Our Spirit of London 2012 and Local Trust funded research project examining the social value of community events was completed at the end of last year. This week, I participated in a webinar alongside project collaborator Tamsin Cox. Chaired by Bill Morris, LVO, and, along with Amy Finch (Spirit of 2012), Gurvinder Sandher (Kent Equality Cohesion Council) and James Austin (The Jo Cox Foundation) it was a great opportunity to discuss and reflect upon the outputs we created as part of our commissioned work (the webinar was recorded and so will be available soon for further distribution). (more…)
The Grand Conversaziones series – part of the currently ongoing Paisley Exhibition – kicked off on the second Friday in February with a frank and fascinating exploration of Paisley’s Present. The event provided a timely reminder of the town’s assets – chief among them the internationally recognised Paisley Pattern – alongside an opportunity to reflect upon the path that Paisley is navigating out of the pandemic.
While the impositions forced upon us by the necessity for COVID19 lockdowns have been many, the enforced break from the norm has nevertheless caused many to reflect on what constitutes success and where we should seek to invest our effort when seeking to create vibrant, liveable and sustainable communities. (more…)
Matt Baker’s post on a New Approach to Culture in Scotland asks – “perhaps it is time to ask a fundamental question about the way we do culture in Scotland? Could we consciously support a culture of participation and popular ownership of culture as a key part of our national toolkit towards a just transition from both Covid and Climate Change?”
Reading this article leads to reflections on what I’ve observed in Paisley regarding where and how cultural activities meet health and wellbeing activities. Can I answer this question based on the snapshot my observations provide? From this vantage point, Paisley has an entwined approach of supporting community empowerment and the cultural ecology; both before Covid-19 and in response to the pandemic (for examples see here and here) and, starting from the principle that culture is created and experienced by everyone. (more…)
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…)
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…)
As the new academic year pick up pace, we find ourselves tentitively adjusting to something of a return to a more conventional office life. Albeit one in which venturing out in public my still result in failure to recognise someone you’ve known for years on account of only being able to see half of their face! Nevertheless, it is encouraging that we are able to look forward to some work taking place in ‘real life’ settings rather than in the ether. (more…)