Alan Cumming event

Top actor joins NLS to inspire an American audience

Actor Alan Cumming will be the star attraction when the National Library of Scotland (NLS) takes one of its popular events to the US for the first time.

He will speak at the Library's latest 'Inspirations' event - a series of talks featuring leading figures in literature, business, science, politics, travel and exploration, talking about what truly inspires them.

Until now the high profile 'Inspirations' events have been held at the NLS flagship building in Edinburgh, however they have proven so popular that the Library has decided to roll them out to the Big Apple this month.

Teri Wishart, Director of Development and External Relations at the National Library of Scotland, said: 'Inspirations has already received tremendous feedback here at home and we are very excited to team up with Alan Cumming to introduce the event to an international audience.

'We constantly strive to make the National Library of Scotland as accessible as possible, not only in Scotland and the rest of the UK, but on a global platform. Already we are achieving this through the attraction of our tremendous research facilities, our visitor centre and events and our website which receives around three million hits from around the world every year.

'By taking successful events like this overseas we hope to introduce the National Library of Scotland to an even wider audience.'

The evening will be hosted by the American Associates of the National Library of Scotland (AANLS) — the Library's network of supporters in the United States, helping NLS to safeguard and increase access to Scotland's heritage. AANLS is currently assisting in the drive to generate the remaining £3m needed to secure the Library's prestigious John Murray Archive for future generations.

'Inspirations: featuring Alan Cumming' will take place on November 1 at the French Institute in New York. It is sure to be a night to remember as he gives an illustrated talk featuring a series of images and film clips from the national collection.

He has revealed that he plans to discuss a very eclectic mix of subjects, giving a sneak preview of some of the topics he plans to cover. These range from pantomime and Lena Zavaroni to Bonnie Prince Charlie, the islands of St Kilda and the lost homes of Scotland (homes demolished for tax reasons after the Second World War).

Other famous faces to have featured at 'Inspirations' events include author Ian Rankin; Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland, Professor Anne Glover; and humanitarian campaigner Peter Tatchell. Next year's schedule promises to be equally as exciting, with actor and writer Michael Palin and singer and actress Shirley Manson lined up for early 2011.

1 November 2010




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