Arts and Cultural Engagement Participation Support for Vulnerable Children and Young People

Arts and Cultural Engagement Participation Support for Vulnerable Children and Young People

We know that arts and cultural participation leads to a range of positive outcomes for children and young people, both in terms of their cognitive development and their wellbeing. Activities such as playing a musical instrument, performing in dance or drama, painting, sculpting or attending cultural performances, visiting museums and galleries during childhood, all contribute to improved educational attainment and improved social skills. Importantly, these experiences also help to develop many of the attributes necessary for a successful and fulfilling adulthood. (more…)

COP26 – A Paddle into Podcasts

COP26 – A Paddle into Podcasts

The delayed COP26 summit is to begin on the last day of October, amid the road closures and the rail strikes, the challenges of social distancing and – perhaps – of Scottish weather in autumn, over 30,000 attendees representing over 200 countries, businesses, NGOs and other groups will meet and attempt to advance the aims of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. (more…)

Football is Nothing Without Fans – Football, Theatre & COVID19

Football is Nothing Without Fans – Football, Theatre & COVID19

Football is Nothing Without Fans – Matt Busby

Bellshill’s finest football thinker, Matt Busby, predicted the uncanny experience of people watching cultural and sporting events take place in empty spaces during the Covid-19 pandemic.

I’m currently writing a book about theatre in-the-round for Methuen Drama (Bloomsbury) and the pandemic has caused me to re-think my introduction to this monograph entirely. My view is that the recent ‘presence of absence’ of the spectator in live streams from stadia and performance spaces has re-emphasised the value, and therefore the influence of audiences on cultural and sporting organisations. (more…)

Recovery, Repair, Renewal: Conference Video

Recovery, Repair, Renewal: Conference Video

At the beginning of June, CCSE had the perhaps slightly unexpected pleasure of one again hosting our annual conference virtually. As CCSE Director – Prof Gayle McPherson – pointed out in her opening remarks; at the time of our first virtual outing in May last year, there were few among us who believed we’d be gearing up for a second digital event just over twelve months later.

Home offices, dining, kitchen and side tables served as our venue once again and everyone bore responsibility for their own tea and biscuits. While far from the traditional conference offering, it is potentially the case that the widespread development of digital – and in future hybrid – events will be one of the longterm legacies of the pandemic response, ultimately enabling greater engagement with a wider audience. (more…)

Looking to the Future!…

Looking to the Future!…

Over the past five years I’ve been in business as Gatekeeper Art. My small creative business is my full time occupation and when asked what I do I usually term myself as an artist and social historian with a community practice.  I wrote a blog recently for CCSE called “Welcome to the Lockdown Lounge” which outlined how I had with my social historian “hat” on been designing and delivering heritage/ cultural related workshops online. (more…)

Big Questions & Resourceful Answers: V&A Dundee’s Covid 19 Response

Big Questions & Resourceful Answers: V&A Dundee’s Covid 19 Response

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns, many museums developed and put in place online digital offerings. This prompted quite a lot of handwringing and self-reflection across the sector, as well as for me personally. I immediately felt slightly guilty – what is the point of a museum? Is it really that important? Is it relevant? Who are we for? Why are we here?

Big questions… (more…)