Nina Schnee – 2018 Scholarship Recipient

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

Our scholarships are offered at two schools, The School of Scottish Arts for Highland Dance and the North American Academy of Piping and Drumming.

The School of Scottish Arts situated at Lees-McRae College in picturesque Banner Elk, North Carolina offers one and two week courses in all aspects of Highland Dance.

The School was founded in North Carolina in 1965 by Sally Southerland.

The purposes of School of Scottish Arts (SSA) are:

  • to encourage the preservation of the folk arts, heritage and traditions of Scotland
  • to extend the knowledge and practice of Scottish Arts by providing a center for learning and offering instruction conforming to traditional standards, and;
  • to stimulate public interest in Scottish arts and traditions.

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. For more information on the School of Scottish Arts, please visit:

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 conduct one-week classroom instruction on piping and drumming. Visit the Academy’s website at

Room, board and tuition are included in our scholarships.


2021 Scholarship Announcement (PDF)

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.

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

The Board of Directors meets twice each year in July and December. Please have your applications in at least one month prior to those meetings to give staff time to copy the requests and distribute to the board members.

Send your applications by mail to:

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

By email to: (If you are sending pictures, please send in jpeg format).

Questions? Contact: Ms. Helton 919.295.4448. Office is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays only.

2020 Grants Awarded – $74,300.00

For the continuation of the Scottish Gaelic Lectureship

For continuation of “Scotland in the Class” a supplementary curriculum aligned to common core state standards that provides completely premade lessons and activities for kindergarden through fifth-grade teachers.  Each lesson is designed to meet rigorous state standards while exposing students to the beautiful and rich Scottish culture that has been so impactful  on United States History.

For travel to the National Trust for Scotland’s Culloden site to participate in the Culloden archeology and History Lecture Series and to lay a wreath on behalf of Scottish Heritage at the Culloden Commemoration Ceremony.

As an update to this grant, MacFarlanes’ Company was unable to travel to the UK this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and asked that their grant be awarded to the National Trust USA Foundation for assistance with maintaining properties in the United Kingdom overseen by the National Trust for Scotland.  This request has been granted and the funds have been sent to the National Trust USA Foundation.

For helping maintain the properties under the care of the National Trust for Scotland and to allow our members free admission to all the National Trust properties and to those of the National Trust for Historic Preservation here in the United States.

This Village provides educational and entertaining presentations by experts in Scottish culture and history who are eager to share their knowledge. Every thirty minutes a new presentation is given to the audience that touches upon an interesting facet of Scottish life.  Some of the topics include:

  • How to Wear the Kilt, Now and Then! Virginia Watson, Wolfstone Kilt Company    
    Men’s Highland wear has been shrouded in mystery for too long! Learn the proper way to wear a kilt in modern times, day wear and for formal occasions. The mystery of the great kilt is revealed as well! A demonstration will show you how easy it is to fold 5 yards of wool and look fabulous!
  • Scotch Whisky 101, Dan Crowell, Glenmorangie
    What is the difference between a single malt and a blend? What is the difference between Scotch whisky and all other whiskies? And how do you even make the stuff? Come learn about Scotch whisky production, how different areas of origin influence the final product, and what makes Scotch whisky so delicious!
  • A Brief History of Scottish Distilling, Dan Crowell, Glenmorangie
    An exploration into the roles that culture, conflict, industry, taxation, and the clergy had on the evolution of Scottish distilling. How did an ancient process for making perfumes developed in Mesopotamia evolve into the modern-day distillation of our beloved Scotch Whisky? How did Henry VIII inadvertently change the course of whisky history? How did the Scots influence the development of Bourbon, and how does Bourbon continue to influence Scotch Whisky to this day?
  • Band Concert, Blue Ridge Band, Pipes and Drums
    The group will be the featured performers at a luncheon concert. They will be presented by Ed Miller, premier Scottish Folk Singer. He will introduce the various musical selections with a brief history and explain why the songs are relevant today. Bring your lunch and enjoy a treat!
  • Loud and Sharp,  Lin Robinson, Scottish Weapons Expert
    Everyone knows that the Highland warrior was bold, deadly and awfully prickly. But how much of that is a true reflection of his martial ardor and just what was it that made the Highland warrior someone to be feared? We will attempt to answer that question as well as explode a few of the myths.
  • The Viking Colonization of Scotland, John Miles, USMC, Historian

  • Viking depredations had been recorded in the British Isles since the late 8th century, and Scandinavian settlement on Scotland’s western-seaboard may have begun before the turn of the 9th century. Claims to this region by Norwegian king’s date to the turn of the 12th century, when the King of Norway established himself in the Hebrides and the Isle of Mann.