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This year's Art in Action visits begin at Collective, Edinburgh

Sarah Boyack MSP visited Collective, Edinburgh as part of the Art In Action campaign marking the first of a series of visits by MSPs to see first hand the value and importance of art in Scottish life.

Speaking ahead of the visit SCAN Director Clare Harris said: “SCAN welcomes the recent announcement from the Government regarding new funding for the culture sector, including for both artists and visual art organisations, but we know that the road to recovery will be long and complex.”

“During the isolating months of lockdown, art has been a lifeline for many, young and old. It is important that as Parliament and MSPs look to the future recovery of the country that they are able to place art amongst their high priorities for our communities, our economies and our wider wellbeing.”

On the visit Sarah toured Collective’s recently reopened site and met with Kate Gray, Collective’s Director, and her team. Sarah saw an exhibition by Julijonas Urbonas, a An Award-winning Lithuanian artist, designer, researcher and engineer, who received the prestigious Prix Ars Electronica in 2010.

She also toured the outdoor spaces to see permanent sculptures by Scottish artist Tessa Lynch and discuss upcoming plans for Not Going Back to Normal, a resource for Scottish disabled artists in a post pandemic world. The pair will also discuss Collective’s Satellite Programme, supporting Scottish emerging talent to develop and exhibit new commissions.

Collective’s Director Kate Gray said; “Collective brings people together to look at, think about and produce contemporary art in a new kind of city observatory at the heart of Scotland’s capital. From works by leading artists and online programmes and events reaching those across the globe, to programmes engaging the local community and Scotland-based artists at the beginning of their careers, we urge the government and funders to continue to support our work and that of our peers in the visual arts sector during these difficult times.”

Sarah Boyack MSP for Lothian said; “It was great to hear about the work of artists during the pandemic and their exciting plans for the future. Art is part of who we are and we need the hope and inspiration that comes from art more than ever.

“For artists however, being able to survive economic uncertainty and retain employment underscores the importance of supporting those who work in culture, ensuring equality and fair work, with publicly-funded organisations paying union rates and supporting the living wage.”

Collective, which is in Boyack’s constituency, is the first in a series of visits across Scotland which encourage MSPs to learn more about the role art is playing in supporting wellbeing, benefiting communities and contributing to a creative and innovative future for Scotland.

In the medium term, SCAN urge a doubling of the current cultural budget and providing a five-year stabilisation deal for the cultural sector, so that it is able to contribute fully to the national recovery and build a cultural workforce based on the principles of equality and fair work, enabling publicly-funded organisations to pay union rates and support the living wage.

Art in Action is a campaign being run by Scottish Contemporary Art Network 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.

Date: 3 September 2020

This year's Art in Action visits begin at Collective, Edinburgh