Sunday, 16 January 2011

compulsion of National intimacy

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jan/14/scotland-artists-funds-highlands


Scottish artists offered funds to get away from it all in Highland retreats

• Residential plan hopes to uncover future talent

• £1m initiative contrasts with big cuts in England


• Severin Carrell, Scotland correspondent

guardian.co.uk, Friday 14 January 2011 20.35 GMT

Up to 1,000 artists, musicians and writers are to be offered government-funded residencies on remote Scottish islands, at art centres and Highland retreats in a new programme to fund new work.


The Guardian has learned that government arts agency Creative Scotland will this month unveil what it calls Europe's most ambitious artists' residencies initiative, one of several new funding plans supported by Edinburgh ministers.


The Creative Futures programme will support about 200 painters, dancers, poets, film-makers and visual artists each year over the next three to five years. They will be funded to work alone or as part of public arts projects in Scotland, elsewhere in the UK, or overseas. Arts executives hope the £1m-a-year initiative will find future winners of the Turner prize such as previous Scottish recipients Susan Philipsz and Douglas Gordon, and fund new writing and feature-length films.


Senior arts figures said the project highlighted a deep gap between the levels of funding and political support for the arts in England and Scotland.


Coalition ministers have caused consternation in the English arts world by cutting funding to Arts Council England by nearly 30% over the next four years, after the Department of Culture, Media and Sport's budget was cut by £300m.


Some cash-strapped English councils have slashed or entirely stopped their arts funding. By contrast, Creative Scotland – formed after last year's merger of the Scottish Arts Council and ScottishScreen – has the same budget in cash terms of £35.5m as last year, and also has a separate £10m music education programme.


Although the overall Scottish culture budget will fall next year by 6.7%, Fiona Hyslop, the arts minister, has kept £2m for promoting Scottish arts and theatre in the Edinburgh festivals for another year.


Andrew Dixon, Creative Scotland's chief executive, said there was cross-party support for the arts. He is able to fund more than 50 major arts events and companies, including the Edinburgh international festival, at the same level this year.


"Scotland is a small country, and there's a kind of pride in politicians, both at a local and national level, in what's being achieved here," he said. "They don't feel that in quite the same way in England. I think that's a real strength of the size of Scotland – a 30% cut doesn't half curtail your opportunities to plan long term."


Sandy Maberley, director of the Somerset-based theatre companyTheatre Melange, said artists in her area "will all be emigrating" to Scotland after the county council and two district councils entirely cut arts funding.


Maberley said it was important for arts organisations to avoid "playing the victim in this situation" but said the damage from the collapse in England's arts funding could take years to repair.


"Knocking something down is quick, and it's easy. The time to build it back up is incalculable," she said. "The arts are about a creative ecology and that includes economic wealth, social wealth and cultural benefits."


The Creative Futures initiative will be directed mainly at Scottish-based artists and creative workers but the residency programmes will also award places to artists based outside Scotland.Installation artist Gill Russell, whose latest work from a residency at the Sabhal Mor Ostaig Gaelic college on the island of Skye is now being exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh, said residencies were essential for artists.


She was given £9,000 by the Scottish Arts Council for a six-month residency at the college, which she extended to 18 months. "I realised there was a huge leap of faith in me and that's extremely rewarding," she said.


"You feel you're very much valued as an artist and that gives you a lot of confidence, instead of having to scramble around and clean loos to get by. Without that you don't have the energy, because it takes so much energy to produce good art."


She added: "The situation in England just makes me feel sad."


Ciara Barry, a Glasgow film producer, was given funding for a short film-makers' residency at the Rotterdam film festival and is now making her first feature film with the artist Henry Coombes, who was Scotland's representative at the Venice Biennale.


Her funding for the Rotterdam Lab event was crucial, she said. "I'm working towards my first feature film credit, so for me going to Rotterdam was the first time I was at an international networking event and meeting my peers. You can't make it all on your own, especially in this day and age."



Comments


annebonnar

15 January 2011 8:46AM

A great scheme demonstrating how Scottish politicians and Scotland value artists. The SNP had a manifesto commitment to support artists but Scotland does not have the fiscal autonomy to provide tax relief as the Irish government does and this scheme is particularly welcome.


