How should we reconfigure the cultural landscape ?


This is the introduction to the discussion week.

To view the Day 7 post Monday 20 April go here

To view the Day 5 post Saturday 18 April go here

To view Day 4 post Friday 17 April go here

To view Day 3 post Thursday 16 April go here

To view the Day 2 post Wednesday 15 April go here

To view  the Day 1 post, Tuesday 14 April – follow this link  here –

You can comment at the end of this post, which introduces the week, or comment on the posts put up each day


During the seven days from 14  – 21 April, I will be posting some of my views on the type of cultural support structures we need now.  These views will contribute towards my contribution to the CPPS seminar on 24 April, a later publication of my thinking and also towards the development of a new platform for everyone in the arts.  Some of the views are well developed and some not.  Some of the posts will be long (Day1 – after the Easter Weekend) and some short.


In particular, I will be writing about the type of intermediary cultural public agencies that we need at this time.  That is, those agencies which intermediate between government policy and the creative experiences achieved by artists and audiences.


Although my thinking can be applied to a range of UK and European contexts, it is most applicable to Scotland because this is my home and where I am most connected.   In Scotland we also  have the advantage of being a small country and an emergent nation in the context of the UK.  My views are informed by my experience of working in the arts and creative industries for the last 30 years, the views, opinions and writings of others and lots of discussions and debates.


Note on Creative Scotland


I am an advocate for Creative Scotland and supportive of the Scottish Government’s policy in establishing it. 


My thinking has developed considerably since I was Transition Director for Creative Scotland in 2008 and the views expressed here are my own.


Why am I posting this?

I believe that everyone in the arts wants the best for artists and for audiences.  Many of us are involved in, and interested in, the support structures to achieve this. There are lots of conversations going on about this and its good to share!


 So I hope that people will comment on the blog


The schedule



Tuesday 14th April:   20th  century to 21st century: the changed and rapidly changing world for the arts


Wednesday 15th April:  The current economic downturn – priorities and opportunities


Thursday 16th April: Why we need to reconfigure the cultural landscape


Friday 17th April:  A new cultural landscape for the 21st century


Saturday 18th April: 21st century intermediate cultural agencies – characteristics


Monday 20th April: wrap up



  1. Histriomastix said:

    A difficulty is that the ‘cultural landscape’ is really the often accursed apparatus for public management of the imaginary ‘cultural industries’. This is perceived as a no-go, hostile area for ordinary people, artists and private sector entrepreneurs.

    It is tolerated only because of its political usefulness in seeming to bring order to ‘cultural policy’. The artist and entrepreneur are the landscape. There is huge mistrust between the ‘cultural’ apparatus and the people. Furthermore, the bureaucrats find it convenient to speak only of ‘major change’ to arts organisations in the twenty-first century – as if these organisations had no past experience.

    For organic change, better to look at cultural history and,for the future, ask advice from 18-to-26 year olds – who in the ‘leadership’ listens to young people’s opinions? When will there be a Young Persons Arts Parliament for ‘Creative Scotland’?

  2. Robert Dawson Scott said:

    I can’t tell you the wave of nostalgia that washed over me reading about your experiences at the Citz in 1976. That was the year (I think – may have been a year or two either side) that I first encountered them, doing the unforgettable Chinchilla at the Edinburgh Festival. It all sounds so much simpler then. I cannot help feeling that the proliferation of intermediaries has not contributed a great deal to the sum of human happiness since then even though, in my time, I was briefly one of them. Just possibly at the margins it is a bit more inclusive. One of the great weaknesses of the last thirty years has been the reluctance of anyone to back their own judgement when it comes to public support. You mention people like Harry McCann or the Finance Director of Glasgow City Council. Could anyone really argue that the quality of decision making in such bodies has improved since the proliferation of arts officers, committees and sundry other bureaucrats, less still the quality of the art produced?

  3. Not that I’m totally impressed, but this is a lot more than I expected when I found a link on Furl telling that the info here is awesome. Thanks.
    p.s. Year One is already on the Internet and you can watch it for free.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: