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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Our Man in Holyrood (this week)

Of late there has been a steady stream of D+G arts folk beating a path to the Parliament in Embra.....recent shout outs due to Electric Theatre Workshop who performed excerpts from their play Blood Orange for the Cross Party Committee on Culture and The Star of Caledonia team who presented their model of the scheme at a special reception at Holyrood.
This week it was the turn of Film-maker John Wallace to attempt what are laughingly called the 'transport links' between the South West of our nation and its capital city.

John Wallace's stunning 4-screen video projection 'Cinema Sark' under the M74 Motorway at the English-Scottish border...presented as part of Environmental Art Festival Scotland 2013 (photo Liz Dinnie)
John was awarded a Creative Scotland Artists Bursary earlier this year and this secured him an invite to Holyrood for a reception hosted by Creative Scotland - at which Janet Archer made a major speech about the direction of our national arts body under her leadership.

John reports that Ms Archer began her presentation with a discussion of 'what is culture'.....seasoned CS watchers will likely interpret this as acknowledgement of the fundamental debate that has been at the heart of the organisation since its inception in 'how should an agency support, promote and nuture a nation's culture...and so best use the resources at its command'. The new 10 Year Plan for Creative Scotland that will explain their vision of 'what is culture' and underpin their activities until 2024 will be published this coming Wednesday 9th this space for news and comment.

Ms Archer explained that the CS funding structure will be simplified into 3 streams:
  • Project (for organisations and individuals)
  • Ongoing (for organisations)
  • Individual (for individual practitioners across all areas - including screen)
The big 'political' news in the speech was the announcement that Sir Sandy Crombie is standing down as Chair of the board of CS after a 4 year tenure. This confirms that The Commonty's predictions that the boards visit to Dumfries last year was a Last Supper were a little premature....but we could claim that this was indeed Sir Sandy's last supper in D+G?!

Shir Shandy had a controversial reign as Chair of the Creative Scotland with much criticism of his 'commercial approach' and lack of arts experience...but it is likely to be the way he handled the CSStooshie which resulted in CS losing both its Chief Executive and his number 2 - that will determine his ultimate legacy. Sir Sandy Crosbie continues as a director of Royal Bank of Scotland.

If you fancy the job as the new Chair of Creative Scotland:  
The Chair of Creative Scotland is appointed by Scottish Ministers. Sir Sandy Crombie’s first term of appointment as Chair will end on 30th June 2014 and he will be reappointed from 1st July 2014 to 31st December 2014.
The recruitment of a new Chair will be led by the Scottish Government and the role will be advertised in summer 2014. Interviews will be conducted by a selection panel in the autumn before final recommendations to Ministers are made.

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