Nina Schnee – 2018 Scholarship Recipient

At Scottish Heritage USA, we believe in and facilitate the advancement of youth through our scholarship program.

Scottish Heritage USA is expanding our scholarship program to add Scottish Fiddling at the Jink & Diddle Scottish Fiddling Academy this summer, thanks to the generous donations of our members. The Pete & Mary Hamilton Dance and Piping Scholarships will continue to be offered at The School of Scottish Arts for Highland Dance and the North American Academy of Piping and Drumming.

This year, the three schools are selecting the scholarship recipients through their application process, available on their websites. Please contact the school directly to find out more and apply:

The Jink & Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling

Summer & Winter Sessions are offered at Valle Crucis Conference Center in Valle Crucis, NC under the direction of Dr. John Turner, ten-time National Scottish Fiddling Champion, composer, recording artist and educator.
Phone: 804-778-4708

The School of Scottish Arts

Situated at Lees-McRae College in picturesque Banner Elk, North Carolina offers summer courses in all aspects of Highland Dance. The School was founded in North Carolina in 1965 by Sally Southerland.

The School of Scottish Arts (SSA)’ is focused on encouraging the preservation of the folk arts, heritage, and traditions of Scotland, extending the knowledge and practice of Scottish Arts by providing a center for learning and offering instruction conforming to traditional standards.

SSA accomplishes this mission by offering quality dance instruction from top teachers of Highland Dancing and by introducing and reinforcing knowledge of Scottish culture and history.

Summer Session is July 5-11, 2024 on the Lees-McRae College campus in Banner Elk, NC


North American Academy of Piping and Drumming

The piping and drumming school, started by the late John McFayden, of Glasgow, Scotland, and Sandy Jones, has been operating in Valle Crucis, North Carolina for over 40 years. The school’s professional instructors are offering five piping and drumming sessions in June & July 2024.

Contact: Cathleen Nixon
Ph: 843-817-1894

You do not need to be a Scottish Heritage USA member to apply for these scholarships. Applicants from all over the world are welcomed at our partner schools. Tuition, room and board are included in the scholarships.

Grant Guidelines

If you wish to apply for a grant from Scottish Heritage USA, you MUST be a non-profit organization and a copy of your IRS determination letter must accompany your request.

Please adhere to the following guidelines:

The board meets to decide on grant funding twice a year. The second week in July and the first week in December. Please have your requests submitted to the office no later than May 15th and October 15th.

Provide a short cover letter (no more than one page) explaining who you are and why you wish funds from Scottish Heritage.

Project Summary: Give a summary of the project (2-3 paragraphs).

Project Description: Prepare a detailed description of the project, include pictures and other supporting documentation you feel will help the board in visualizing your project.

Project Budget: Submit a detailed project budget including other funding requested for the project (if any), people or other organizations involved in the project and the amount you are requesting from Scottish Heritage USA.

Key Contact: Name, address, telephone and email of the contact person responsible for the application.

The Board of Directors meets twice annually to review grant applications, in July and December. Please submit your complete grant application to the Scottish Heritage USA office by May 15 for the July review and by October 15 for the December review.

Questions? Contact Ms. Thomas at 910-295-4448 or Our office is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays only, from 9 am to 4 pm.

Send your applications by mail to (send 10 copies):

Scottish Heritage USA, Inc.
PO Box 457
Pinehurst, NC 28374-0457


By email to (only send 1 copy): (If you are sending pictures, please send in .jpg format).

2024 Grants Awarded

THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR SCOTLAND USA FOUNDATION. Scottish Heritage USA awarded the foundation a $20,000 grant to be used for support of the National Trust for Scotland. A portion of our 2024 donation will be designated for the National Trust for Scotland’s St. Kilda’s kirk restoration project. St. Kilda’s has sustained significant water damage and the need to complete this important historic conservation project is urgent.
THE PIPES OF CHRISTMAS: From the sounds of bagpipes and harmonious blend of brass, strings and percussion, to the poetic, lyrical words that complement them, The Pipes of Christmas has become a cherished annual tradition in New York and New Jersey since its inception 1999. The concert celebrates the history and legacy of Celtic culture in a well-loved concert each holiday season. Proceeds support the Clan Currie Society’s extensive programs to foster Scottish arts and culture in the US and globally.
AMERICAN SCOTTISH FOUNDATION – BRYANT PARK CONCERTS DURING TARTAN WEEK 2024: Scottish Heritage USA’s sponsorship supports the presentation of The Pipes and Drums on Fountain Terrace at Bryant Park, presented by the American Scottish Foundation as a highlight of New York City’s annual Tartan Week. The Bryant Park events also include a Tartan Day Observance with the reading of the official Senate and Presidential decrees along with a reading from the Declaration of Arbroath on April 5, Pipe Bands and Highland Dancers including youth bands before the parade on April 6, and a concert on April 7.

