Category Archives: Arts and Entertainment

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

Scots In Us Podcast :

CURRENT EPISODE Monday November 9

Shetland Island Wool & Textiles Spotlight on Shetland Wool Week 

“In Conversation” with Oliver Henry from Jamieson and Smith, leading wool brokers in Shetland as we learn of the process of working in the renowned Shetland wool industry, the skills and knowledge of which have been passed down over generations. 

Janette Budge then join us, Janette is a Shetland knitwear designer and tutor with a great deal of passion for Shetland wool and textiles. Janette is involved in Shetland Wool Week, Shetland PeerieMakkers and the Shetland Guild of Spinners Knitters Weavers and Dyers.

With Music from Malachy TallackHom Bru and Filska.

Listen to our podcasts on Spotify , on Apple Podcasts and on Anchor.

Scots In US Podcast:


In this episode we’ll take a look back at some of our recent podcasts and guests as well as focusing on:

Our very first ASF@Home event delivered in partnership with Mary’s Meanders. Anne Daly of Mary Meanders delivered a wonderful talk all about Mary Queen of Scots And The Men Who Influenced her life. 

We’ll hear about our recent conversation with Sean Cairney from The Scottish Banner in the Our Global Community . Sean does so much for the global community of Scots. A family business the Scottish Banner continues to be such a great asset to the Scottish community.

In September we were joined by Joni Smith, Scottish Affairs Counsellor to North America for the Scottish Government. Joni talked about the importance of the American – Scottish connection and praised the work of American – Scottish organizations in doing all that they do to support the relationship. 

We were joined in September by Gus Noble, President of the Chicago Scots and CEO of the Caledonia Senior Living and Memory Care. Gus told us about the amazing ways that the local community have been rallying together in support of the Scottish Home and how important that support has been to their community. Gus explained how this year they held a virtual highland games and celebration of their ancestry and links to Scotland, it was wonderful.

Also earlier in September we were joined by the brilliant Laura McGhee as we paid tribute to all those affected by 9/11 and her involvement in commemoration events.

With music from Laura McGhee, Mark Copeland and Starry Skies.

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

Sunday October 25th: TAMFEST – Ayrshire’s celebration of Halloween and Robert Burns

Tamfest is an annual festival which takes place in Ayr, South Ayrshire in Scotland. As the birthplace of Robert Burns, the people of Ayrshire are hugely passionate about celebrating the life and legacy of Burns.

Tamfest was named after Burns legendary poem Tam O’Shanter which depicts the story of Tam O’Shanter on a night out in Ayr ending up meeting with the devil and witches on Halloween with the witches chasing him and his horse Meg all the way home!

Tamfest is an incredible event which takes place throughout October, culminating in events around Halloween, involving the whole community who come out to support the event. Local schoolchildren, artists and performers take part in celebrating both Robert Burns and Halloween and the incredible link between them. There’s usually live music performances all over the town of Ayr, a haunted house tour and an amazing ‘Dawn of the Deid’ procession which takes place with hundreds of local people, families and children taking part all dressed in spooky outfits as ghouls and ghosts!

This year Tamfest will take place online as a virtual event, live streaming from the famous Gaiety Theatre in Ayr with a brilliant program of live music, performances and a few spooky surprises thrown in. You can watch the live stream on Sunday October 25th from 10am GMT to 6PM GMT on the Tamfest YouTube Channel here.

  Video from 2017 Tamfest

Tamfest has been running since 2015 and was set up by local businesswoman and musician Meredith McCrindle. Originally from Texas and now a resident of Ayr, Meredith is passionate about the local community, the incredible heritage of Robert Burns and of Scotland itself.

Follow Tamfest on Facebook at at

Sounds From Scotland Online Music Concert October 18th

The next Sounds From Scotland Online Music Concert on Facebook Live is coming on Sunday October 18th!

The next Sounds From Scotland Online Music Concert on Facebook Live is coming on Sunday October 18th!  3PM – 5PM ET / 8PM – 10PM GMT

Featuring the talents of Craig Scott Music, The Jamie Clark Experience, Jamie McGeechan and Mark Copeland.

Join us for this live experience on our Facebook page as we enjoy brilliant contemporary sounds from Scotland!

