We are living through a hugely exciting cultural moment here in Scotland. We have a golden opportunity to do things differently; a chance to think creatively about our place in this new interconnected world and to take part in a wider global movement for change. Scotland has the potential to be a forward-looking, plural, dynamic, open, inclusive, connected and truly international civic nation, ready to meet the challenges of the 21st century. I believe - passionately - that art and artists - and the artists within all of us - could lead the way towards a culture of possibility.
Culture is what enables community. Art is the very practice of freedom. Beauty and meaning are what sustain and connect us.
The imagination that we need now is expansive, inclusive, and unafraid. Our role as cultural activists is to promote awareness, change attitudes, encourage new ways of working. We need to turn the conventional dismissal and trivialisation of arts & culture on its head. Arts & culture should not be seen as trivial, a luxury or decorative frill that is 'nice but not necessary.' We must work towards re-framing arts & culture as absolutely central to a sustainable and civil society.
"You don't change the world by lobbying numbers, slogans, or arguments at people. You do it by changing the story of despair or powerlessness to one of real possibility. Things would change if everyone lifted their voices as citizens of the world, calling out what doesn't reflect their deepest values, and standing up for what does."