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Increasing art opportunities for Cowal youth

An award from ferry operator CalMac's Community Fund is set to increase art opportunities for young people living in Cowal.

The award to Cowal Open Studios will support workshops to enable artists to increase children's self-confidence through a range of different media.  

Cowal Open Studios is a group of over fifty artists and makers on the peninsula who work together to bring an Open Studios weekend to the area every September. Last year they welcomed over 4000 visits to their studios.

They also run art competitions for young people and workshops in schools.

Deb Wing, chair of Cowal Open Studios, said, 'We are really grateful to CalMac for providing this support that will enable us to work more closely with children in our local community. Our artists work hard to attract a large number of visitors into the area every September, but this is a great opportunity to support school staff in enthusing their pupils about art and all the creative benefits it brings.'

CalMac's Community Fund drives social value by supporting non profit organisations, based in a mainland port or island the company serves, delivering projects to benefit the lives of children and young people living in west coast communities. Organisations can apply for an award between £500 to £2000. 

So far the Fund has supported 76 projects from woman's football in the Outer Hebrides, to the Campbeltown Sea Cadets and a Gaelic youth club on Skye. 
Each application was judged by a screening panel of young people recruited from across the company's network, in partnership with Young Scot.

'Opportunities for young people to experience art in some of the more isolated areas we serve are extremely limited. So, we were delighted to help out a project that is removing barriers and creating greater opportunities within the communities we support,' said CalMac's Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Gordon McKillop.

Dunoon charity Patchwork was also given an award to hold Acro dance sessions for local young people.

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