A progressive creative stance for Scotland

The road is long

Following last week’s widely appreciated keynote speech by Culture Minister, Fiona Hyslop, and the appointment of a new CEO at Creative Scotland, Janet Archer, comes a Petition to the Scottish Government calling on them to deliver a new participative Cultural Policy for Scotland


We see state support of autonomous creative expression and its communication as key to a modern democracy. Sustaining the independence of producers and makers is essential to activity across all sectors.

The development of freedom of thought and the capacity to empathise with difference and otherness is central to life beyond mere survival. It follows that culture is not static but something we as citizens can change and shape in its complexity. People can collectively determine their own political, social and cultural reality.

Culture and access to it, is the way by which we share and confirm our humanity and understand the world. It is how we communicate with each other, exchange new ideas and engage our past, present, and potential futures.

Public funding of culture is to primarily ensure diversity, pluralism and freedom from instrumental agendas, thus counteracting any negative effects of commodification. It provides the means to uncover and question social, political, and moral assumptions. In this way, creativity, learning and societal evolution are indivisible.

Art can be made by, with, and for every citizen. Yet, while art has the capacity to entertain and please, it also exists to provoke, contest, and search for meaningful truths. Locating creativity within democratic processes offers up criticality as a benchmark of a progressive country and political system.

Nurturing the creative and artistic impulse in all its manifestations and allowing culture to take its own shape is the strongest contribution the Scottish government and its institutions can make to enriching contemporary life. To ensure this, the voices of cultural practitioners will be reflected in a new cultural framework for Scotland.

To sign this statement/petition go here.

Comments (6)

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    1. bellacaledonia says:

      Thanks – send us the link?

  1. AlexMontrose says:

    The sculptor William Lamb is one of several fine artists native to Montrose who worked in the burgh from the 1920s onwards. Lamb sculpted many society figures including the Queen Mother and the Queen and Princess Margaret as young girls. Lamb’s main body of work however, was inspired by the everyday people and places around Montrose and the studio, designed by Lamb himself, has been preserved much as it was when the artist worked here.

    David May a county councillor approached Angus Council for a grant, to help publish a book on the above artists.

    Bid for council funding for William Lamb Book
    Posted June 1, 2013 Comments(0)
    I proposed at the recent council meeting that the council should award £5,000, from the community grant scheme, to help fund the book on William Lamb. I explained that this would provide not only a fascinating insight into the life story of the international recognised sculptor but provide a massive boost to the William Lamb studio, the sculpture trail round the town as well as the culture of Montrose and Angus. I also commented that this given the media publicity on this it would be a boost to tourism to our area. The Friends of William Lamb as well as the Montrose Heritage Trust have both provided £4000 and in my view the council support would make a considerable difference as both a launch in Montrose as well as at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh have been planned. It is also hoped to have a major exhibition of the William Lamb sculptures in Edinburgh as well as another in London.
    I lost the vote with one of the reasons being given that the business case was flawed, but was disappointed at the comments by the council leader as he claimed this was an ego project and was a white elephant. This is in my view is utter nonsense as several people have put a massive amount of work into not only writing this very quality book but also working with an international publisher to getting it to the stage where it will be published.

    A copy of

  2. AlexMontrose says:

    …………..the petition is required at Angus Council.

  3. Trocchi ar la says:

    “Chagrin at arts appointment
    Tuesday 11 June 2013

    I NOTE that we have yet another top arts appointment in Scotland from outside Scotland (“Controversial Scots arts body appoints dance director as chief”, The Herald, June 7).

    I know that Janet Archer has been to Scotland to chair a few meetings and that she advised the British Council on how to present culture to the Edinburgh Festival, but this surely highlights the problem.

    She is from outside Scotland and has spent her life as a dancer and an arts administrator in England. I find it difficult to believe that she will meet the criteria in the job specification to have knowledge of and appreciation of cultural life in Scotland.

    My confidence is not helped by the fact that on the day her appointment is announced she is not even in the country to give interviews –hardly an auspicious start.

    I also find it extraordinary that among more than 100 applicants for the job there was none who lives and works in Scotland good enough to get the job. Indeed, I am aware of some very able Scots in the arts who weren’t even given an interview.

    Before I am again accused of racism I am not saying the job should have gone to a Scot, but to someone who lives, works in and has a knowledge of Scotland.

    Hugh Kerr”

  4. James Coleman says:

    Hear, hear.

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