A walk on the Clyde

February 27th, 2012 | Posted by admin in creative industries | cultural policy - (Comments Off on A walk on the Clyde)

A visit to SECC in Glasgow to attend the 2014 Commonwealth Games business briefing gave an opportunity to do the 25 minute walk from Central Station along the river Clyde to the venue.  Something I had never done before despite, in 2009, working as part of a team reviewing Clyde tourism for Scottish Enterprise.   This was Glasgow’s tourism pillar that was yet to perform, despite flagship developments along the riverside.  SECC, Science Museum, Pacific Quay, and the new Riverside Museum are all impressive offers of national and international significance.  There was also a strategic partnership, Clyde Waterfront, and a major annual festival.

The issue was, in essence, connecting it all up in a navigable package, and connecting that to the city centre.  This is relatively straightforward on paper with a great cluster of activities and attractions on a map where train, bus, cycle and pedestrian linkages look fine.  Investment in river transport infrastructure also looked promising.  The reality is more challenging.  This is a large river and the wind whistles down it.  The potential to populate a riverside walk with pleasant stopping off points and eateries is very limited given the likely footfall and the mostly narrow strip of public walkway.  Comparisons with London’s South Bank, where determined political and business leadership have seen the pedestrian walk opened up, closely followed by a blossoming of activity and commerce, are not really that useful.  There is now an initiative called Creative Clyde (www.creativeclyde.com) that is working to animate the creative economy and a new Pacific Quay masterplan.

Where comparisons with London’s South Bank may bear fruit is in the relationship to local communities.  The role of Coin Street Community Builders was at the heart of the South Bank developments, and social housing, community events, and small local businesses established an impermeable footprint on the riverside.  While animating the bleaker ‘in between’ bits of the river in Glasgow may seem daunting, just offering local communities and creatives opportunities to populate the area is a good starting point.





Anthony d’Offay & the Artists Rooms initiative

November 28th, 2011 | Posted by admin in cultural policy | news - (Comments Off on Anthony d’Offay & the Artists Rooms initiative)

Anthony d’Offay spoke eloquently this evening about Artists Rooms, which now has 2 research partners, one of which is ECA. Scottish Government and Art Fund support the programme, which has exhibited in 12 galleries around Scotland to date. There have been 50 rooms of contemporary artists, amounting to over 1000 works, seen by 17m people. d’Offay considers it as contemporary art that belongs to the people and took us through a short history, which included Ed Ruscha, who called Artists Rooms an ‘inspiring bridge’ to the public. The 1985 slide of Joseph Beuys installation ‘Plight’ at the d’Offay gallery was particularly striking as a slice of history. The slide of the Jasper Johns, Cunningham, Cage collaboration (Dancers on a Plane 1989) was great as was the Michael Clark / Leigh Bowery tie in (1988). Clark has since done 12 performances in Artists Rooms. d’Offay was particularly struck by the way that the early work with Bowery led to a Lucian Freud portrait, and clearly retains an interest in collaboration with choreographers and performers. The striking Jenny Holzer show in 2010 at Talbot Rice was an Artists Rooms exhibition and the best slide of all was of pupils from Penicuik High School fascinated by Hirst’s ‘Away from the Flock’.

A new Creative Europe programme for culture and media funding from 2014

November 10th, 2011 | Posted by admin in cultural policy | Europe | news - (Comments Off on A new Creative Europe programme for culture and media funding from 2014)

The proposed programme is an ambitious statement of faith in the creative and cultural sectors to stimulate growth and create jobs, particularly for young people:

“With a proposed budget of €1.8 billion for the period 2014-2020, it would be a much-needed boost for the cultural and creative industries, which are a major source of jobs and growth in Europe.

The new programme would allocate more than €900 million in support of the cinema and audiovisual sector (area covered by current MEDIA programme) and almost € 500 million for culture (presently covered by the Culture programme).

The Commission is also proposing to allocate more than €210 million for a new financial guarantee facility, which would enable cultural operators to access up to €1 billion in bank loans, and would provide around €60 million in support of trans-national policy cooperation and would also aim to foster innovative approaches to audience building and new business models.”

The proposal combines the previously separate MEDIA and Culture programmes (they remain separate strands)  and adds in the new guarantee mechanism, and aims to reach 100m. people.  EACEA will continue to manage the scheme.   The proposal is under discussion by the 27 member states, so here’s hoping that this farsighted approach will trigger fresh investment for our sector.

Creative Entrepreneurship Conference in Tallinn

October 21st, 2011 | Posted by admin in creative industries | cultural policy | Europe - (Comments Off on Creative Entrepreneurship Conference in Tallinn)

Andrew delivering a keynote at the Creative Entrepreneurship conference in Tallinn.  Around 230 delegates, mostly from Northern Europe, attended.  The conference was a positive exploration of new approaches to strategic development and investment in creative industries, with much attention given to the need for a new ‘coherent narrative’ for the sector.  The ‘can do’ Estonia was a great venue for this debate, not least because Ragar Sill, from their Ministry of Culture, is playing a leading role in shaping Europe’s approach to the creative industries.     The relationship between established cultural infrastructure and the emergent creative industries was a focus of Andrew’s presentation.  The critical mass of opportunities that creative professionals need to make their career exist across the cultural and creative industries sectors, and straddle a mixed economy of private, public and not for profit.  Our strategies are not yet refined enough to realise the potential of combining these different elements of our full creative economy.  The slides for the presentation (Backing into the Future: new routes in old settings) can be accessed at: www.creativeestonia.eu/materials/Andrew_Ormston.pdf.