Culture and Arts (Equality, Opportunity and Community)

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 28 February 2024.

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Photo of Collette Stevenson Collette Stevenson Scottish National Party

8. To ask the Scottish Government what role culture and the arts play in delivering its missions of equality, opportunity and community. (S6O-03125)

Photo of Kaukab Stewart Kaukab Stewart Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government’s missions align closely with the ambitions of the culture strategy of empowering through culture, strengthening culture and transforming through culture.

In our recently published refreshed cultural strategy action plan, we have committed to launching a creative and culture sector fair work task force to support implementation across the culture sector, supporting our opportunity ambition. Our culture collective programme also supports delivery around equality and community, developing initiatives in partnership with our communities across Scotland.

Photo of Collette Stevenson Collette Stevenson Scottish National Party

I congratulate the minister on her new role.

The Scottish Government recently announced £1.5 million of funding through the youth music initiative. Beneficiaries include the “Mobilize” music project at the Key youth centre in East Kilbride, which runs guitar, drum and vocal lessons for young people. I invite the minister to visit the centre to see the benefits of the funding at first hand.

Will the minister outline what other support the Scottish Government is providing to cultural initiatives such as that to benefit people in East Kilbride?

Photo of Kaukab Stewart Kaukab Stewart Scottish National Party

I thank Collette Stevenson for highlighting the youth music initiative. We are proud to support that programme, and the impact that it has on communities across Scotland cannot be overstated. I look forward to seeing the programme at first hand in due course.

On cultural initiatives, the Scottish Government provides support for An Comunn Gàidhealach, the body that organises both the Royal National Mòd and local mòds, including the East Kilbride local mòd, which takes place on 8 June.

Photo of Jeremy Balfour Jeremy Balfour Conservative

I am sure that the minister will be aware that the Edinburgh Deaf Festival provides an accessible celebration of deaf culture, language and heritage alongside the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Unfortunately, the organisation has lost its funding from Creative Scotland, which is putting the whole festival at risk. Will the minister intervene to save a festival that works so hard towards the goals of equality, opportunity and community?

Photo of Kaukab Stewart Kaukab Stewart Scottish National Party

I absolutely agree with equality, inclusion and community. The member will appreciate that I have taken up my post only recently and that I need to take some time to familiarise myself with everything that is going on around that. I will be happy to engage with him in the very near future.

Photo of Foysol Choudhury Foysol Choudhury Labour

I, too, welcome Kaukab Stewart to her new post.

Congratulations.

The Scottish Government’s programme for government in September 2023 made commitments to renew culture by focusing on empowering communities. What update can the minister give on actions that the Scottish Government has taken since the publication of the programme for government to improve opportunities for community asset transfers for arts and culture organisations in Scotland’s most deprived areas?

Photo of Kaukab Stewart Kaukab Stewart Scottish National Party

I have previously stated that I am a great advocate of community asset transfers. Once again, I ask respectfully for patience while I get to grips with my portfolio, so I can come back with a more detailed answer that is specific to his question.

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

That concludes portfolio questions on the constitution, external affairs and culture. There will be a brief pause to allow the front-bench teams to change positions before we move on to the next portfolio questions.