Response 49221418

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A vision for culture in Scotland

1. What is your view of the Vision as set out above?

Please select one item
Ticked Support the vision
Don’t support the vision
Don’t know

2. If you have any further comments on the Vision, please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?

If you have any further comments on the Vision, please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?
We broadly support the vision, especially the preamble which connects the fundamental value of culture and its empowering and transformative powers; and the following statements that emphasise culture’s importance to future prosperity and wellbeing. These set the vision apart from other similar statements. However there is a lack of clarity elsewhere within the document about what culture is. It would be stronger if there was a clear definition of what the Strategy is talking about: the Mexico City Declaration and the Calhoun & Sennett definitions are more about a wider sense of culture as in ‘how people live’. This is harder to reconcile with the statements that ‘Culture in Scotland is innovative, inclusive and open to the world’ and that ‘Cultural excellence… is celebrated’. How is a wider and popular culture to be considered excellent? Who is to ensure that such a culture is innovative etc? Elsewhere the Strategy feels as though it is talking mostly about the subsidised arts: there is relatively little mention of heritage, food and diet, language, screen etc. There are difficult questions of course about what a government has to do with aspects of this sort of wider culture. However a clearer statement of what the strategy means by ‘culture’, and then a discussion of how government can and should steer that culture, would be helpful. In addition it is difficult to tell from the vision what it would mean in practice. Whilst this is made clearer in the following sections, and each of the three themes has some Aims and Actions, it is difficult to know what the results of those Aims and Actions would be to citizens of Scotland.

Transforming through culture

3. What is your view of the ambition, ‘Transforming through culture’?

Please select one item
Ticked Support ambition
Don’t support ambition
Don’t know

4. If you have further comments on the ambition, ‘Transforming through culture’, please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?

If you have further comments on the ambition, ‘Transforming through culture’, please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?
We strongly support the Transforming Through Culture ambition. It is an important statement about the importance of culture to building a better society. (That statement could be made even stronger if instead of focusing on strengthening culture the overall aim of the strategy was to strengthen society. Maybe it should be a ‘Strategy for culture-in-society in Scotland’ rather than a ‘Culture Strategy for Scotland’? Many of the issues faced by Scottish society are replicated in the structures of and reinforced by the work of the cultural sector: for example the inequality and exclusion within society is reflected in the homogeneity of the cultural sector and the lower rates of participation by poorer and BAME people.) We are disappointed that although the Strategy specifically mentions climate change, such a major issue facing Scotland and one on which the Scottish Government and Parliament have done such good work, when it comes to the Actions, Environment or climate change are not mentioned in the Ambition. We would argue that the Ambition should be restated to include Environment as follows: Recognising the culture and creativity are central to Scotland’s cultural, social, economic and environmental prosperity

5. Please provide comments on the aims and actions under this ambition. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?

Please provide comments on the aims and actions under this ambition. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?
Aim 1: Place culture as a central consideration across all policy areas We strongly support this Aim. However it is important that it is not misunderstood, at least partly to gain support precisely in those policy areas. This should not be seen as bid to other fields by culture for more territory, funding or clout, but as a reminder and statement to those non-cultural policy areas that culture is essential to achieving their aims, and an offer to help achieve them. At our consultation session one participant commented that when their organisation went to talk to health or education bodies it always seemed that the conversation was about how the cultural organisation could get a bit of the health organisation’s budget. This placed both parties into a less collaborative relationship than was helpful, and a resetting of this sort of relationship would be valuable to all. The comments were widely supported by the other participants. We are – and participants at our consultation session were – less convinced by the proposal for a new Cultural Leadership post within the Scottish Government. We feel that there is a risk that this could ghettoise culture into one person, who might not have much clout, instead of mainstreaming the idea that culture is a part of every department’s armoury. Whether one person could ‘represent’ culture in its widest sense is also uncertain: the arguments between the screen and subsidised arts sector are indicative of the issue, with heritage, creative industries and the other fields also to be taken into account! There also seems to be a bit of a contradiction between the cross-cutting nature of the Aim and the individual, specific post. Supporting more distributed leadership and increasing knowledge of the role and power of culture is however necessary. We wonder whether a series of seminars or workshops could be useful. This might be the sort of work that a Cultural Leadership position might facilitate. Therefore we would argue for some clear thinking about the role for this position. Aim 2: Open up the potential of culture as a transformative opportunity across society Again, we strongly support this but we are not convinced by the corresponding Action. The Action quickly moves to measurement of the extended view of culture that we support, but in fact there is work to be done in advance of this about understanding how culture contributes to transformation in society. The mechanisms at play are not fully or widely understood and there is a danger that if we leap ahead to measuring this extended view of culture we will measure the wrong things. This is already illustrated by the indicators for the Culture Outcome in the National Performance Framework which are purely quantitative and mostly proxies for economic data and would provide little data to demonstrate that the aims of the Outcome itself have been met. More understanding of how culture contributes will help answer the difficult questions about how to evaluate change-making in complex social systems, a challenge which is faced by people in many different but related fields. We therefore again suggest that more and deeper thinking – possibly with the assistance of academic partners – should be undertaken before a move to measurement of an extended view of culture. Aim 3: Position culture as central to progress in health and well-being, economy, education, reducing inequality and realising a greener and more innovative future Again, we strongly support this Aim and especially the inclusion of the ‘greener future’. In this case the Action is one we also strongly support, believing that alliances and joined-up working is crucial. We reiterate that the cultural sector is wider than the ‘arts’. We suggest that there do exist current alliances, often working slightly below the radar, and these should be sought out and strengthened before the wheel is reinvented. Participatory arts practices are already strong in this area of work, but are not particularly highlighted in the Strategy. There is often a difficulty of scale, with small cultural groups engaging with much larger organisations. Again, research into and dissemination of good examples and case studies would be helpful to promote this joined-up working.

