Church celebrates Storytelling Centre's first decade

A man addresses an audience at the Scottish Storytelling Centre
The Scottish Stoytelling Centre.

June 2016 marks the tenth anniversary of the Scottish Storytelling Centre, the world's first purpose-built building for live storytelling. Designed by Malcolm Fraser Architects and opened in 2006 (on the 6 June), the Centre emerged from the efforts of the Church of Scotland and the Scottish Storytelling Forum and has since grown into a vibrant hub for the arts – a true home for Scotland's culture.

The past decade has seen the Centre welcome storytellers and audiences from all over the globe, as well as supporting a growing directory of Scottish talent and ensuring Scotland's Reformation is noted as a significant time of change for Scotland's culture through the John Knox House museum.

This year, John Knox House has also become home to the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature, strengthening the core literary connections associated with Edinburgh's historic Netherbow site, where the Storytelling Centre is homed. Rev Norman Smith, Convener of the Mission and Discipleship states:

"At the heart of Christianity is telling the story of Jesus and we are encouraged that the vision which brought the Storytelling Centre into being continues to be relevant today. As we celebrate the past 10 years we look forward to the future with excitement. "

The 10th birthday celebrations coincide with the 20th anniversary of the passing of George Mackay Brown, the Centre's patron who advocated for the dedicated space for traditional arts in Scotland's capital, and includes several events honouring the late Orcadian poet and author. TRACS (Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland) Director Donald Smith, formerly the Centre's founding director, describes how Brown has inspired the venue's development:

"His inspiration grounding of the universal in the local, his incarnation of words in living communities of music, story, dance and seasonal celebration remain a guiding light through changing circumstances."