Central Government support for Community Arts

What is this new opportunity crying of optimism and hope for societies desperate to find new sources of income but more desperately seeking fresh opportunities for the youth of the region? 

A word of early caution is necessary. No government can create great art BUT governments (& related actors) can create and help sustain an enabling, encouraging climate of creative opportunity in partnership with the arts community & the private sector.

The range and diversity of sectors behind the CI label would baffle the boffins of traditional business. After-all many partners under the umbrella of CI carry signifiers of anti-business with lifestyles outwith the standard commercial community. That is in itself a major challenge. The cultural resonances within the sector have traditionally been hostile to ‘commercial babylon’, a commerce that invalidated if not excluded what was ‘popular expression’. Yet in new music, computer games and social-media,  dance, drama, design , festivals, fashion, film and craft , art, animation, advertising, IT games, illustration, print, digital product development, Radio & TV content there is a strong market opportunity but not  YET in any of these forms is there a developed LOCAL CULTURAL INDUSTRY.  (Culinary Arts, Architecture, Sports, Tourist Entertainment are all possible inclusions). 

Why the contribution is important

There is substantial hardship and poverty across the creative sector. There is evidence of substantial individual ‘ art on social-welfare’ ( no provision for housing, health care, pension plans, mortgages): there is also poverty of opportunity supported by the triple challenges of lack of investment, shortage of creative infrastructure (studios & performance spaces) and weak down-stream development (distribution, marketing and sales.)  Yet ‘the arts’ has the ability to make positive changes in dealing with social problems as well as economic rejuvenation.

Artists and creative individuals are the lifeblood of the arts and creative industries. Personal talents, passion, integrity, curiosity and hard work underpin creative systems at every level.

Artists and creative people animate and enliven life in many ways  principally by their audacious autonomy. Through their work they challenge, provoke, stimulate, give meaning, tell stories, entertain and connect to audiences and markets  with the possibility of carrying the  very recognizable unique Scottish brand.


What support is required? How can the Scottish public sector enable the creative imagination, offer opportunities without the heavy hand of Government control? This is the challenge. How can the public sector (central government and local councils through their agencies) enable and enhance the arts community ?  Can the local arts fraternity in all of its various guises produce a genuine economic alternative for community based entrepreneurial advancement ? 

by thoscross on August 22, 2017 at 12:05PM

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