SCOTLAND’S rich history abroad will provide the centrepiece for this year’s 3 Harbours Arts Festival.

The organisers will unveil the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry at the festival launch.

Two years in the making and with volunteers from 25 different countries involved, the tapestry tells the stories of Scots who travelled abroad and their global influence.

The work will be given its world premier in Prestonpans Community Centre when the festival opens on May 31.

This year’s festival promises to be as diverse as ever as it marks its ninth year of celebrating art in Cockenzie, Port Seton and Prestonpans. With the theme of Art in Unusual Places, exhibitions will again be put on show in a range of venues, from people’s homes to churches, community buildings and even a garden shed.

And local children have been asked to come up with artwork to capture their vision of Cockenzie Power Station’s iconic twin chimneys, which will dominate the festival skyline for the last time this year.

Paintings by the youngsters from Cockenzie Primary School will adorn local homes and shop windows during the week-long festival.

Chalmers Memorial Church will showcase the largest mixed media exhibition in East Lothian, featuring The Edgelands – a look at the boundaries between urban and rural communities and the wastelands.

This year, Prestongrange Parish Church joins the open door venues.

The bell tower is all that remains of the original 16th-century church, with the rest of the building dating largely back to 1774.

There are two new venues in Prestonpans as well this year, with Preston Lodge Rugby Club and Preston Village Cricket Club both playing host to shows.

And for one day only the pop-up seafood cafe returns to the Prestoungrange Gothenburg.

All six schools in the 3 Harbours communities have been involved in creating pieces to be displayed during the festival, there is a youth and children’s arts festival being held, and a United Festival Open Air Service bringing various churches in Coceknzie and Port Seton together.

Andrew Crummy, chairman of the 3 Harbours Arts Festival Committee, said the communities of Prestonpans, Cockenzie and Port Seton were proud of the coastline they inhabit and the festival was a chance to celebrate the creative environment it represented.

He said: “There is a full pro­gramme of visual art, music, work­shops, tours, trails, lit­er­a­ture, film, pho­tog­ra­phy and drama.

“It’s an oppor­tu­nity to meet the artists, learn new skills, test your lit­er­ary knowl­edge and relax with some music to suit your taste.” Brochures with full details of events and venues are available at local community centres, libraries and the Goth. Alternatively they can be downloaded from the website