Shona here. I was delighted to be invited to contribute to a day of sharing and exchange on the topic of Locally Based Creativity and Culture at the Scottish Storytelling Centre at the end of June.

Over the last two years TRACS has been hosting with Museums and Galleries Scotland regional sessions about local culture called ‘Traditions in Place’ (in Aberdeenshire, the Borders, Inverclyde, Stirling and Perth & Kinross to date).  They have now pulled together what they have learned from these sessions under a working title The People’s Parish. The team were keen to hear about our work on Sensing Place: how we approach local creativity and culture, and to have our thoughts about how we can work together to maximise support at local level.

It was a fascinating day with a variety of presentations around the following themes:

Graham Hogg of Lateral North
Ewan McVicar
(Sensing Place was in this theme too)

Investigation & Mapping
Peigi McKillop of Scotland’s Urban Past
Lindsey Gibb of Tay Landscape Partnership

Creative Work
Duncan Bremner of Citizen Curator
Jan Bee Brown of The Thrive Archive
Anne Murray

The Role of the Ethnologist
Nicolas le Bigre of The Elphinstone Institute

UPDATE: The People’s Parish has since been launched by TRACS to: “support communities to discover and rediscover a ‘sense of place’; to dig into the cultural memory and find the resources – stories, traditions, heritage, history – with which it can be expressed creatively.  The Statistical Accounts of Scotland were a parish-by-parish snapshot of life in Scotland, recorded by ministers and other prominent people between 1790 and 1970. The aim of the People’s Parish is to create a contemporary ‘creative account’ of Scotland from the bottom up perspective, incorporating a mosaic of creative work made by local people and community artists to create local (i.e. parish-scale) cultural and historical resources.”

A 7-stage process for bringing the People’s Parish initiative to life has been identified by TRACS:


Have a look at this TRACS blog post about The People’s Parish in which David Francis, Co-ordinator of the Traditional Music Forum, reflects on what connects people with place and suggests the beginnings of a framework for communities to tell their own story to the world. For more information, contact: