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Better times in 2021

Better times in 2021

We hope that you are all keeping well and looking forward to better times in 2021.

Magnetic North has just published a summary annual report for the year ended 31 March 2020. You can read it here.

An annual report is always and inevitably out of date, but 2019-2020 now feels like a different world, never mind a different year. So we also wanted to share a brief account of what we’ve been doing since March 2020 when the world changed. Magnetic North is in the fortunate position of being regularly funded by Creative Scotland, and our aim has been to use that position of privilege to keep working to support artists.

 During the Covid-19 crisis we have:


Awarded micro-commissions to 12 independent artists to help them to continue their creative practice during the pandemic. 

Worked with Apphia Campbell and Tony Mills to secure funding from the City of Edinburgh Council’s Diversity and Inclusion Fund to enable them both to develop new work, with producing and management support from Magnetic North.

Paid 8 artists to review and comment on our plans for our artist development work for the next 4-5 years.



Reimagined our creative retreat, Space/Time, as an online retreat. This model works and has advantages in terms of accessibility, carbon impact and cost. The cost savings enabled us to run 4 Space/Time retreats this year instead of the usual 2, supporting a total of 24 independent artists.


Rough Mix

Our collaborative creative lab, Rough Mix, will take place online in January-February 2021. With the support of Macrobert Arts Centre, which would have been the physical venue for the residency, we have been able to offer an additional lead artist place this year. Rough Mix will support 14 independent artists to work on new ideas, with support from Magnetic North and each other.



We shared our cult hit ‘sort of opera’ Pass the Spoon online for 5 weeks in April-May 2020, to cheer people up.

We worked with our long-term collaborators, Sans facon, to share their project Stories from Here, online in May 2020, to enable people to experience live work during lockdown.

We co-produced Getting Close by Kathy McKean, directed by Nicholas Bone, as part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Scenes for Survival series.

Using social distancing and a very long risk assessment, we made a for camera concert performance of Magnetic North’s first production, The Dream Train (pictured), which is currently available to view online until 31 January 2021. 



We ran an online development week for a planned new project, The Story of the Blues.

We ran a ‘blended’ development week for Gossip from the Forest right at the start of lockdown in March 2020 and shared our learning via our website.



We look forward to better times for the arts in 2021. Whatever the new year brings we will continue to keep supporting artists and freelancers as well as we can. If you are an artist interested in connecting with Magnetic North then please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request a one-to-one session.

Our (virtual) office will be closed from 22 December 2020 to 3 January 2021 inclusive.