waters.

Although festivals throughout Scotland have not been able to take place as they normally would there has been a successful pivot to virtual events with festivals such as the Edinburgh Fringe and the Edinburgh International Book Festival both offering up incredible experiences online this year which you can still access on their respective websites.

Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2018 Launch: Professional storyteller Daniel Allison. Photography for Scottish International Storytelling Festival / Tracs Scotland from: Colin Hattersley Photography –

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival will also this year present an action packed virtual experience for all to access and enjoy!

Scottish International Storytelling Festival Director, Donald Smith states:

‘This year’s Storytelling Festival is about wellbeing. Across the nation, we aim to bring many streams into a flowing current of hope and renewal.’

‘Our online programme will see the return of SISF favourites like our evening gatherings around the Open Hearth, as well as Global Lab, the workshop series that brings together performers, educators and activists to discuss international environmental creativity.’

‘We’ll also be premiering Voyage, a brand-new series of work developed by storytellers and musicians, including interpretations of the slave passage across the Atlantic and Scotland’s part in it, the colonisation of Iceland, James VI’s ‘Hamlet’ voyage to Elsinore, Johnson and Boswell’s Tour to the Hebrides and the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition.’

The programme details for the Festival are yet to be released but you can keep up to date and informed by signing up for the Scottish International Storytelling Festival newsletter HERE.

For more information on the Scottish International Storytelling Festival see the website at www.sisf.org.uk


ScotsInUS Podcast

CURRENT EPISODE: MONDAY SEPTEMBER 7TH: ‘Re-emerging, Reflecting and Remembering’

As Autumn arrives and as we reflect on 2020, we also take a moment to look back 19 years this week to September 11, 2001.  

Camilla Hellman is joined by Laura McGhee, who reflects on her musical contributions to moments of 9/11 Commemorations she was involved in in both New York and London.

We also take a moment to celebrate the Edinburgh Virtual Festivals that took place this past monthand look to the weeks ahead.

With music from Laura McGheeSgoil Lionacleit Pipe BandBand of the Coldstream Guards and John Condron.
Presented by Jamie McGeechan, with ASF President, Camilla Hellman. 

The podcast is available from SpotifyAnchor  and Apple Podcasts

For more information on our previous podcast episodes see our dedicated page here.

Sounds From Scotland August

Each month the American Scottish Foundation presents a monthly online concert under our Sounds From Scotland banner.

The Sounds From Scotland online monthly concerts are brand new platform from which we showcase and celebrate wonderful live music direct from Scotland! The concerts take place live on our Facebook platform at www.facebook.com/americanscottish on the third Sunday of each month from 3pm – 5pm EST.

We were thrilled to joined by Whisky Kiss, Chris Andreucci, Matt Scott and Paul McGranaghan for our August Sounds From Scotland. You can see the performances as well as previous Sounds From Scotland performances on our dedicated ASF Magazine page here.

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

ASF Fortnightly ScotsInUS Podcasts : Music and Conversation

The American Scottish Foundation is proud to present our bi-weekly ScotsInUS Podcast…..

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Presented on the second and fourth Monday of the month, our podcasts spotlight the ASF, partners, events and initiatives taking place in the community.

Hosted by Jamie McGeechan, featuring weekly guests and contributors we feature a wide range of news, events and music all with a focus on Scotland and throughout the American Scottish community in North America.

The podcast is available from SpotifyAnchor  and Apple Podcasts

CURRENT EPISODE: MONDAY SEPTEMBER 7TH: ‘Re-emerging, Reflecting and Remembering’


As Autumn arrives and as we reflect on 2020, we also take a moment to look back 19 years this week to September 11, 2001.  

Camilla Hellman is joined by Laura McGhee, who reflects on her musical contributions to moments of 9/11 Commemorations she was involved in in both New York and London.

We also take a moment to celebrate the Edinburgh Virtual Festivals that took place this past monthand look to the weeks ahead.



With music from Laura McGheeSgoil Lionacleit Pipe BandBand of the Coldstream Guards and John Condron.
Presented by Jamie McGeechan, with ASF President, Camilla Hellman.

