Response 493528627

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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 welcome the broad scope and ethos of the vision set out here, and in particular the recognition of the role of culture in transforming communities and empowering people. On pages 10-11, it would be helpful to explicitly recognise that cultural diversity and richness is not only manifested through language but also through local/regional practices, traditions, celebrations, festivals, and art forms. Although most of our ‘traditional’ industries have gone, many local cultural practices that were connected with them continue, for example, Gala Days and brass bands in our old coalfield communities (which have an equally valid role in Scotland’s ‘traditional’ cultural arts as the Highland music and ceilidh traditions but are seldom recognised as such). These may be the places where ‘culture’ and ‘creativity’ are most accessible for many people who experience social or financial barriers to participating in other cultural activities. It would be beneficial to support more interaction between Scotland’s national arts and cultural bodies and the community groups/volunteers involved in these local activities.

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 fully support this ambition. We welcome the commitment to finding innovative new ways of embedding culture in the broader social policy context and of demonstrating and evaluating its impact. However, the reality is that, despite what we know about its benefits, currently culture plays very little role in policy or practice in terms of health and wellbeing, social inclusion or economic development. The creative and expressive arts continue to be the first areas that are cut from local government budgets because they are deemed to be expendable. For example, local authorities across Scotland are either cutting instrumental tuition altogether or introducing charges for it; this both excludes many young people from gaining the benefits of learning music and damages the long-term future of musicianship across the country. Volunteers and the Third Sector (for example, community-led bands and music projects) are highly valuable but inadequately funded and do not have the capacity to fill in this gap. If this ambition is to be achieved, we need a two-pronged approach: A) increase funding to support grassroots arts and cultural projects and social enterprises that are addressing issues such as wellbeing, confidence, skills, etc. B) specific guidance and support for public agencies to ensure that there is an ongoing place for widespread, accessible cultural participation in their budgets: through direct service provision, through commissioning and through participatory budgeting.

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?
Re: Action 1: Please look beyond the artistic and creative ‘establishment’—i.e. national arts agencies, for input into this leadership role. Action 2: Useful, but any real measures of benefits and impacts must engage qualitatively with participation in cultural activity at all levels, and not just with consumption of it. Action 3: As in Q4 above, this needs to be manifested through funding for local activity, social enterprise and guidance for public sector agencies around service provision, commissioning and budgeting.

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 welcome this ambition.

8. 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?
We support these aims and actions. However, these need to be backed up by A) significant new investment which is accessible to local community groups and social enterprises who are not well linked into the arts establishment; B) Local public sector policy and practice, particularly around budgeting decisions (as described in 4 and 5 above).

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

11. 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?
Action 1: New funding models should include greater emphasis on cultural participation and inclusion at local level (through local authorities, schools, health boards, etc) and through the 3rd sector and grassroots activity. Action 4: the way this happens is through ensuring that there are opportunities within local communities for people of all ages to not only consume but to participate in culture and the arts. This may be through local music projects, through creative writing groups, through arts and crafts groups, and many other similar activities. Without support—through both funding and practical infrastructure such as free or affordable access to appropriate venues—these opportunities disappear.

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.
A local freelance artist in Dalkeith, with professional youth work experience, has set up an Art Club for young people in Woodburn—an area of multiple deprivation. The Art Club provides opportunities for children to create art, but also to learn skills to market and sell their art (for example, at craft fairs and other local events). The emphasis is on stimulating creativity, empowering and building transferrable enterprise skills in a fun, supportive, non-school environment. See http://www.ingingerness.com/artclub/

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
We engage with and support local organisations and social enterprises to develop projects that use culture and creativity to promote social outcomes. We will work with our local Community Planning Partnership to represent the voices and needs of local groups working in cultural sectors to strengthen their links with the public sector.

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

What do you think success for the strategy will look like?
Growth and sustainability across cultural, creative and artistic activity at all levels; More investment in projects using culture, creativity and the arts to support health, wellbeing, social inclusion and address hardship; Fewer barriers to participation in cultural, creative and artistic activity, particularly for under-represented groups; Greater connection and collaboration between local cultural/creative/artistic activity and national arts agencies.

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
Support approach
Don’t support approach
Ticked 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.
It is very high level, when in fact the bulk of cultural activity is happening outside of formal structures and organisations. Monitoring and evaluation needs to reach beyond the recognised cultural establishment and into communities: for example, by promoting simple tools that grassroots cultural groups can use to demonstrate their impacts.

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.
We have some concern that most of the examples of culture cited in this strategy focus upon individuals’ ‘consumption’ of culture, for example as members of the audience, or through visiting a museum or gallery. Without wishing to downplay the power of these experiences, we hope that this strategy will equally and particularly recognise and support widespread participation in creative cultural activities. We need to sustain and widen the opportunities for people of all ages to participate—whether this be to further their own skills and potentially careers, or for the emotional and social benefits they get through participation. The 3rd Sector—including grassroots volunteer-led groups, charities and social enterprises—play a very significant role in creating these opportunities, but our experience shows that arts and cultural projects are some of the most difficult to fund and sustain. We need to build better progression routes for people from school to community-based creative activity to further opportunities in the arts (in colleges, universities, regional or national agencies or self-employment). We require new funding models that bridge the gap between ‘artistic excellence’ on one hand and ‘addressing deprivation’ on the other—as many cultural/creative projects do not fit neatly into either category and so fall between the criteria for funders.

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.
There is the potential for very significant benefit and impact, if this strategy is backed up by sufficient resource and determination to spread investment beyond the existing creative establishment and into all communities, particularly those who experience lower levels of participation in and access to arts and culture.The financial barriers to participation and enjoyment of arts and culture are increasing as income disparities grow.

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
Rebecca McKinney

Are you responding as an individual or an organisation?

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(Required)
Individual
Ticked Organisation

What is your organisation?

Organisation
Social Enterprise Alliance Midlothian, on behalf of Midlothian Third Sector Interface