Scottish Contemporary Art Network (SCAN), the member-led body for contemporary visual art in Scotland, launches the Art in Action campaign this week to champion the valuable role visual art plays within communities across Scotland – and to call for stronger recognition of this value when it comes to decision-making. 

Over the summer recess MSPs will be invited to see for themselves the positive impact of visual art in their constituencies. They’ll be encouraged to share their experience via social media using #ArtInAction – and to make a public commitment to support artists and art in their communities.

Through the Art in Action campaign SCAN will showcase work from across Scotland that shows how artists play an integral role in their communities, creating a shared experience that enhances wellbeing and furthers our understanding of our world.

SCAN director, Clare Harris, said: ‘Culture and creativity are not an add-on; they are part and parcel of how we live our lives. Art facilitatesnew ways of seeing in a way that’s positive for all of us.

‘As part of the fabric of our diverse and multi-faceted society, contemporary visual art can feed long-term change within our communities. As such artists should play an integral role in planning for a future vibrant Scotland. We challenge decision-makers to think differently about art – and to recognise its potential by investing in it.’

But the proportion of the Scottish Government budget that goes to the arms-length funding body Creative Scotland is just 0.2% – and diminishing levels of investment and funding at both local and national level have left the arts infrastructure in a fragile state with artists’ livelihoods precarious. 

SCAN recently submitted evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Culture Committee inquiry on arts funding and urged government and funders to think more strategically around supporting a sector that brings real value to our society. The full submission can be viewed here:

In 2017, SCAN worked with Scottish Artists Union and Engage Scotland to launch a Visual Arts Manifesto, which sets out the ambitions for a Scottish visual arts sector that is diverse, properly supported and offers sustainable opportunities for artists and arts workers. Read the Manifesto here:

For high-res images and more information contact: 

Matthew Shelley, 07786 704299

Notes to editors

Scottish Contemporary Art Network (SCAN) is a member-led network committed to championing and supporting the contemporary art sector in Scotland.

Our vision is that the role, impact and benefits of contemporary visual arts are widely recognised as central to society and that sector professionals based in Scotland are informed, innovative and supported to achieve their ambitions.

SCAN is supported by Creative Scotland. 

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