One of the single biggest issues I have with the City of Edinburgh is the serious lack of cheap space for all art forms. The city as shown on many occasions will take big business before community. I am part of a group trying to acquire an asset in West Edinburgh to provide An International Garden Festival, 100 artisans spaces to rent at very cheap rents and an outdoor swimming facility a Lido. We have offered the market value of the site but City Council believes it to have much more value for High Value residential property development rather than a project which gives back every year almost £500k to the local community through a local Development Trust. More info at https://grantonimprovementsociety.wordpress.com/ and our Facebook site Granton Improvement Society.
Posted by Ross McEwan
On May 30th, in the Old Parish Church Halls, Bellfield Street, cultural groups in Portobello will explore ideas about the cultural life of the community and question some of the City-centric thinking behind arts strategy in Edinburgh. Contributors are, Lesley Riddoch, Andrew Dixon, Janet Archer, Cllr. Richard Lewis and Andrew Eaton-Lewis. We will be looking at local cultural aspirations and infrastructure assets and opportunities and asking how community led initiatives can engage with and compete for resources increasingly focussed on ‘creative industries’. All welcome who have an interest in the cultural well being of Portobello. Free admission. Programme online at www.bigthingsonthebeach.org.uk .
Posted by Damian Killeen
The council needs to wake up to the fact that selling potential venues to big business is not the way to enrich this cities culture. It’s appalling that they have allowed Boroughmuir High to go to Cala for conversion into upmarket flats. The OOTB drill proposal would have brought a greatly needed boost to the area
Posted by Iain Christie
Leith Creative is a research project mapping cultural resources and creative industries within the Leith area. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve been talking to a variety of cultural representatives in Leith alongside individual creatives and practitioners. We are now ready to report on our findings at an event at The Biscuit Factory on Anderson Place on Thursday 14th May from 6pm.
At the event, we will present a detailed report of our findings and recommendations, alongside a cultural asset map of Leith and summery of our key data. There will be an opportunity for attendees to find out more about this cultural network, as well as contributing thoughts and ideas on how to take the findings forward. Please RSVP to the event here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/leith-creative-reporting-event-tickets-16800162739
Posted by Leith Creative (www.leithcreative.org)
Covering similar ground to Desire Lines, we are hosting our first public event in Edinburgh this month.
Christoph Lindner presents Amsterdam, Street Art, and Super-Gentrification
25th March at The Wee Red Bar.
What happens when art in public spaces strategically decelerates, disrupts, or even stops movement, flow, and interaction in the global city?
This event considers some of the unexpected ways in which artistic attempts to foster hospitality and belonging at a community level can produce new, subtle forms of exclusion and false intimacy.
Tickets are free from Eventbrite:
The New Metropolitan is an online magazine about new cultures of urban citizenship.
Posted by The New Metropolitan
Why not make more use of Artwork, the most successful arts magazine ever launched in Scotland. Whilst dozens have come and gone, often subsidised by tens of thousnads of pounds worth of government fundingm art wor ( for whom I have sometimes worked ) has soldiered on for over twenty five years . During this period it hasn’t recieved a single penny of government funding yet has regularly sent out over twenty thousand copies three times a year to outlets all over Scotland. Yet ask any art manager from the public sector about it and they seem mystified and say they have never heard of it. It isn’t in the bubble of heavily subsidised and largely ignored arts events in Scotland.
Posted by Maxwell Macleod
I would like to see more interesting planting in parks, in the city centre and public spaces. There’s room for improvement and it would make our city even more beautiful.
Foliage planting design
Posted by Alison MacDonald
-Work with Ed arts organisations to challenge forthcoming funding cuts. Report to Councillors that there is another way and the politics of austerity cuts can be challenged. Don’t cut Council arts officials or voluntary sector arts organisations.
– Work with other Council departments to see how will arts strategy fit with other Council strategies.
-Use Council resources to showcase Edinburgh arts – all year round. eg City Art Centre, and other Council funded venues and owned buildings.
– Consult social enterprises such as Out of the Blue and look at what they can generate and sustain with a bit of support
-Don’t use culture as the same word as art. Culture is the way we live our lives and individual and collective creative participation and expression can and should be a part of that!
Posted by rob hoon
1 of 2 –
-Consult widely- include young people, arts organisations working in and people living in our housing schemes, with marginalised people and their supporting organisations. .
