Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Culture Commission

In the Sunday Herald Chris Ballance, Guild member and MSP, assesses the report of the Culture Commission into the future of the arts in Scotland.
The Cultural Commission report was finally published last Thursday, after a year of consultation. It is more than 500 pages long and has a standard structure. On issue after issue there is a brilliant and passionate appeal for the potential of the various sectors to be realised, an authoritative analysis of the problems – followed by a call for another review, another strategy and/or another new institution.

Commission chairman James Boyle champions the arts magnificently, but depressingly misses the point. Support for the creative individual is not, as Boyle says “a key factor in delivering cultural opportunities” – it is the key factor. The issue is not the delivery structure, it is the centrality of the artist within that structure.

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