There have been magnificent performances in theatres, concert halls and at every form of festival.
These have inspired shows in galleries and groundbreaking work in disciplines across all aspects of culture in Scotland this year.
That 2012 has been the Year of Creative Scotland has been irrelevant to most of this activity. Much of it, for example a dedicated train from London to RockNess, was largely a marketing exercise to attract tourists and, as such, is emblematic of the disconnect between Creative Scotland and the artistic community. The growing dismay over the operation of Creative Scotland, the national cultural finding body, has reached a watershed with a letter signed by more than 100 of the country's leading writers, artists, musicians, actors and directors asking for a fresh start and a radical overhaul of policies and procedures. This is evidence of a fundamental flaw in the way the arts are funded and supported in Scotland. It must be treated seriously.
Although the removal of fixed-term flexible funding from more than 40 arts organisations triggered particular dissatisfaction with Creative Scotland, the current widespread anger is about more fundamental issues. This is not a strop by aggrieved artists who have been denied funding: as the letter states, it is not about money but management. Many of the signatories are highly distinguished and lauded far beyond Scotland. They include Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of the Queen's Music; Turner Prize winners Richard Wright and Martin Boyce and the poet Don Paterson, winner of a clutch of literary prizes and the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.
There can be no doubt of the scale of the problem or that fresh impetus is urgently required. It is clear that trust between Scotland's artistic community (which was so recently thriving) and the funding body has been eroded. The Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop has already urged Creative Scotland to be more transparent in its dealings with artists and arts companies. She has defined its primary role as investing in artists, talent and quality production of the arts and film. It would appear that those at the top in Creative Scotland have much ground to make up. They should do so promptly and wholeheartedly while there is time.
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