-Look at other cities to use best examples of ways to consult. Use participatory methods- small discussion groups etc.
-Address inequality of provision. Support art initiatives with people living in poverty or with disability or experiencing racism. Do this with funding to equate to the £3 million given by Council to Edinburgh International Festival. Work an agreement with Creative Scotland to match fund the initiative (as they do with EIF).
-Work with Edinburgh arts organisations and artists to see how/if CS 10 year plan will work for Edinburgh arts. Include this in arts strategy.
Posted by rob hoon
A few years ago Edinburgh City Council fenced in the corner of middle meadow walk, at the bottom of the hill just past the QuarterMile. It was a corner many people had cut across and a small path was visible in the grass. As they were installing the fence a nearby sign explained: ‘we are working to eradicate this desire line’. In my view, a perfect symbol for the way our council treats the cultural sector.
Posted by Ryan Van Winkle
It’s great that so many attended and contributed to the Desire Lines event that took place at Summerhall on the 8th December. I was moved by the passion that was shown and the importance placed on Cultural Services within the community.
I wanted to flag the engagement exercise the Council is currently undertaking on the budget for 2015/16 and urge you to feedback your views, particularly on Culture & Sport services. The exercise finishes on Friday 19th December so I would urge you to take this opportunity to visit the Council’s web-site and feedback your views which you can access on the following link. http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/budget
With best wishes, Richard
Posted by Councillor Richard Lewis, Convener of Culture & Sport
Edinburgh is a culturally brilliant city. The free offer (from the Botanics to the National Library to the galleries) is constantly inspiring The Scottish Chamber Orchestra is as good as any on the planet, the festivals are an annual shot in the arm, and venues like the Poetry Library, Traverse Theatre or Filmhouse are always interesting But But it does feel like a bit of laurel resting goes on. Why isn’t the centre sorted out as one of the world’s great cultural destinations? Why isn’t everyone in the city connected to the cultural scene? Why aren’t Edinburgh and Glasgow collaborating to ramp up cultural production and the creative economy? The reasons are many and various, from contracting budgets to enormous amounts of ‘baggage’, but there is a lot to get done in the coming years.
Posted by Andrew Ormston
We’ve been fighting the conversion of The Picture House on Lothian Road into a superpub owned by JD Wetherspoons.
The Picture House is an iconic live music venue which brought a great variety of artists to play in Edinburgh and losing this would be a massive loss to the area and Edinburgh in general.
As citizens of Edinburgh, we have to make a stand in preserving our culture and history and not selling out this venue to a soulless monster pub chain.
Lothian Road has been improving its image and reputation over the last few years and this would be a disastrous loss.
The decision is now with Edinburgh Council..there have been umpteen objections and a petition.
Let’s hope that they see sense and the licence is blocked.
Posted by Save The Picture House
Why assume that Edinburgh is a ‘culturally successful city’? If selling tickets for people to consume culture produced elsewhere is success, then Edinburgh is fabulously successful. But, if the measure of success relates to the production of culture from within the city 365 days a year, then Edinburgh is no more successful than many another city of its size. The reality is that the majority of the population of Edinburgh is disengaged from ‘culture’ as represented by what is produced by the bodies involved in DesireLines and the indigenous or grassroots cultural initiatives of communities old and new outwith the commercial centre of the city are rarely reflected in or supported by current cultural strategies. Edinburgh is culturaly inert for much of the year and is unhelpful or even hostile to new or different cultural expression. This is not success.
Posted by Damian Killeen
I heard a troubling anecdote recently. An Edinburgh gallery, as part of its educational outreach programme invited young people from a deprived part of North Edinburgh in to see an exhibition. It transpired after some discussion that none of the teenagers in the room had ever been to any other galleries. Hadn’t even been in Old Town before. Edinburgh Festival? Blank looks all round. Those of us who are producing culture have a duty to think deeply about how our approach might reflect the cultures of marginalised citizens. Edinburgh, like every city is a divided one, and too often there is an assumption that cultural production is intrinsically ‘Good’ when in fact much of what is produced here is divisive and exclusionary. I’d like the cultural scene to scrutinise Edinburgh’s spatial arrangement and respond to its inequalities with vigour.
Posted by Anonymous