A further update from the Senior Management Team of Creative Scotland ('Progress Update May 2013, downloadable from the Board section of their website, here ) announces Artists' Bursaries (with peer evaluation), an end to strategic commissioning as a policy, and more updates to come, plus a full commentary on the Open Sessions.
It's safe to say that a lot of people now are more aware of the issues, politics and structures surrounding government funding of the arts than they were a year ago. As Angus Farquhar said in his provocation at the Open Sessions in Glasgow this month,
"..you are ‘state’ artists if you have taken public money and what the state deems worthy of funding as expressed through its cultural policies ultimately dictates the direction of Creative Scotland, where funding is focused, what it is spent on and how much is spent. We are all indirectly political artists whether we like it or not". (quote taken from Pat Kane's blog).
It doesn't stop there. State funding of the arts is only one small segment of the wider sphere of cultural policy. Is it a coincidence that Scottish artists are waking up to the existence and meaning of that phrase during the countdown to the Scottish Independence Referendum next year? Perhaps artists are the canaries in the coalmine, highly sensitive to the gaseous vapours emanating from the political bowels of the earth.
Whatever the reason, conversations are happening which wouldn't - couldn't - have happened even two years ago. Even though there has not yet, as I write, been a puff of white smoke from the chimneys at Waverley Gate heralding a new CEO of Creative Scotland, there's some cause for optimism.