By starring in a new film that inspires people to help potential talent, actor James McAvoy supports a fundraising effort for the arts.
The Hollywood star talks in a short film that reveals how, with the hashtag #WeAreStillHere, students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) have found ways to practice during the coronavirus pandemic.
It is the start of a new scholarship campaign to ensure that future arts students can obtain a position in the Glasgow college, a conservatory of music, theater, dance, production and film.
James McAvoy is a graduate of RCS who became a star in Hollywood (Ian West/PA)
The film features music by Fergus McCreadie, himself an RCS graduate and scholarship recipient, pianist and composer, interwoven with McAvoy’s interpretation of what it felt like during the pandemic to be a performer.
McAvoy, who grew up in Drumchapel, Glasgow, and is also an alumnus of RCS, said, “The arts and artists need to be seen and heard and recognized at this time, perhaps more than ever, for the essential contribution they make. We are still here, as is the next generation.”
This is why access to education in the arts is so important and should be open to all, regardless of context.
“That’s why grant support is so important, to make sure everyone gets a fair shot and that we have artists for the future who reflect our world, connect us and tell the stories that need to be told.”
The ten-year-old James McAvoy Drama Scholarship, which helps applicants for whom the cost of tuition would otherwise be an obstacle to obtaining pre-college theater training at RCS, was supported in 2015 by the X-Men and His Dark Materials actor.
He’s a patron of the RCS Junior Drama Conservatoire, too.
On the basis of merit and financial need, the RCS Scholarship Fund funds approximately one-third of incoming and continuing students from the UK, EU, and abroad.
“It means a great deal to us that one of our own, actor James McAvoy, plays a key role in our new scholarship campaign film #WeAreStillHere,” said Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Vice-Chancellor of the RCS.
“As a patron of our Junior Conservatoire of Drama, James is passionate about making the performing arts accessible to all,” he said.
Never should financial or other hurdles stand in the way of opportunity.
“Our doors are open to the most promising young artists at home and abroad to help them achieve their dreams.”
“In bringing diverse voices and backgrounds together, there is a unique energy and power, and scholarships play a critical role in making that possible,” he said.
They encourage students to study here in Scotland from all over the world, enriching not only their lives, but also the national landscape of arts.
There is an immense challenge facing the arts, but our students are still here, evolving and learning, and using their talents as a force for good.
The arts have never been more significant, we strongly believe.
“Now, more than ever, we need to support those whose talents and dedication to their craft bring us together and give us optimism, comfort and hope.”
“I can’t express enough how much I wouldn’t be here without the scholarship,” said Colleen Bell, a second-year BA film student and scholarship recipient.
“I feel this overwhelming sense of gratitude that I’m here because of other people.”
Here, donations can be made.