10 Jun 2010

Creative Scotland roadshow/discussion

Sam attended the fourth and final Creative Scotland roadshow/discussion on Tuesday 25th May at the Briggait, Glasgow.

Here are her responses to the event...

"Arriving to a full on jazz big band, delightful though they were, made it completely impossible to have any kind of (informal) conversation with other delegates, especially those from other artforms whom I (and others?) might not know before the main event....

Next the acoustics of the Briggait's central space made it very difficult to hear the speakers as there was so much echo....

I tried to find fellow visual artists before it began and found Beth Forde and Steve Slater from Tramway (performing arts) which is worth noting in a group of 250 people.. ......I don't know nearly everyone, of course, in the visual arts world, far from it, but I was astonished at how few people I knew from the visual arts world were there, I can only speculate that either; a) they were making a political point by not attending. ie we are against the whole concept of Creative Scotland? or b) we feel there is little point in engaging with a body whose focus (rightly or wrongly, and this is something Andrew Dixon must address) is giving so much precedence to the "Creative Industries" and the arts as instrumental (validated by health and other social benefits) ..........

Good statements I remember from Andrew Dixon, (Head of Creative Scotland) and Fiona Hyslop ( Minister of Culture) were

"the language of investment in artists of the future, rather than subsidy"

CS to be seen as as a "rallying force for culture rather than an institution"

Andrew suggested that Scotland could become one of the top ten most cultured countries in the world, having discovered that Scotland is rated 18th out of 60 countries as a "national brand" (using the Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index, does that not sound a made up institution or what?!)

Worrying statements are

"The need to set social and economic objectives not just cultural"

"International working of the Government should see Scottish Culture as part of this import/export model....culture as a "calling card" to other countries"

CS has 30% of the Scottish Governments cultural budget and wants to be inclusive but also wants it to be seen as a "brand", every time I hear that term my blood freezes ; echoes of Thatcherism and the horrors that followed; rear their ugly head ("There is no such thing as society")

The three questions on each table at the Briggait meeting for us to contemplate were;

1) Are there new models or ways in which Creative Scotland can invest in the arts, creative industries or screen sectors?
Answers from our table...... Private/Public partnerships, Tax breaks for sponsors and artists

2) How can we get everyone championing Scotland's creative success (in homes, schools, across the regions and artforms)\
Answers from our table ....(lame I thought) get rid of demarcation between specialisms, professionals and amateurs...aaargh

3) How can Scotland maximise the international potential of its cultural production?
Answers from our table (again, we had no idea what other "tables' at this meeting were coming up with in term of ideas)
Confusion about role of British Council compared to CS's international role? A special unit had been suggested at CS which will focus on a small number of areas; reputation, creativity, economic impact and to showcase the best of Scotland's culture .....who is talking to whom?

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