‘Culture and creativity are not an add-on; they are part and parcel of how we live our lives.’ 

Art in Action is a campaign from Scottish Contemporary Art Network (SCAN) which aims 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.

Over the summer recess MSPs will be invited to see for themselves the positive impact of visual art in their constituencies. They’ll be encouraged to share their experience via social media using #ArtInAction – and to make a public commitment to support artists and art in their communities.

Join the campaign – invite your local MSP to come and see you or your organisation, and share the results with #ArtInAction. Four easy ways to get involved 

Art in Action is based on aims of the Visual Arts Manifesto, created in collaboration with Scottish Artists Union and Engage. Read more about the Manifesto.

Key messages

1) Art is an essential part of our lives.

1a) Culture and creativity are not an add-on; they are part and parcel of how we live our lives. Art facilitates new ways of seeing in a way that’s positive for all of us.

1b) Contemporary visual art is an expression of the creativity, ingenuity and imagination that underpins what it means to be human. Through art, a creative, free and safe space can be opened up for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to explore new ideas and ways of communicating.

2) Art is a catalyst for a richer society

2a) As part of the fabric of our diverse and multi-faceted society, contemporary visual art can feed long-term change within our communities, building empathy and resilience. As such artists should play an integral role in planning for a future vibrant Scotland.

2b) Scotland is recognised as a global centre of excellence for contemporary art. Contemporary art is an intrinsic part of our communities, and as such sparks a wide range of economic activity, from feeding the ideas of the wider creative industries, to attracting tourists, to successfully informing strategies for social change in communities across Scotland.

3) Art should be at the heart of decision making.

3a) The Scottish Government’s draft Culture Strategy aims to ‘bring about a shift in how society and government view and value culture’. We challenge decision-makers to invest in it and maximise its potential to help build a more innovative, tolerant and vibrant nation.

3b) The government has stated its desire to place culture at the heart of a future Scotland, but the portion of the Scottish Government budget that currently goes to its arms-length funding body Creative Scotland is just 0.2%. We know that the arts infrastructure is fragile, and that artists’ livelihoods are precarious due to diminishing levels of investment and funding at both local and national level.