But before anyone up sticks from Somerset, its worth remembering:

1. that the Scottish budget is for one year only, its a pre-election budget before the May elections for the Scottish partliament

http://annebonnar.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/the-impact-of-scotlands-budget-for-culture-wont-be-felt-until-the-next-instalments/


2. local authorities in Scotland are facing the same challenges as in England with large cuts to absorb and neither a staturory responsibility for the arts nor an agreement to support culture. Hence the Somerset scenario could play out in Moray and other councils. Its only in Wales that local authorities have any agreement to support cultural outcomes.

http://annebonnar.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/how-statistics-about-arts-cuts-are-used-creatively-to-make-political-points/



Variant

15 January 2011 10:19PM


As one of the architects of Creative Scotland, Anne Bonnar has already corrected such unreflective churnalism:

There are many significant differences between both the budgets and the politics of Scotland and England as well as the cultural dimensions. The most important aspect regarding funding for culture in today's budget is that this is a one year holding budget from the SNP minority administration before next May's election. Another is that we have been spared the public flogging of the Arts Council of England because we have already taken the pain of abolishing the Scottish Arts Council in the course of establishing the more streamlined agency Creative Scotland.

But the overall cut to the culture budget is 10% which is higher than the 6.9% John Swinney cited as the standard cut applied to non ring-fenced services.

So its the next instalments which will shape the story.

annebonnar, 17 November 2010 9:47PM


The verdict on Scotland's arts budget: comparatively protected. (Or – 18/10/10 – is it?)

Charlotte Higgins

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/charlottehigginsblog/2010/nov/17/arts-funding-scotland


So what are the effects of compound cuts and stand still budgets in real terms in Scotland, now and beyond the forthcoming election?


More worrying is the degree of political instrumentalism and centralisation demonstrated here, that goes totally uncommented, as the Creative Scotland cuckoo transforms into a commissioning body in the pursuit of the construction of a National culture; an official Scottishness.


"Scotland is a small country", and it's feeling smaller by the day…

Philip Schlesinger @ AHM State of Play

"The presentation made by Philip Schlesinger at the AHM State of Play: Art and Culture in Scotland Today symposium at Gilmorehill, Glasgow in October 2010.
Philip discusses the broad context of policy-making – the role of the state and agencies.
His presentation covers topics such as lobbying, the new coalition government, cuts to funding, Scotland's independence and philanthropy. Philip provides an introduction to, and brief history of the launch of Creative Scotland and some of the problems with, and issues facing the organisation."

COSTS, SAVINGS & CUTS

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/charlottehigginsblog/2010/nov/17/arts-funding-scotland?showallcomments=true#end-of-comments


The verdict on Scotland's arts budget: comparatively protected

Funding for the arts and culture has been, relatively speaking, protected in Scotland

So, there is another way. An early read of the Scottish budget brings us news that the Scottish arts and culture budget will be a great deal more protected than that in England. Whereas Arts Council England's budget is to be cut by 30%, Creative Scotland's budget is frozen for 2011-12. National companies and collections will take a 4% cut (cf 15% for national museums in England). Here's a bit more detail:

- The Creative Scotland budget (ie the body cast from the old Scottish Arts Council and Screen Scotland) is frozen for 2011-12. "We have maintained its core budget of £35.5 million for this purpose, in the knowledge that significant efficiencies have already been made through moving to a single arts and culture body. We have also maintained ring-fenced funding for Arts and Business (£0.3 million) to help maximise private sector investment in the arts."

- A £20.5m capital pot will continue to exist to support major projects – V&A Dundee, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall refurb, Glasgow Theatre Royal refurb. Figure on Dundee V&A to be announced in due course.

- National companies (eg National Theatre of Scotland, Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet) and national collections (National Galleries of Scotland, etc) are to have a 4% cut. Government keen to preserve free entry to museums.

- Historic Scotland cut by 7%. Body expected to make efficiencies.

- Expo fund for the Edinburgh festivals to be retained.

