What is cultural heritage? We believe it is the unifying voice, the enrichment, and the dynamic core of any culture as given expression through language, art, indigenous crafts, and music. It's through all of this that we are able to define where we've come from and where we're going.
The British government pegs poverty in the UK at £19,000 per annum and yet the average artist in Scotland earns a mere £9,000 per annum. Further, statistics from Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Executive indicate that not a single artist under the age of 35 can earn a living at their art, meaning they all have to do something other than their core competency to survive. If young people feel that they can't earn a living at their art (or anything else they endeavour to do) they will emmigrate to Australia or Canada or the United States, leaving Scotland behind as a place to mourn.
Without hesitation, if a society is to flourish then supporting the arts is non-negotiable.
Thistle & Broom provides access to a global marketplace for most extraordinary products made by Scotland's most talented artists and craftspeople. Thus, it seems entirely logical to create a scholarship to learn an indigenous craft, or expand existing skills for those with aptitude and desire. The stipend might be all it takes to encourage an artistic gift and provide an economic safety net. With a level of expertise attained the resulting products will available exclusively through Thistle & Broom allowing the artisan to concentrate on their core competency of creating beauty.
If only one of those who might have left Scotland for distant shores is able to stay we will count that as a measure of our success. Applications for scholarship are open to any individual living within the geo-political borders of Scotland with the intent of focusing their learning on an indigenous craft and who will continue to make Scotland home. Please contact us to discuss your plans and learn more.