SPAE Board of Directors
President, Treasurer, Recording Secretary & Webmaster
Artistic Director & Grants Administrator
In the belief that music and the arts are key to connecting cultures and understanding our roots, Scottish Partnership for Arts and Education provides cultural experiences and educational opportunities in Scottish traditional arts and the historic connections between Scotland and the USA by conducting classes, workshops, lectures and public performances. Please contact us to find out more.
Good fortune, good future through arts and education
Picture by Jacqueline France
In the belief that music and the arts are key to connecting cultures and understanding our roots, Scottish Partnership for Arts and Education provides cultural experiences and educational opportunities in Scottish traditional arts and the historic connections between Scotland and the USA by conducting classes, workshops, lectures and public performances.
Incorporated in April 2006, SPAE is in its eighth year of programming. Our projects serve: 1) students and teachers in regional schools – elementary, middle, high schools and colleges; 2) adults attending our teacher development workshops at UM St. Louis (every other year), concerts at The Focal Point folk music venue, and traditional music workshops at Tionol (every other year), The Folk School of St. Louis (2010 and 2011) and HEC-TV audiences in 2009 and upcoming in 2013. Because our focus is on the connections between Scottish traditional music and the music of the USA, we have brought in such scholars and collectors as Prof. Willie Ruff (Yale Un. music theory professor and jazz musician) to lecture on “The Line Connecting Gaelic Psalm Singing and American Music” and Gordon McCann (collector of Ozarks fiddle music) to perform and lecture on Ozarks Fiddle Traditions. Professor Ruff’s work focuses on a form of congregational psalm singing common to the Highlands of Scotland as well as to African-American, Appalachian and Muskogee Creek congregations. SPAE is especially excited for our 2013 lineup of artists because Calum Martin, our Gaelic singer, collaborated with Prof. Ruff in 2005 to bring his congregation from the Isle of Lewis to Yale for the first ever conference on this subject.
SPAE’s artistic director, Diane McCullough, has worked with HEC-TV as a consultant for Chris Martinez’ upcoming documentary “Weaving Musical Traditions”. This work was done on a volunteer basis. Others from the SPAE board who volunteered on this project are William Ray and Michael Herron.
“Community and the Environment: Inspiration for Music, Art and Poetry” premiered in Fall 2011 at Highland Elementary School in the Riverview Gardens School District. It moved to Steger Sixth Grade Center in Webster Groves in 2012 and will take place at both Steger and Airport Elementary School (Ferguson/Florissant School District) in 2013. The content of this workshop includes the study of John Muir (Scottish immigrant and founder of the Sierra Club and booster of Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks) and Captain Charles Young (third African-American graduate of West Point, poet and composer). Capt. Young was commander of the Buffalo Soldiers during their 1903-04 deployment as park rangers at Yosemite and Sequoia. These two men and the soldiers worked, in spite of historic circumstances at that time, to make a lasting contribution to American culture and the environment. We hope to inspire the students with the idea that we can affect our environment and our neighborhoods in a positive way when working together – whatever the challenges may be.
SPAE is an affiliate arts organization with the E. Des Lee Fine Arts Education Collaborative and also has ongoing partnerships with The Focal Point Music Center, Tionol, The Folk School of St. Louis, HEC-TV, Powder Valley Nature Center, Laumeier Sculpture Park, the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society, and the Scottish St. Andrews Society of Greater St. Louis.
We receive funding from Regional Arts Commission, Missouri Humanities Council, and Missouri Arts Council, a State agency. Private donors and private foundations make up the balance of our support. They include The William A. Kerr Foundation, The Dunvegan Foundation, Enterprise Holdings Foundation, and the St. Louis Community Foundation.
The SPAE Board is an all-volunteer board and we do all of the planning and administrative work as volunteers. The largest percent of our annual budget goes to artists’ fees and travel expenses. We have community supporters who supply in-kind housing for the two-four week period of our residencies. Our board meetings take place on the second Tuesday of the month. SPAE is committed to discovering ways in which diverse groups have come together in the USA around music, art and the good of the community and to sharing this history as a way of nurturing, in our young people, hope for the future.