Total YTD: $34,000

2023 Grants Awarded

AN CRIOS GRÈINE: An Crios Grèine’s goal is to assemble the leading pipers from around the globe in a forum to promote their talents to raise funds for scholarships, and to help support aspiring students. To this end, An Crios Grèine holds an invitational piping contest designed to uphold the highest level of integrity and standards established in the world piping community. Invitations are extended to ten of the leading pipers from around the world to perform in two contests. There will also be an amateur competition.
STANDING COUNCIL OF SCOTTISH CHIEFS: The council plans to produce a coffee table style book written and approved by the participating chiefs. Each chief will have 4 full color pages to describe his clan and its history. It is planned to have the book available at (in limited quantities) the 2024 Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.
SCOTTISH CULTURAL OUTREACH FOUNDATION (Formerly Highland Echoes) was awarded $2,000 in support of their educational program with the proviso that the area served be broadened rather than provide program enrichment. This program provides pre-packaged programs for teachers to use in the classroom and integrates with their current curriculum to bring Scottish culture into the classroom.
NATIONAL TRUST-BURNS ON LINE RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT: aims to bring the work of Scottish poet Robert Burns (1795-96) to the fingertips of an international audience. The Trust owns some 6,000 artifacts, manuscripts, and books relating to Burns that are housed at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, a purpose-built facility located in the small Ayrshire village where the poet was born.
THE NATIONAL TRUST – THREAVE GARDEN PROJECT: It costs the Trust approximately $17,000 (£15,000) each year to deliver the program for six first-year students. The Trust covers the accommodation and living costs for students, well as providing a stipend of $110 (£100) a week. Each apprentice needs to be provided with basic PPE (personal protective equipment) for their role, typically safety boots, safety glasses and waterproofs, along with the occasional hand tool. It is also expected travel to travel to other Trust gardens locally to take part in additional or specific learning (e.g. working with fruit and vegetables, pruning, experiencing different gardening styles etc) will be underwritten.
THE NATIONAL TRUST USA FOUNDATION Scottish Heritage awards the foundation a $20,000 grant to be used for support of the National Trust for Scotland.

Total: $80,000

2022 Grants Awarded

NTSUSA – For support of the National Trust properties
SCOT DANCE was awarded $5,000 to assist with the (FUSTA) 2022 dance championships. Founded in 1980 Scot Dance USA is the governing body of Highland Dance in the US and is the official US-affiliated organization of the Royal Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing which is the worldwide governing body of Highland Dance. Since its inception, ScotDance USA’s mission has been to promote Scottish Highland Dancing and culture in the United States. ScotDance USA presents ongoing education for teachers, judges and dances, is the registration body for competing Highland Dancers and Dance competitions and sponsors the Uniteed States Inter-Regional Championship, which crowns the US Highland Dance Champions in each age group from each of the 6 regions.
HIGHLAND ECHOES was awarded $2,500 in support of their educational program “Scotland in the Class”. This teaching unit was developed to support common core standards for teachers to use in schools. The unit provides a series of lessonsfor kindergarten through 5th grade in literacy, art, music, history and physical education. The full unit is available for free.
TARTANS MUSEUM was awarded $5,000 to provide a glass barrier in front of the weapons and the kilt evolution exhibits. Founded by The Scottish Tartans Society The Scottish Tartans Museum and Heritage Center, Inc. was established to be a center for reliable information on Scottish Highland Dress traditions within the United States, and to serve the large Scottish-American heritage community. The museum is open year-round, six days a week (except for major holidays). The museum gallery features kilts dating back to c. 1800, and tartan specimens c. 1725. Over 600 tartan samples are on display, including tartans for clans, families, districts, and other organizations. A computer database contains over 11,000 unique tartan designs, both historic and modern.
PIPES OF CHRISTMAS MUSIC CONCERT was awarded $5,000 Now in its 24th season, The Currie Clan brings you this cherished holiday concert. It is a stirring and reverent cultural celebration of the Christmas season and Celtic spirit. The concert is performed at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and in Summit, New Jersey at Central Presbyterian Church. Iconic sounds of bagpipes, brass, drums and organ, as well as the sounds of harp, fiddle, acoustic guitar and flute are woven together with Scottish, Irish, and Welsh stories told and sung in English, Gaelic, and old Scots. While much of the program features traditional music, The Pipes of Christmas also showcases compositions – old and new – never before performed. We actively include long-forgotten Christmas carols and poems.

Total: $37,500

2020 Grants Awarded