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New Directions?

At a time when the Scottish Arts Council introduces New Directions, many community arts organisations are facing drastic cuts in both their capital and revenue funding. The break up of local government has split funding bases, leaving our future dependent on the short termist whims of central government.
Recreation, Social Work and Education departments face large cuts as the new councils come to terms with the limited purse given them by Government. Teachers, Social Workers and Community Workers are being forced to take voluntary redundancies as part of the 'streamlining' of our council services. But what of the arts amongst all this? As an Arts and Disability Development organisation, Artlink faces an uncertain future. Over the past ten years it has built up an unrivalled body of knowledge and expertise in work for and with people with disabilities. It has sought to develop new and innovative approaches within its arts provision. Funding of project activity has always been problematic but it appears even more difficult to see how we can work effectively within even tighter constraints. Access to cultural expression is a right. How can wider access to the arts be realised and new developments sustained if its only support is time limited and therefore restrictive? The future? Does anyone fancy a bit of basket weaving or face painting perhaps?
Alision Stirling
Projects Director, Artlink, Edinburgh