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October 17, 2023

Fund what works

Time was when our sector was considered a testbed for innovation, when funders favoured the brave and when fresh thinking could attract ‘pilot’ funding with some expectation that long term funding would follow success. Whether it’s down to austerity, covid or simply because somehow we’ve forgotten how to value the good stuff, but a return to those days is long overdue. Since March 2021, the Culture Collective has demonstrated unequivocally the value of participatory arts projects – both for artists and communities alike. Funding ends this month but if ever a ‘pilot’ should be allowed to fly….

Culture Collective

Culture Collective is a network of 26 participatory arts projects, shaped by local communities alongside artists and creative organisations. Funded by Scottish Government through Creative Scotland, these projects are taking place across Scotland from March 2021-October 2023.

From Shetland to Inverclyde, Aberdeen to Hawick, each unique project is designed and driven by the community in which it is rooted, playing an important part in shaping the future cultural life of Scotland. Some projects are working to creatively engage with older community members; some provide opportunities for young women and non-binary people to find their voices; and others address disconnection, loneliness and mental health in a post-lockdown world.

For the projects themselves, the Culture Collective provides a network: opportunities to share resources, learning and experiences. For the sector as a whole, the Culture Collective shines a light on the crucial importance of participatory arts projects for artists, for communities and for the future.