SCAN Platform – Our Proposals for a Visual Art Emergency Stimulus

As the Scottish Government makes further announcements of emergency funding to the culture sector, we have been working hard to get the voice of contemporary visual art heard.

As part of our work on SCAN Platform, we recently issued a set of proposals for a visual art emergency stimulus to the office of Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture. These proposals include moves that we believe would protect visual art organisations from immediate and medium-term insolvency, as well as safeguard and increase opportunities for commissioning and employment of freelance artists and creative practitioners. We also urged the establishment of a fund which would help artists to sustain their livelihoods in the immediate term.

Our proposals sit within the context of our wider call for a doubling of the current cultural budget and 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.

We also back calls from across the arts and third sector for the introduction of a Citizens Basic Income.

Director Clare Harris said: ‘We’ve been analysing the results of our recent survey as well as the direct concerns of our members and those working in the contemporary visual art community.

‘The urgency is clear. Artists continue to face loss of income on a wide scale; our survey showed an average of £25,000 anticipated loss by March 2021. For organisations, the outlook is just as concerning. Lack of earned income coupled with necessary social distancing measures and capital spend on Covid-19 safety measures mean some face a cliff edge as early as November, with others fearing for their future beyond 18 months.’

‘Our proposals are focused on measures that would feed recovery from the roots up.’

Download a template letter to send to your own MSP here, to help us raise visibility of the contemporary visual art sector and the impact of Covid-19.