Artists Make a Better World Launch

SCAN Director Moira Jeffrey and Deputy Lord Provost Christy Mearns, Artists Make a Better World Launch at The Boardwalk, photo by Eoin Carey

Our Artists Make a Better World campaign launched in Glasgow last night, 15 June 2023. The campaign aims to encourage policymakers to support contemporary art, and share with the public the many ways that artists contribute to Scotland’s wellbeing.   

The campaign launch was hosted by SCAN Chair Fiona Doring, Chief Executive of Impact Arts, at the organisation’s new home The Boardwalk in Glasgow. It featured the chance for supporters to print their own campaign message thanks to Glasgow Print Studio and Print Clan; SCAN members who support the public to take part in art activities. Supports could also watch a programme of short films curated by SCAN members Glasgow Artists’ Moving Image Studios, a charity working to bring cinema and the arts to communities within Govanhill.

Moira Jeffrey, Director of Scottish Contemporary Art Network, said:  

“Artists really do improve our quality of life in Scotland. It’s a simple message, but it’s true. Research shows that learning skills and participating in arts activities improves our health and happiness. Artists are also taking the lead in public engagement with some of the toughest challenges such as talking about climate change. While times are hard for so many Scots, we want to remind policymakers that arts and culture is a route into improving life for everyone: from community-building in our small towns and rural communities to transforming our city streets.” 

Fiona Doring, Chief Executive of Impact Arts and Chair of SCAN said: 

At Impact Arts we see the way that engaging in the arts can support young people who have had the hardest starts in life or face current challenges. We help develop positive change through creativity. We employ around 70 artists a year to deliver workshops and activity that ensure that over 80% of the young people we work with move on to positive destinations. We are supporting the campaign message that Artists Make a Better World, because we see that every day.

Through the campaign, SCAN is highlighting the role that artists have in improving our everyday lives, and the impact that learning skills from artists, and taking part in creative activities, can have on health and happiness. As part of the campaign, MSPs will be encouraged to visit the people and places making art in their constituencies. From Shetland to the Scottish Borders, politicians will be invited to learn about the great work being done by artists in their community. They will be encouraged to take that message back to their parliamentary offices, where new knowledge could make a difference to communities across the country. 

Find out more about the project here, including events and activity throughout the summer, and how to get involved.