Creative Scotland wants you to start skipping

Yesterday morning saw the final Creative Scotland dialogue event before the organisation is officially born on 1 July. It was held in the stunning new Briggait in Glasgow's Merchant City. Originally a fishmarket, the A-listed building has been transformed into an arts space and it really is beautiful, with original features and great light for artists. All 69 studios have already been filled and the venue doesn't officially open until 23 July.

Venue aside, it was a useful event filled with two-way discussion and plenty of opportunity to network and meet like-minded creative types. Here's the main points I noted for those who didn't make it:

* Andrew Dickson, Creative Scotland's newly appointed CEO, has spent the past few weeks in extensive consultation and spoke of the huge strengths already existing in Scotland's creative industries. He praised Scottish Screen which he said he modelled Northern Film & Media on.

* Andrew described Creative Scotland as a rallying call and a champion of creativity. He wants to create a culture that is: outward looking; reflects a sense of place, locally, regionally and nationally; celebrates individual achievement; is willing to take risks; promotes Scotland far and wide.

* Andrew also stressed the importance of a strong brand - he wants practitioners to want to use the Creative Scotland logo, not be forced to use it.

* Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop referred back to Scotland's great history of innovation and intellectual strength through everything from the Enlightenment to ship building. She believes creativity is one of the great strengths of modern Scotland and Creative Scotland will help build on and promote this strength.

* Asked specifically about tax breaks, Fiona Hyslop called for greater powers to the Scottish Parliament to deliver. Fiona also revealed she'll be taking responsibility for Scotland's digital sectors on behalf of Parliament.

* Andrew spoke about developing a culture of philanthropy in arts funding - for example through individuals supporting the arts with 'acorn funds'.

* Fiona and Andrew both referred many times to the need to develop a new 'language' that engages the arts in all its forms, unites people around a common purpose and promotes a can-do attitude - they do not want red tape, inward focus or a sense of working in silos.

The morning's discussions ended on a high note when Richard Holloway, chair of the joint board of Scottish Screen and Scottish Arts Council, called on everyone involved to get back to a sense of joyful, pointless, exuberant play. Kids skip to school, he said, so it's about time we all got back some of our childish enthusiasm and started skipping again!

I must admit his speech was so cheerful I forgot to be cynical for a moment. So setting cynicism aside for just a short while, what could Creative Scotland do to make you start skipping again?

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Comment by Stuart Cosgrove on May 26, 2010 at 17:16
Give us rope to hang ourselves. No one allowed to speak in Double Dutch. And another skipping reference that I can't quite think of.


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