APRIL 27 A LOOK BACK AT APRIL 2020

“In Conversation” – With all events cancelled due to Covid-19, a pivot was made around the leading April events. Camilla Hellman, President, American Scottish Foundation, discusses the virtual recognition of National Tartan Day, The Declaration of Arbroath Anniversary and other important April events that the community looked to not overlook.

With music from Alan Frew, Hannah Read and Colin Hunter

MAY 11 CLANS, THE LORD LYON AND HIGHLAND GAMES 2020 “In Conversation” with John King Bellassai, Council of Scottish Clans and Associations.  Bellassai discusses the state of the US Scottish Clans and the role played by the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs. The historic role of Joseph Morrow, Lord Lyon King of Arms is also explained explained as well as the challenges facing the Highland Games in 2020.

With music from Whisky Kiss, Fellswater, Tullamore and Ed Miller

MAY 25 WORDS, MUSIC, WHISKY, GIN

“In Conversation” with David Stirling, Co-Founder and Brand Ambassador for Arbikie Highland Estate as David discusses their f fresh and exciting approach to distilling as well as informing us about Arbikie’s environmentally conscious ethos and their exciting and innovative range of gins, vodkas and rye.

Greg King, Brand Ambassador for Glendronach and BenRiach joins us to explain all about the fascinating history of Glendronach, one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland. Based in the Valley of Forgue in the East Highland Hills, Glendronach has been in operation for nearly 200 years.

With music from Have Mercy Las Vegas, John Rush and Laura McGhee.

JUNE 8TH COME DANCE – THE WORLD OF THE CEILIDH

In this episode ‘Come Dance – The World of the Ceilidh” we explore the great Scottish tradition that is the ceilidh and talk with top Scottish music talents to explore their contemporary and progressive approaches to the ceilidh. 

“In Conversation” with Whisky Kiss – the chart topping Ceilidh Band
and award winning musical theater composers, Noisemaker

Camilla Hellman, ASF President and Jamie close with a round up of news from within the Scottish American diaspora.

JUNE 26TH – SPRING ROUNDUP EPISODE

A look back and reflection on our first four episodes of the ScotsinUS Podcast as we discuss our wonderful guests and music on the podcast. Featuring a news round up and message from ASF President Camilla Hellman as we look forward to the months ahead.

 JULY 6TH – EXPLORING SCOTTISH ROOTS

Exploring Scottish Roots” – In this episode of the podcast we talk with renowned genealogist, heraldist and author Dr Bruce Durie as we discuss how to trace your Scottish ancestry and explore your Scottish roots. We are also In Conversation with Bart Forbes, President of the Clan Forbes Society as we talk about the wonderful energy and drive that Bart has brought to the Clan Forbes Society.

With music from Lisa Kowalski, Anna MacDonald, Mike Nisbet, Gleadhraich.

JULY 20TH – MIDSUMMER BURNS

On this episode of the ScotsInUS Podcast from the American Scottish Foundation we explore the legacy of Robert Burns in music, poetry and conversation. 

Joining us In Conversation: Kenneth Donnelly, President of the Burns Society of the City of New York.
Hugh Farrell, Chair of the Friends of The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.
Alistair McCulloch, Scottish fiddle virtuoso and sole custodian of the famous ‘Gregg Violin’ thought to have been played by Robert Burns himself.

With music from Anna MacDonald, Jamie McGeechan, Fraya Thomsen and Mr McFalls Chamber.

MONDAY AUGUST 10TH: The Highland Games go Virtual!

Joining us In Conversation:

Peter Wilson, President of Great Scot InternationalThe Scottish Grocer & President Scottish Heritage USA as he shares with us his experiences The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

Gus Noble, President of the Chicago Scots

Deb Dalziel from Fergus Scottish Festival

Amy Lehman, Program Coordinator, New Hampshire Highland Games

We have wonderful music from James Harper, Meredith McCrindle Harpist and Seán Gray & Andrew Finn Magill.

