Cultural Playing Field


Meeting Andrew Dixon at Creative Scotland by Robin Simpson
July 20, 2010, 4:01 pm
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , , ,

On Monday I was in Edinburgh where Fiona and I took the short walk down Manor Place from the Voluntary Arts Scotland office to the offices of Creative Scotland (all the ‘Scottish Arts Council’ signs having now been replaced by shiny new ‘Creative Scotland’ signs!) to meet Andrew Dixon, the new Creative Scotland Chief Executive. Andrew knows Voluntary Arts well from his time as Chief Executive of Northern Arts (later Arts Council England, North East) when he was involved in one of our advisory groups and worked closely with my predecessor Roger Fox. We had a wide-ranging and very encouraging meeting with Andrew. It is early days for Creative Scotland and there is still much work to do to in agreeing priorities for the new organisation, but it was reassuring to hear Andrew say that he thinks arts participation is going to be a key area for them. We also discussed the importance of working with umbrella and infrastructure bodies, particularly to help with engagement at a community level. Andrew is keen to move to a ‘commissioning for outcomes’ approach rather than acting merely as a grant-giver. Creative Scotland is still in the process of setting up staff teams but Andrew told us there will be portfolio manager with specific responsibility for the voluntary arts: indeed Creative Scotland is likely to have strengthened staffing capacity in this area compared to Scottish Arts Council.

Robin Simpson.

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