Surely the quango Creative Scotland, which is unsurprisingly in crisis, has to emit some justification for its title.
It appears to be neither deserving of “creative” nor of “Scotland”. Those at its helm are accountants more than artists, and how many can claim Scotland as their native demesne?
The trouble with this kind of funding is that it seems to attract people for whom money is the main motivation. Just what proportion of the monies dispensed by and around this organisation is taken as salaries by those at the helm, and what proportion is dispensed to the practitioners of the arts the organisation is supposed to assist?
As for the multi-signature Dumfries and Galloway letter (5 December), this, I feel, is unlikely to convince those who appended their names to the original multi-signature letter of concern sent to Creative Scotland (your report, 9 October) that included, for example, this paragraph: “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.”
I hope we have at last learned a lesson and will attempt to attract someone with a good knowledge of Scottish culture to apply for the post of director of Creative Scotland. Instead of advertising in non-Scottish newspapers, the money would be better spent advertising in the regional Scottish newspapers that cover Shetland, Orkney, the Western Isles, Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway, along with the bigger Scottish titles. A track record as an excellent organiser isn’t enough. We need an excellent organiser who has been immersed in the culture of Scotland for most of their life. The arts in Scotland deserve nothing less.