Run by bean counters
Culture is how a country expresses and views itself. Culture is vital to any healthy country.
Scotland has a brilliant history of inspirational poets, songs smiths, composers, novelists, innovators, inventors, painters, designers, and much more
Herald theatre critic Mark Brown has written an open letter to Scotland’s art body Creative Scotland. He talks about the ethos of CS being based on Tony Blair and New Labour. With Bigger is better committees and a top-down approach that is market-driven and led by civil servants rather than artists.
Also in 2012 over a 100 writers and artists wrote to CS complaining over how it was being mismanaged. The then director Alan Dixon resigned. Mark writes that this is not only about a change personal but a change of ethos and organization.
Mark claims CS treats art and culture as an industry. At present the creative industries have an overly burdensome remit covering theatre, musicians, artists, writers, designers, games designers and architects. Along with a bean counter mentality. Mark suggests an Arts body for the artists and writers - and a separate Design Body for architecture and the Games industries.
I would have expected an arts council to be led by those who have not only lived and breathed art all their lives, but are also creative as writers, musicians or painters. We have some outstanding music writers and arts critics in Scotland. Why are they not employed in our arts body?
If you look at world class arts of any kind – they are normally run by capable, bright and highly creative motivated people, not bean counters. Otherwise the arts produced become bland, mediocre, monochrome and boring,
At the moment Scotland also has a renaissance of writers, artists and musicians that should be celebrated and encouraged to thrive. Our arts body needs to be promoting excellence and innovation in the arts.