New learning events in the Highlands & Islands

New learning events in the Highlands & Islands


Three New Workshops - Book Now!

Welcome to the first series of workshops designed especially for members living in the Highlands & Islands. Get the most out of your membership and book onto our FREE workshops - learn, meet your union officials, network with fellow members, and find out more about the union and its activities. 


1) North Uist

Developing Creative Leaders: Cumantas 
Saturday 3rd November 2018, Taigh Chearsabhagh, Lochmaddy

Would you like to set up an artists' collective, peer review group or artist-run project? 

This intensive one-day course will offer creative leadership training in:

  • Collaboration and collective action;
  • How to set up a cooperative/artist-led group;
  • How to work non-hierarchically and to develop an inclusive space;
  • How to develop peer review and coaching systems.

Participants will be provided with training in the topics above – developing leadership skills and learning about effective group structures, how to set up a group or cooperative, collective decision-making, communication and how to build a group culture where everyone is valued.

About the trainer: Shannon Stephens is an activist-trainer and co-director at Tripod Training, a small workers’ cooperative based in Edinburgh. They have 15 years experience in grassroots campaigning, community organising and collaborative group-work. For eight years they were a Trustee at The Forest, a the collectively-owned, community arts and events space. They have also provided training and advice for several artist-run galleries in Edinburgh.

BOOK HERE - RSVP via our website


2) Orkney

Fair Work for Artists: Below the Water-Line 
Saturday 10th November 2018, The Pier Arts Centre, Stromness

Many artists and craft makers work in isolation and face a complex array of practical, financial and social challenges in their working lives. This intensive one-day course will offer professional development training in:

  • Effective negotiation of contracts and payments;
  • Rates of pay and how to price your work;
  • The best approaches for arts organisations, businesses and community groups;
  • How to share the value of what you do with others;
  • Legal rights and intellectual copyright.

The workshop will be delivered by visual artist Janie Nicoll from the In Kind project. This research project was made in collaboration with Ailie Rutherford, using Glasgow International 2018 as a case study. The project aims to map the hidden economies of the visual arts and the “below the water-line” economy, charting the unseen and unaccounted efforts that enable the festival to take place, exploring unpaid labour, mutual support, favours and volunteer hours that go into making arts festivals happen. Janie has been an active contributor to the contemporary visual art scene in Scotland, giving talks and presentations at a variety of seminars and conferences and is the ex-president of the Scottish Artists Union. 

Thanks to the Pier Arts Centre for kindly supporting this event.

BOOK HERE - RSVP via our website


3) Inverness 

Writing Skills For Artists 
Saturday 8th December 2018, Inverness (venue tbc)

Learn to adapt the way you express your practice across many different contexts and purposes from strategic writing for funding applications and exhibition proposals, to the more imaginative writing for artist statements and idea-based texts. 

This one-day course acknowledges the shifting purpose, materiality and application of written material and will teach strategies to navigate and adapt to this. The course will be delivered by arts writer and journalism lecturer Moira Jeffrey and arts and fiction writer Nicola White. 

Moira Jeffrey is an independent writer working on books and essays with a focus on contemporary art practice. She has written extensively about Scottish art for national newspapers, magazines, periodicals such as The Guardian, The Scotsman, Axisweb, and many more. In 2017, she joined the Scottish Contemporary Art Network she also lectures in arts and feature journalism.

Nicola White’s first novel, In the Rosary Garden won the 2013 Dundee International Book Prize. Her short stories have been widely published and broadcast on radio. A former curator and documentary maker, she often collaborates on creative writing and audio projects with artists and arts organisations. Nicola lives on the Black Isle north of Inverness.

BOOK HERE - RSVP via our website



Car share - where possible we'd like to organise car shares to the workshops, there are currently spaces for travel from Inverness to the Orkney or North Uist. Please contact Kirsten Body via [email protected] if you'd like to share a car or are willing to offer other members a lift to the workshops.

Scottish Union Learning in the Highlands & Islands has a small budget for travel and subsistence to support learners who may struggle financially and decide not to participate in courses due to the travel costs associated with attending these courses. Participants must contact Scottish Union Learning in the Highlands & Islands, before the course starts, to discuss the expected costs to be incurred. If you'd like to pursue financial support please contact Kirsten Body via [email protected] 


This is a pilot scheme for the Highlands & Islands, in order to make sure the Scottish Artists Union can continue to offer learning events in our area I urge you to show your support by participating in these workshops. 

Yours in Solidarity,


Highlands & Islands Learning Organiser


The learning programme is funded through the collective provision of the Learning Fund from the STUC Scottish Union Learning, to deliver learning opportunities in the workplace and alternative locations for a variety of sectors. 


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