At present, like much of the world, Scotland is trying to plan for the future in the context of the still unfolding impact of the Covid pandemic, the compounding effects of the conflict in Ukraine, the looming cost of living crisis, and the escalating climate emergency. Against this backdrop, Scotland’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation, Delivering Economic Prosperity (March 2022), repeatedly refers to the creative industries as a key area of economic strength for Scotland and as an important focus for initiatives aimed at promoting economic recovery. This is an ambitious goal, which will require the coming together of different communities of expertise, from within HE, business, policy, third sector, organisations and individual artists and professionals.
Image credt: Rowan Bazley, Floorpainting V (The Glasgow School of Art, Fine Art, 2022).
This programme aims to develop a Scottish Cultural Policy Research Network which brings together cultural policy research experts working in Scotland, including policymakers, consultants, artists, businesses, and other actors in the Scottish creative economy, to facilitate knowledge exchange, collaboration and policy and industry impact. The initial phase will be to map Scottish cultural policy and creative research expertise and to grow the Network. A series of four events will then bring together network members to co-design the shape and functioning of the Network and consider some of the key sector issues, including:
- The creative sector and post-covid recovery in Scotland (including the challenges and opportunities for young artists entering the job market)
- The role of arts and culture in addressing climate change and the commitment to net-zero
- Scotland’s international image and role post-Brexit, and cultural relations.
The result will be the creation of a ‘vision manifesto’ and research agenda that will guide the activities of the Network, as well as a sustainability strategy for the Network to be able to operate beyond the timeline of this project.