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Petitioning Sir Sandy Crombie, Chairman, Creative Scotland

Respond and act on the letter of 8 October 2012 from 100 artists

It has been difficult for many in the artistic, creative and cultural community to voice their opinions, experiences and exasperation with the ongoing crisis at Creative Scotland. A group of people started the process, and put the letter together in very quick time, and there will be others who would like to sign up to the letter. If you want to add your name to the letter please sign up here.

Letter to
Sir Sandy Crombie, Chairman, Creative Scotland
Respond and act on the letter of 8 October 2012 from 100 artists:

8 October 2012

To Sir Sandy Crombie,
Creative Scotland

Dear Sir Sandy,

We write to express our dismay at the ongoing crisis in Creative Scotland. A series of high profile stories in various media are only one sign of a deepening malaise within the organization, the fall-out from which confronts those of us who work in the Arts in Scotland every day.

Routinely, we see ill-conceived decision-making; unclear language, lack of empathy and regard for Scottish culture. We observe an organisation with a confused and intrusive management style married to a corporate ethos that seems designed to set artist against artist and company against company in the search for resources.

This letter is not about money. This letter is about management. The arts are one of Scotland’s proudest assets and most successful exports. We believe existing resources are best managed in an atmosphere of trust between those who make art and those who fund it. At present, this trust is low and receding daily.

In his address to Holyrood Mr Dixon asked why more artists do not address their concerns to him directly: the answer is straightforward; they have. Letters of concern have been sent by representative groups from Theatre, Dance, The Games Industry, Visual Arts and Literature. Individual voices have also been raised from many quarters both privately and in public. These concerns have gone unanswered or been met with defensiveness, outright denial, or been ascribed to problems with ‘communication.’

It is time for a fresh start. We ask that The Board of Creative Scotland consider the following requests with the utmost urgency. We ask that you:

1. genuinely acknowledge the scale of the problem;
2. affirm the value of stable two to three year funding for small arts organizations;
3. end the use of business-speak and obfuscating jargon in official communication;
4. revisit CS policies with an eye to social and cultural as well as commercial values;
5. collaborate with artists to re-design over-complicated funding forms and processes;
6. ensure that funding decisions are taken by people with artform expertise;
7. establish an effective system of dealing with complaints as swiftly as possible.

We do not sign this letter lightly but we feel we are in an unprecedented situation. We call on you to act swiftly to make what changes are necessary to the organisation to repair trust and restore communication before any further damage is done to Scotland’s cultural landscape and international reputation.

Yours sincerely

Sam Ainsley
Davey Anderson
Peter Arnott
Clare Barclay
Anne Bevan
Karla Black
Martin Boyce
Katrina Brown (Dr)
Tam Dean Burn
Roddy Buchanan
John Byrne
Lorne Campbell
Richard Campbell
Aonghas Phadraig Caimpbeul
Jo Clifford
Nathan Coley
Deborah Crewe
Jeannie Davies
Peter, Maxwell Davies (Sir)
Chloe Dear
Finn den Hertog
Ella Hickson
Roanne Dods
Jude Doherty
Jaqueline Donachie
Joe Douglas.
Rob Drummond
Oliver Emmanuel
Catrin Evans
Rob Evans
Graham Fagen
Andy Field
Pat Fisher
Luke Fowler
Fiona Fraser
Vivian French
Janice Galloway
Andrea Gibb
Suzy Glass
Douglas Gordon (Prof.)
Mickey Graham
Alasdair Gray
Stephen Greenhorn
David Greig
Kris Haddow
Jen Hadfield
David Harding O.B.E.
John Harris
Zinnie Harris
Ben Harrison
David Harrower
Lewis Hetherington
Corrina Hewat
Mark Hope
Philip Howard
Kieran Hurley
Chris Hunn
Callum Innes
Kathleen Jamie
David Paul Jones
James Kelman
AL Kennedy
Laura,Cameron Lewis
Liz Lochhead
Ali Maclaurin
Linda Maclean
James Macmillan
Caoihin (Kevin) MacNeill
Aonghas MacNeacail
Willy Maley (Prof)
Andy Manley
Michael, John McCarthy
Nicola McCartney
Francis McKee
Bernard McLaverty
Alan McKendrick
Linda Mclaughlin
Becky Minto
Alexander Moffat O.B.E.
Gerry Mulgrew
Rona Munro
Andrew O’Hagan
Janice Parker
Don Paterson
Toby Paterson
Mary Paulson Ellis
Philip Pinsky
Karine Polwart
Lynda Radley
Ian Rankin
Robin Robertson
Fiona Robson
Muriel Romanes
Lesley, Anne Rose
Lisa Sangster
David Shrigley
Ross Sinclair
Gerda Stevenson
Pete Stollery (Prof)
Richard Wright

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