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June 28, 2017

Cash from creativity

Whenever there is a debate about how arts and culture should be valued in society, we usually begin by describing their intrinsic value, and how our lives are immeasurably enriched by their presence. But when it comes to the harsh reality of making ends meet, most arts groups end up competing with each other for what little support is available from the public purse. With an ever dwindling pot of arts funding, it has never been more important to generate income from within. A really well written how-to-do-this guide from Voluntary Arts Scotland and DTAS.


Kelly Apter

Read the full guide – Profiting from Creativity

Halls, theatres, galleries and the myriad of buildings and spaces across Scotland where people come together are valuable to us all, socially and culturally. Keeping them running, sustainable and engaging is a challenge increasingly taken up by communities themselves rather than relying on cashstrapped public or private institutions.

This publication explores some of the creative activities that are taking place in community venues across Scotland that add to the sustainable income mix. We hope you will be inspired by some of the ideas, and find practical tips and resources that will allow you to develop your own income streams and profit from the arts. More than that, these activities often draw people into rural areas and bring a unique vibrancy, as well as creating a destination in itself. Whether that is in the form of events like The Easdale Island World Stone Skimming Championship, rivalling Glastonbury for ‘cool’, or BonFest in the village of Kirriemuir paying homage to all things Bon Scott and AC/DC; both are brilliant creative responses to their unique heritage of place.

The ‘ordinary village hall’ can become something quite different, attracting quality acts and money from catering, bars and overnight accommodation. The Three Villages Hall, Cove Burgh Hall, Dunlop Village Hall and Letham Nights have built up reputations for quality events and performances. Nairn Community & Arts Centre is a gorgeous space valued by locals for its cakes and craft, and as a lovely venue in itself. It takes determination and dedication to bring in the kind of money needed to transform and rebuild spaces like the Drill Hall in Leith taken on by Out of the Blue, proving that the impossible is sometimes possible. It is rooted in its local community and is at the forefront of Edinburgh’s cultural vibrancy, helping to promote the image of Edinburgh as a culturally rich city.

 We are indebted to the community organisations who have contributed their time and experience so generously to this publication. You are an inspiration to many. Our thanks to Kelly Apter, freelance journalist, for researching and writing this publication and to Voluntary Arts Scotland for its early-stage input and expertise.


The Community Ownership Support Service