Saturday, 26 March 2011

A look to the future of the Arts in the North East of Scotland

Last night we hosted the Artachat session:
“Oil, Neeps and Stony Ballads”
A look to the future of Arts in the North East of Scotland

The Artachat was set in the Empty Shop in Huntly and hosted in collaboration with Deveron Arts. It was a full house of 32 artists, organisation representatives and audiences from across Aberdeenshire.
Specifically invited speakers were:
Andrew Dixon, Chief Executive, Creative Scotland
Paul Harris, Head of School, Grays School of Art
Robert Livingstone, Director, Hi-Arts
and Carol Leathley, Arts Manager, Aberdeenshire Council

The goal for the evening was to both celebrate the current arts in Aberdeenshire and offer a look to the future. It has to be explained that the day before the Artachat was held letters from Aberdeenshire council were sent out to arts organisations explaining the current funding cuts that will be implemented in the forthcoming year.
Creative Scotland’s Corporate plan was also recently released. You can view it here:
web link

The Artachat began with a short introduction by Claudia Zeiske informally presenting some of the artists Deveron Arts has recently worked with. Norma Hunter is the current “Arts Visitor” (taken from the role of the health visitor), Wanja Kimani is the current artist in residence here to carry on the work of Congolese artist Baudouin Mouanda who unfortunately had to leave his residency due to visa problems. The introduction finished with a beautiful performance by singer Shona Donaldson and fiddler Paul Anderson.

After a delicious East African curry cooked by artist Daisy Williamson, I began the Artachat with a quick radio style interview session with Claudia and the four invited speakers. I asked them to introduce who they were, what they do and how they perceive the current contemporary arts scene in Aberdeenshire and give a brief look to the future. This was intended as a starting point and to get their voices heard before a more circular discussion began with a very engaged and articulate audience.

You can view the full write up of the evening by going Artachat's Public Art Scotland Blog here:

Click here to view the Public Art Scotland Artachat blog

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