ScotsInUS Podcast


In this episode we are honored to be joined by Joni Smith, the Scottish Government’s Counsellor for Scottish Affairs to North America


Gus Noble, President of Chicago Scots and CEO of Caledonia Senior Living and Memory Care.

As we discuss the unique challenges that this year has presented us all. We learn all about the work of The Scottish Government in the USA, their mission and we draw attention to the vital work that they do for us all in the Scottish community in North America.

Gus Noble shares with us some of the many wonderful experiences and stories of community and friendship that he has experienced this year with Chicago Scots and Caledonia Senior Living and Memory Care. The Chicago Scots are great friends to us here at The American Scottish Foundation and we are always so pleased to speak with Gus.

You can listen to the podcast on Spotify , Anchor or over on Apple Podcasts.

With music from Starry Skies, Sean C Kennedy and Anna Sweeney.

Presented by Jamie McGeechan with ASF President Camilla Hellman MBE in conversation with our guests.


October has arrived and the US Games season is coming to a quiet close  – 

If this were 2019 then Scotland’s Highland Games season would have just ended in September with the Pitlochry Highland Games, the Braemar Gathering and the Blairgowrie & Rattray Highland Games but, as has been the case in the U.S. virtually all games were cancelled this year, with a few replaced by virtual events, like Braemar and Sterling Games in Scotland, and New Hampshire and Chicago Highland Games in the US and Fergus Highland Games in Canada – AND Oh to be experiencing the Highland Games in 2021 in person 

Here is a list of cancelled games and related events for the months of October and November, followed by those events which are still scheduled either as in-person or as virtual events:

Cancelled: October – November

Indianapolis Scottish Highland Games & Festival – October 10

Kerr County Celtic Festival (TX) – October 10-11

Seaside Highland Games CA) – October 10-11

Scotland Connecticut Highland Festival & Games – October 11

Tucson Celtic Festival – early November

Charleston Scottish Games and Highland Gathering – November 7

Austin Celtic Festival – November 7-8

Mount Dora Scottish Highland Games (FL) – November 7-8

Salado Scottish Gathering and Highland Game (TX) – November 13-15

Scottish Ball (NYC) – early November

Celtic Music Festival & Highland Games (MS) – November 13-14

Tartan Ball (DC) – mid-November

Still scheduled October – November Virtual

Celtic Colours International Festival (NS) – October 9-17

Stone Mountain Highland Games – October 12 In Person

Association of Scottish Games and Festivals (Orlando, FL) – November 13-15, hotel tbd [sic]

Scots on the Rocks, Moab Utah – November 6-8 – in person


Austin Celtic Festival – November 7-8 (tentative – decision was to be made in August, but is still pending)

St. Andrew’s Highland Ball (Omaha) – early November (still on their list of upcoming events, but with no particulars, not even a date)

Scots on the Rocks, Moab Utah – November 6-8 – in person

Austin Celtic Festival – November 7-8 (tentative – decision was to be made in August, but is still pending)St. Andrew’s Highland Ball (Omaha) – early November (still on their list of upcoming events, but with no particulars, not even a date)


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.

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

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

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

Next Sounds From Scotland Online Concert:


The Sounds From Scotland online monthly concerts are a brand new platform from which we showcase and celebrate wonderful live music direct from Scotland! 

Performing live for the American Scottish Foundation on our Facebook page at we have the wonderful talents of:

Anna MacDonald is a talented multi-instrumentalist originally from Glasgow. Anna has released music in both Gaelic and English and possesses a beautiful voice and wonderful gift for song writing. Anna does great work with Play For Progress and the Association of Exiled Scots. 

John Condron is a singer songwriter from Glasgow who has performed all over Scotland and in New York too! His latest single ‘Hello Mama’ was recently played on the American Scottish Foundation Scots In US Podcast and is a beautiful and touching dedication to his mother. 

Meredith McCrindle is a wonderful harpist, songwriter and all round talent. Originally hailing from Texas, Merdith now lives in Ayr Scotland and is the driving force behind the brilliant Tamfest which celebrates Robert Burns famous poem Tam O’Shanter and is a must see event if in Scotland! 

Starsky is a brilliant singer songwriter from Scotland who has a great gift for melody, song writing and performance. It’s an absolute pleasure to have Starsky with us who has performed throughout Scotland including the famous Hampden and Murrayfield Stadiums as an invited musical guest for the Scotland football and rugby teams!