Empowering through culture

6. What is your view of the ambition, ‘Empowering through culture’?

Please select one item
Ticked Support ambition
Don’t support ambition
Don’t know

7. If you have further comments on the ambition, ‘Empowering through culture’ please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?

If you have further comments on the ambition, ‘Empowering through culture’ please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?
We haven’t commented on this Ambition as it is less relevant to our work.

Sustaining culture

9. What is your view of the ambition, ‘Sustaining culture’?

Please select one item
Ticked Support ambition
Don’t support ambition
Don’t know

10. If you have further comments on the ambition, ‘Sustaining culture’ please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?

If you have further comments on the ambition, ‘Sustaining culture’ please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?
We haven’t commented on this Ambition as it is less relevant to our work.

Delivering A Culture Strategy for Scotland

12. Please provide details of any examples of good work and best practice, from Scotland or internationally, that you think could be included in the final strategy? We are interested in a range of different approaches.

Please provide details of any examples of good work and best practice, from Scotland or internationally, that you think could be included in the final strategy? We are interested in a range of different approaches.
We are currently developing a ‘Library of Practice’ that will provide detailed case studies of a number of examples of cultural practices being used to achieve environmental and other objectives. This will be launched in the autumn of 2018. Please contact gemma.lawrence@creativecarbonscotland.com if you need access to it before then. Some of the examples are: The work of Frances Whitehead in the US: www.franceswhitehead.com The work of The Stove in Dumfries: www.thestove.org The work of Watershed+ in Calgary, Canada: http://www.calgary.ca/CSPS/Recreation/Pages/Public-Art/Watershed-Visual-Language-Project.aspx

13. What can you or your organisation do to support the vision, aims, ambitions and actions of the strategy?

What can you or your organisation do to support the vision, aims, ambitions
The vision, aims and ambitions of the strategy are closely aligned with Creative Carbon Scotland’s own work. We will continue to build bridges between the worlds of culture and climate change and develop alliances between cultural organisations and practitioners and, amongst others, Sniffer and Adaptation Scotland, SEPA, local authorities etc. We are keen to help and urge you to contact us to learn more about what we do and discuss how we can help more.

14. What do you think success for the strategy will look like?

What do you think success for the strategy will look like?
A successful strategy would lead to a better, fairer, greener society, not as focused on economic success as the only driver for development. It would also lead to a strengthened cultural world in Scotland, as culture would be widely seen as a central player in the building of a prospering society, and cultural actors would be in demand for their work in new and wider ways.

Monitoring the Impact of the Strategy

15. What is your view of the proposed approach to monitoring and evaluating the strategy set out in section 5?

Please select one item
Ticked Support approach
Don’t support approach
Don’t know

16. If you have further comments on the proposed monitoring and evaluation approach, please provide them below.

If you have further comments on the proposed monitoring and evaluation approach, please provide them below.
We were surprised to see that the strategy was considered to have no or minimal effects on the environment: if successful, it should lead to a greener Scotland!

Other comments

17. Please use this section to provide any other comments that you wish to share about the strategy.

Please use this section to provide any other comments that you wish to share about the strategy.
In developing our response to the strategy members from the Creative Carbon Scotland team participated in various discussions and activities, including: Our own event held in Glasgow with 12 participants – 4 from the cultural sector, 5 from non-cultural organisations including local and national government and 3 from Creative Carbon Scotland. Attendance was open to all and the event was widely advertised. This was supported with funds from the Scottish Government’s culture team. The Director Ben Twist wrote a blog about the strategy available here: https://www.creativecarbonscotland.com/bens-strategy-blog-cultural-and-environmental-strategies/ A discussion hosted by the RSA in Edinburgh A discussion hosted by CABN in Galashiels

Impact Assessments

18. Do you think the partial Equality Impact Assessment has identified where the strategy might impact on people differently depending on characteristics such as age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or gender identity?

Please select one item
Yes
No
Ticked Don't know

20. Do you think the partial Children’s Rights and Welfare Impact Assessment sets out how the proposals presented in the strategy might impact on the rights and welfare of children?

Please select one item
Yes
No
Ticked Don't know

22. How do you think this strategy might impact upon people on low incomes, people living in deprived areas, people in material deprivation, people with no / or low wealth and people from different socio-economic backgrounds? Please provide comments below.

How do you think this strategy might impact upon people on low incomes, people living in deprived areas, people in material deprivation, people with no / or low wealth and people from different socio-economic backgrounds? Please provide comments below.
A successful strategy would contribute to a more equal society and, reflecting this, a cultural sector that more genuinely reflects wider society. And so it would be a positive thing.

23. Do you think the partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment identifies how the proposals presented in the Strategy might impact on businesses, the third (voluntary) sector or have any regulatory impact?

Please select one item
Yes
No
Ticked Don't know

About you

What is your name?

Name
Ben Twist

Are you responding as an individual or an organisation?

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(Required)
Individual
Ticked Organisation

What is your organisation?

Organisation
Creative Carbon Scotland