Back in January I reported on the work the Craft Scotland team had been involved with for the Creative Scotland Creative Review process. It was an extensive period of work for both our staff and board, highlighting our ambition and potential alongside the gaps in our current resource. We were incredibly hopeful that we would receive an uplift, even a modest one, in our core funding so that we could cover some of the essentials such as admin staff.
As you may have seen in the press or on Creative Scotland’s website, the funding review did not quite go according to plan for most organisations. Since the announcement we have taken stock of our situation and we continue our conversations with our colleagues in Creative Scotland. Find out more about the Creative Scotland Investment Portfolio: Outcomes of the Review of Flexibly-Funded Organsiations.
From 2013 we are an ‘annual service level agreement’ client. For Craft Scotland this means that our core budget is frozen (£150,000 per annum), and we can continue to apply for individual project funds just as we have previously for events such as Collect or SOFA. We’re still working out with Creative Scotland what projects are viable for funding (at last count there were 29 individual projects that were included in our Creative Review document, although some of these include core costs such as staff, general marketing and an expense budget to allow us to meet with and see more craft across the country), and by the end of August we will be submitting applications for our plans. Whilst things might take a little longer than we’d like, the opportunities for people to make, see, buy and enjoy craft will continue.
The one thing to be sure of – our ambition and commitment to craft remains the same.
Fiona Hutchison, a tapestry artist who is based at Patriothall in Edinburgh, appeared on Sunday Politics Scotland two weekends ago, where she highlighted the limitations on her creativity the recent changes have produced. We’d like to hear more from the craft sector on how (or if) you are affected, your concerns and hopes for the future, and ideas on how the sector can work together.
In the early Autumn we will be distributing a short survey but please don’t be shy – leave a comment below or send us an email with your thoughts.
Aside from funding, it would be easy to have mistaken the last month for Jewellery July. Earlier this month I opened the new Vanilla Ink Studios in Dundee to a packed crowd of jewellery enthusiasts. The event, which was aptly timed to coincide with the US holiday of Independence Day, celebrated the new facility which will ensure the independent working of recent graduates who are finding their careers as jewellers.
The following week we welcomed jeweller Molly Ginnelly into the Craft Scotland office. Molly is working with us on a casual basis to support Laura, whilst also leading a project which will bring a new opportunity for jewellers to sell their work in time for the Christmas market. We’ll bring you more on this next month.
My name was also on the bill to open Eccentricity, the ACJ Edinburgh exhibition at Whitespace. The opening took place on Friday 13th but apart from my pulling out of the event due to illness (many apologies to the team at ACJ Edinburgh) I understand the night, and the exhibition, has been another success for Scottish jewellery.
Finally, the application deadline has now passed for people wishing to submit an application to join our Board of Directors. We will be interviewing for the positions throughout August.
Emma Walker,CEO, Craft Scotland
Watch a film of Emma’s speech for the Vanilla Ink Studios opening night:
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