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…)

Creativity in Regeneration: From a Textile Hub to a Hub of Culture and Creativity.

Creativity in Regeneration: From a Textile Hub to a Hub of Culture and Creativity.

With its Future Paisley programme, Paisley has demonstrated a drive to improve the town’s public spaces through the medium of regeneration, whereby participation and community input has become a key tool of success. The projects created by Future Paisley intersect past, present, and future, by bringing attention to the town’s history through creative events that can revitalise the town and cooperation with the local community to imagine a future of Paisley that deals with this decade’s challenges head on (think; the pandemic and climate crisis). (more…)

The Anniversary Of London 2012 Olympic Games – The Social Value Of Events?

The Anniversary Of London 2012 Olympic Games – The Social Value Of Events?

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…)