What Lies Beyond Objectives and Definitions in Arts and Mental Health?

What Lies Beyond Objectives and Definitions in Arts and Mental Health?

The arts and health sector is being mapped out by potential funders using a tight definition. Creative Scotland sees this activity as being led by professional artists, with explicit artistic and health/wellbeing objectives, and designed to improve health and wellbeing. What activities could be missed by this definition? In particular what arts, culture, health and wellbeing outputs emerge when none of these terms are targeted or defined. (more…)

The Perfect Storm

The Perfect Storm

In the last week I’ve heard the term ‘the perfect storm’ on repeat, from multiple sources, in relation to the perceived threats to Scottish arts organisations’ future existence. This weather-related metaphor was used in the press release relating to the closure of the Centre for Moving Image – the parent company for the much-loved Edinburgh Filmhouse and the respected Edinburgh International Film Festival – which went into administration. The Chief Executive of the national arts funding body also used the term last week when giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament Culture Committee in relation to the threat of funding cuts. ‘Creative Scotland has warned MSP that a ‘fragile’ recovery from the pandemic has been ‘more than overtaken’ by a combination of rising costs, falling income and the impact of Brexit.’ (The Scotsman, 6 October 2022). Scotland’s National Galleries also found themselves caught in the storm last week that they say will lead to partial closures in the coming months. Pauline McLean also used the term to describe the general arts sector in Scotland on BBC’s flagship cultural programme Front Row (Front Row, 11th Oct, 2022).  (more…)

The Making of Paisley: Communities, Heritage Learning and Regeneration

The Making of Paisley: Communities, Heritage Learning and Regeneration

The Paisley Townscape Heritage Conservation Area Scheme 2 (Paisley TH.CARS2) is a £4.5M regeneration programme led by Renfrewshire Council, with match funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and Historic Environment Scotland (HES). Running since 2016, and due to conclude in 2023, the focus for investment is Paisley’s Town Centre Conservation Area, with the west end of the High Street, New Street and the area around Shuttle Street having particular priority. Paisley TH.CARS2 follows on from a previous regeneration project – Paisley THI/CARS – which focused investment around Causeyside Street. (more…)

‘Dry’ Trains to Newcastle…

‘Dry’ Trains to Newcastle…

On boarding the 12.30 LNER high-speed from Edinburgh Waverly to London Kings Cross, little did I expect that the journey itself would begin in such a decidedly uncanny manner

Having taken our prebooked seats, applied  earphones, and settled back to enjoy the 5-hour journey as best we could, a slight sense of unease then enveloped the carriage as the tannoy announced: ‘This is a dry train. No alcohol will be served on this train, and no alcohol is to be consumed on this train, between Waverly station and Newcastle.’ (more…)

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…)