The tweets of the most excellent Phil Miller, arts correspondent of the Herald, can usefully be followed on this story: @PhilipJEMiller

Comments


annebonnar

17 November 2010 9:47PM

There are many significant differences between both the budgets and the politics of Scotland and England as well as the cultural dimensions. The most important aspect regarding funding for culture in today's budget is that this is a one year holding budget from the SNP minority administration before next May's election.Another is that we have been spared the public flogging of the Arts Council of England because we have already taken the pain of abolishing the Scottish Arts Council in the course of establishing the more streamlined agency Creative Scotland.
But the overall cut to the culture budget is 10% which is higher than the 6.9% John Swinney cited as the standard cut applied to non ring-fenced services.
So its the next instalments which will shape the story.

more..

http://annebonnar.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/the-impact-of-scotlands-budget-for-culture-wont-be-felt-until-the-next-instalments/



Variant

18 November 2010 11:53AM

That would be 'our' pain in Anne Bonnar's and a host of other consultants' pockets!

But Anne's right to stress it's an SNP minority administration holding budget before next May's Holyrood elections.

So, Anne:
What were SAC/ SS combined core grants?
What are the full costs of changing over to Creative Scotland?
What are Creative Scotland's expected prior 'savings' on SAC/ SS?
What happens after 2011-12, after the Holyrood elections?

On prior 'savings', we can see a glimpse here : part 3 – creative scotland Overall level of costs and savings for Creative Scotland
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/committees/finance/reports-09/fir09-08-vol1.htm

And just where is the mainstream journalism in Scotland willing to do a 5 year comparison, similar to:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/charlottehigginsblog/2010/oct/21/spending-review-arts-funding





COSTS, SAVINGS & CUTS



http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/committees/finance/reports-09/fir09-08-vol1.htm


8th Report, 2009 (Session 3)

Stage 1 Report on the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill

CONTENTS

VOLUME 1: FINANCE COMMITTEE REPORT


part 3 – creative scotland


Overall level of costs and savings for Creative Scotland


196. As indicated above, the FM sets out a range of costs and savings, and a “best estimate”. In terms of Creative Scotland, if the higher estimate of costs is used, transition costs would total £4.44 million and savings at the end of 2013 would total £3.66 million.136 In response to concerns that the new organisation would not be making net savings by 2013, officials explained that, in their view, the upper estimate of costs would be “quite unlikely to happen”, due to the uncertainties around many of the transition costs (most notably the costs of the voluntary early severance/retirement scheme – see paragraphs 197 – 198).137 In addition, the bill team explained that while some savings could be quantified at this point—


“[…] we [also] expect savings to arise from streamlining of processes, but we cannot quantify them at the moment, so they have not been included in the estimated savings. However, we will expect those figures to increase.”138


Staff costs


197. A significant potential area of cost, with a wide margin of uncertainty, is provision for a voluntary early severance/retirement (“VES/ER”) scheme. The FM explains that there will be no compulsory redundancies as a result of the restructuring (in line with commitments made by the Scottish Government on the simplification programme), and that “savings will be achieved through natural wastage, redeployment and re-skilling where appropriate.”139 However, the FM goes on to state that should it be necessary, “a cost effective voluntary early severance/retirement scheme will be made available.”140


198. On the basis of the “most favourable” Scottish Arts Council terms, the FM estimates that the cost of the VES/ER will be between £500,000 and £1.5m, with a best estimate of £1.1m.141 These estimates are based on a headcount reduction of 30 full time equivalent (“FTE”) posts, as outlined in the FM. However, the Creative Scotland Business Model, published in October 2009, sets out plans for a headcount reduction of 35 FTE posts.142 The Committee appreciates the points made in correspondence from the bill team that there are a range of factors which contribute to the uncertainties around these figures, and that the VES/ER scheme will only be used when other methods have been exhausted. The Committee also notes that the Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution has already met with relevant trades unions and expects to continue discussions on this issue.143


Non-staff costs


199. The major element of non-staff costs in setting up the new body is for harmonising business systems and IT. The FM again gives a wide range of possible costs (£300,000 - £600,000) and a best estimate of £400,000. The bill team explained that there is a range of factors behind the difference in upper and lower estimates and that different levels of integration between the two bodies are possible.144 The Committee also understands that Creative Scotland 2009 Ltd is tasked with providing recommendations on this area and it is not therefore possible for the Scottish Government to provide more clarity at this stage.