MONDAY AUGUST 24: SPOTLIGHT ON SOUNDS FROM SCOTLAND

In this episode we shine the spotlight on some of the wonderful Scottish musicians who have been performing on our monthly Sounds From Scotland Online Music Concerts and played on our ScotsInUS Podcast. We are delighted to showcase music from Scotland to our audience and in this episode we will shine the spotlight on these wonderful talents.

Join Jamie and Camilla for conversation, news and of course great music!

With music from The Alan Frew Band, Anna MacDonald, Chris Andreucci Music, Colin Hunter, Hannah Read, John Rush, Laura Mcghee Music, Lisa Kowalski, Matt Scott, Mike Nisbet, Noisemaker, Reely Jiggered, Seán Heely and Whisky Kiss

If you would like to get in touch with any news or events please email us:

americanscottishfoundation@gmail.com


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ONLINE LEARNING

ASF Spotlight on Scotland’s Remote learning opportunities

How often we hear from ASF Members and friends how they wish they had studied in Scotland – or could do so – but life has now made that impossible.

No longer true. Remote learning has changed all that.  Members of the ASF team have in recent years been undertaking several courses — and ASF as a bridge between the US and Scotland will in the coming weeks spotlight courses from partners and associates we feel you may enjoy

Whether you are looking to deepen your understanding of a subject or earn  earn a professional or academic credential–a certificate for professional development receive college credit for a degree—these classes, taught by leading universities, are knowledge packed and fun!

June Spotlight:  Highlands and Islands from Gaelic to Music and Archaeology from your Home.

The University of the Highlands and Islands has 13 colleges spread across the Highland and Islands of Scotland – from Shetland, to Orkney to Lewis and Skye.
UHI offers a wide range of remote learning courses without you having to leave your home.

From Gaelic language to traditional music, to courses in Scottish History and Heritage

Degree and Certificate courses range from a year to four
and the next online terms begin August/September 2020

Gaelic      Traditional Music
History    Genealogical Journey        Archaeology and much more

For an overview of course and how to register visit :
https://www.inverness.uhi.ac.uk/…/study-w…/our-course-offer/

May Spotlight:  Robert Burns: Poems, Songs and Legacy

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Robert Burns statue, Ayr, Scotland, UK Stock Photo

The course will allow you to Celebrate and Dig deeper into the life and works of Robert Burns with this FREE University of Glasgow online course! 

Professors at the Center for Robert Burns Studies at University of Glasgow will guide learners in examining the poems, songs, manuscripts and objects used to commemorate the poet – and give you a special insight into Burns the man. 

The topics covered will include the cultural reputation of Robert Burns as patriot, lover, and man of the people, as well as as poet and songwriter, Major works such as ‘Scots Wha Hae’, ‘Ae Fond Kiss’, ‘A Man’s a Man’, ‘The Vision’, and ‘Auld Lang Syne’, the commemoration of Burns in material culture, and the international celebrity and legacy of Burns.

Your Professors would include Gerand Carruthers, Catriona Macdonald, Pauline MacKay, Ronnie Young.

There are no requirements to take the course – except for your love of Burns …  and perfect for those with an interest in Robert Burns, Scottish history, poetry, song and culture. Click here to start today, https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/robert-burns

If planning a visit to Scotland, for Burns lovers, a visit to the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, Ayr- just 40 minutes from Glasgow. 

On this the 700th Anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath ASF share with our Members and Friends Lesley Riddoch’s documentary around this historic document and time.

Journalist and broadcaster The Lesley Riddoch Podcast wrote to the The American-Scottish Foundation® this morning – inviting us to share with all “Declaration” – a documentary on the history of the Declaration of Arbroath,

As Riddoch notes:
.. so as soon as we realised the corona virus lockdown would also cancel every celebratory event, my filmmaker colleague Charlie Stuart and I dropped other work and decided to make a film ourselves with help from Oscar-nominated composer Patrick Doyle, historian Fiona Watson and the actor Brian Cox

Only completed this past Saturday April 4th we share with all on this its 700th Anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath