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A Celebration of Scotland's Treasures

Rescheduled to Tuesday, September 29, 2020

After careful consideration, The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA has made the difficult decision to postpone A Celebration of Scotland’s Treasures, scheduled for April 16, 2020 in New York City, due to uncertainties stemming from the COVID-19 global pandemic.

A Celebration of Scotland’s Treasures is a true highlight of our program year – an evening when Scots and Americans come together to honor our shared heritage, and a critical fundraiser that allows us to support the National Trust for Scotland’s most urgent fundraising priorities. However, the health and safety of our donors and colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic are of utmost concern.

Happily, we are able to reschedule the event for Tuesday, September 29, 2020.

If you have purchased gala tickets already and will be able to join us in New York this fall, that’s wonderful! You do not need to do anything, and we look forward to celebrating with you in September.

If you have purchased gala tickets but would like a refund, please contact Kirstin Bridier at kbridier@ntsusa.org or Maggie Fogel at mfogel@ntsusa.org.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the ongoing public health emergency, the NTSUSA office is open for limited hours and staff continue to work remotely. Please do not hesitate to contact executive director Kirstin Bridier at kbridier@ntsusa.org or 617-227-7500 at any time if we can be of assistance.

A Celebration of Scotland's Treasures

Rescheduled to Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Please join us for an evening of Scottish music, dining, and dancing! The festive occasion has celebrated Scottish heritage, from poetry and dancing to whisky and haggis, for more than a decade. A highlight of the evening is the presentation of the Great Scot Award, and this year we are delighted to honor award-winning crime novelist Denise Mina, author of Conviction and The Long Drop. New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman will present Mina with the Great Scot Award. The evening will also feature a special musical performance by Kate Taylor.

6:30 pm
Cocktails and Whisky Tasting by The Macallan • Silent Auction
Music by Abby Newton with the Scottish Ball Dance Ensemble
7:30 pm
Dinner • Live Auction with Auctioneer Alasdair Nichol
10:00 pm
Scottish Country Dancing

Black Tie or Tartan Attire

Denise Mina

2020 Great Scot Award Honoree

Denise Mina is a Scottish crime writer and playwright. Born in East Kilbride in 1966, due to her father’s profession as an engineer, the family moved 21 times in 18 years: from Paris to The Hague, London, Scotland and Bergen. Mina left school at sixteen and worked in a variety of low-skilled jobs. In her twenties, however, she returned to education, earning an undergraduate degree from Glasgow University Law School and a PhD from Strathclyde. It was while researching a PhD thesis and teaching criminology and criminal law at Strathclyde University in the 1990s, that she decided to write her first novel Garnethill, published in 1998, which won the Crime Writers Association John Creasy Dagger for Best First Crime Novel. In 2014 she was inducted into the Crime Writers’ Association Hall of Fame.

Mina has now published 13 novels and also writes short stories, plays, and graphic novels. Her 2019 novel Conviction was selected as a Reese Witherspoon book club pick and New York Times Best Crime Novel of the Year. She presents TV and radio programs as well as regularly appearing in the media, and at literary festivals. In addition, she leads masterclasses on writing, and was a judge for the Bailey’s Prize for Women’s Fiction 2014. Mina lives in Glasgow, the frequent setting of her novels.

“We are thrilled to honor one of the leading voices in contemporary crime fiction at such an exciting moment in her career,” said Charlotte Lyeth Burton, chair of The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA. “Denise Mina’s novels brings the gritty city of Glasgow to life for readers from far beyond Scotland. In many ways, the city itself is a character as much as it is the setting for her work.”

The National Trust for Scotland cares for nearly 100 natural and cultural heritage properties across Scotland, including several important sites in Glasgow that have literary connections to Ms. Mina’s work: Alexander “Greek” Thomson’s Holmwood House and the Tenement House, located in the Garnethill neighborhood.


Follow the RSVP link below to complete your ticket/table purchase online. If you are unable to attend you may make a contribution in support of the event by following the same link.


Scottish Country Dance Practices

All ticket buyers are invited to join us for Scottish country dance practices. If you have not done Scottish country dancing before this is an excellent opportunity to learn some key steps before the event!

Dance practice reschedule dates are to be announced. Check back here for details and keep an eye on emails from NTSUSA for up to date information. 


Honorary Chairs

Mrs. I.W. Colburn

Curt DiCamillo

Michael Scott Morton


Alasdair Nichol and Susi Ritt Nichol • Ellen Poss • Paul Roberts and Stephanie Donaldson • Naoma Tate

Vice Chairs

Mr. and Mrs. Bruce R. Burton • Christopher Forbes • Christopher Gow • Paula C. Kirby and Peter M. McWhinnie • Helen and DuWayne Sayles • Donna Schinderman

Kate Taylor

The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA is delighted to welcome Kate Taylor for a musical performance the evening of the gala. Kate Taylor lives year round on Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts. She was raised in Chapel Hill, NC. Her brothers Alex, James, Livingston, and Hugh are also songwriters and performers.

She recorded her first album, “Sister Kate,” in 1971 with Peter Asher. Her second album, “Kate Taylor,” was produced by brother James for Columbia Records and was released in 1976. Her third record, “It’s in There and It’s Got to Come Out,” produced by Barry Beckett, was recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and was released in 1978 on Columbia Records.

After starting her family, Kate took time from performing to raise her daughters. She now once again brings her original songs and her favorite covers to her beautiful audiences. Her most recent albums include “Beautiful Road” and “Fair Time!”

Live and Silent Auction

A Celebration of Scotland’s Treasures is our most important fundraising event of the year and the auction plays a significant role in our success. Featuring both a live and silent auction, there are opportunities for guests to bid on items at every price point.

Alasdair Nichol, chairman and co-owner of Freeman’s and a popular appraiser on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow presides over the live auction which has included luxury vacation packages, artwork, and jewelry. The silent auction includes approximately 40 items that range from experience packages to art to fashion to home goods and everything in between.

NTSUSA would like to thank the following individuals for their invaluable support of the auction: Cherie Burton, Mrs. I.W. Colburn, David Hopes, Sam R. Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. M. Holt Massey, Robert Rapson, Paul Roberts, David Ross, Donna Schinderman, Naoma Tate, the Robert Titley Consultancy, and Alicia Volk.

Auction Sponsors

Event Photography

Follow the links below to view photos from the 2019 A Celebration of Scotland’s Treasures gala where the Great Scot Award was presented to sculptor Andy Scott, best known for his monumental equine installation The Kelpies.

Annie Watt Photography

Matt Gillis Photography

2019 A Celebration of Scotland’s Treasures Image Gallery

About the Great Scot Award

The Great Scot Award is presented annually to a Scot or American who has contributed to the countries’ shared heritage. The recipient is selected by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and the award presentation is the highlight of the annual gala, A Celebration of Scotland’s Treasures

Great Scot Award Honorees

  • Honorees 2008-2016


    Phyllis Logan

    Actor, best known for her roles as Mrs. Hughes on Downton Abbey and Lady Jane Felsham on Lovejoy.


     Sir Billy Connolly

    Stand up comedian, actor, musician, TV presenter, and artist


    Richard Scott

    10th Duke of Buccleuch and the 12th Duke of Queensbury


    Ian Gow

    Chief Curator, National Trust for Scotland


    The International Alliance for the Advancement of Scottish Roots Music


    Mrs. Thomas J. Hubbard



    Christopher Forbes

    Vice chairman of Forbes Inc., noted collector and connoisseur


    Alan Cumming

    Award-Winning Actor, Singer, Writer, Producer, Director, and Author


    Alexander McCall Smith

    Internationally Acclaimed Author

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