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Culture and Creativity in the National Recovery Plan

On Monday the National Advisory Group on Economic Recovery published their report with recommendations for priority actions. The report recognised that a) the creative sector had been particularly badly hit by COVID, and b) that culture and creativity had a big part to play in our nation’s recovery. Below is specific section on culture and creativity in the report:

While the Government is able to float ideas for action, these can only become a reality through collaboration with the arts and creative sector. For example, the idea of a National Arts Force needs all of us in culture to come together and work with other bodies to shape a plan that can make this happen…only we the creative practitioners on the ground know how this could work…we must take our place at the discussion table for the sake of everyone who works in our sector and for society at large.
The National Arts Force idea is something that The Stove and others have put forward –  see here for further detail and background on the idea. Please do get in touch if you want to help make this idea a reality.
You can find the full report from the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery – here
 

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Musings News

Creativity and Community as Part of the National Recovery

The diagram below is The Stove’s submission to The Advisory Group for Economic Recovery for Scotland. It is just the first germ of an idea and we are sharing it now in the hope of generating further discussion with others in the Creative and Community sectors.

Download a full-size version of the diagram here

The premise is simple – our Embers report has clearly shown the pivotal role played by creative practitioners and small creative organisations to initiate and maintain momentum in placemaking projects. These may start with cultural projects, but quickly develop into new social enterprises, asset-based and environmental initiatives. In short – do some cultural pump-priming in a community setting and the payback in terms of community resilience, economic development and people’s wellbeing is incredible.
In the current climate we have thousands of creative practitioners with little prospect of working in the short and medium term. We have communities who have experienced working together for mutual benefit during lockdown and we have many brilliant resources (theatres, sports centres etc) that are lying temporarily idle.
What if we were to pay out of work people in the Creative and Community sectors a Basic Income to work in their local communities to start new projects (or build on things started in lockdown) – these could be cultural projects like choirs, writers groups…but they could also be environmental projects or new social enterprises. Our skill set is to ‘make shit happen’ we are producers, innovators and entrepreneurs! If this National Task Force was to get things started then the national agencies and funders could come in behind and help take things to the next level and, before you know it you have communities making their places, economies and health better.
It may sound mad, but something not so very different was successful in the US as part of Roosevelt’s New Deal in 1934 and again in 1940 in Britain with the Council for Encouragement of Arts and Music which saw a force of musicians staring choirs and orchestras all over the country during wartime.
That’s as far as we’ve got til now – whaddyfink? Let us know and help us shape the idea if you think it has legs..