CHRIS FREMANTLE

Arts and Communities

Posted in Sited work by chrisfremantle on July 14, 2004

The Scottish Parliament’s Enterprise and Culture Committee is undertaking an Inquiry into Arts in the Community.

The remit for the Inquiry is “To investigate the funding, organisation and policies relevant to community arts in the context of the overall strategy for culture in Scotland.”

This sits in parallel with the Cultural Commission announced by the Scottish Executive and headed up by James Boyle. I am not at all clear how they relate to each other. On the other hand your local MSP may be on the Enterprise and Culture Committee.

This is a unique opportunity for anyone involved in arts in the community to make their case to the Scottish Parliament.

It is clear that there is a real need to highlight the complex and multi-faceted character of arts and communities work. This is all to often characterised as a bit of mudrock or quilting in the village hall.

In reality it involves professional artists and groups of often excluded people working together to strengthen their communities and articulate their views. It manifests itself in drama and music, public art and creative writing.

All those involved in participatory and socially engaged practice need to make their experiences known through this process. The Committee and our MSPs need to understand that there are a huge number of examples of excellence in this field, but that they have a different dynamic and a different set of characteristics from excellence in the classical high arts.

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