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.
8 October 2012
To Sir Sandy Crombie,
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.
Katrina Brown (Dr)
Tam Dean Burn
Aonghas Phadraig Caimpbeul
Peter, Maxwell Davies (Sir)
Finn den Hertog
Douglas Gordon (Prof.)
David Harding O.B.E.
David Paul Jones
Caoihin (Kevin) MacNeill
Willy Maley (Prof)
Michael, John McCarthy
Alexander Moffat O.B.E.
Mary Paulson Ellis
Lesley, Anne Rose
Pete Stollery (Prof)