After a year which could be charitably described as ‘challenging’ Creative Scotland, the public sector body created help Scotland’s artistic, cultural and creative individuals, companies and organisations, has announced it has a new chief executive.
Janet Archer, currently Director of Dance at Arts Council England, will take up her new role on 1 July 2013.
At Arts Council England she conceived the ‘Dance Mapping’ project which looked at the work, challenges and opportunities of over 1400 practitioners, companies and promoters throughout England. She was involved in developing Arts Council England’s ten year framework for the arts: Achieving Great Art For Everyone, and led the team that delivered the State of the Arts 2012 conference.
A former dancer and choreographer, Archer currently chairs the Glasgow-based artist-led dance organisation, The Work Room, and has worked with the British Council on programming its Edinburgh showcases. Before joining ACE in 2007 Archer was Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Dance City, the Newcastle-based national dance agency. She also set up and was Artistic Director of the Nexus Dance Company.
Miss Archer’s appointment follows the resignation of the organisation’s former CEO, Andrew Dixon, who resigned towards the end of 2012, following widespread criticism of Creative Scotland from a wide range of artists and practitioners.
Since then Creative Scotland has embarked on a country-wide consultation, with a series of public sessions designed to identify where Creative Scotland’s role within the creative and cultural sector, as well as issues faced by the organisation and artists/creators alike.
In a statement from Creative Scotland, Archer said:
I am thrilled and excited at the chance to take on this important role for the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland. The passion and intelligence emerging out of recent debate has reinforced the vital role that Creative Scotland has to play as a partner and facilitator.
These conversations are evidence of a genuine dynamic at work in the country, and a real desire to make the best use of the fantastic resources of intellectual and human capital available to us. I’m simply delighted to have the opportunity to contribute towards Scotland’s creative future and look forward to working with people everywhere to unlock talent, drive opportunity, and grow artistic and cultural capital for this amazingly ambitious nation.
Sir Sandy Crombie, Chair of Creative Scotland, said of the appointment:
We are all looking forward to working with Janet and the senior management team in building on the feedback and relationships with arts practitioners throughout Scotland…. The board was impressed with her policymaking and partnership skills and knowledge across the whole field of the wider arts, screen and creative industries.
We shall look forward to seeing the organisations plans for the interactive and digital sectors in the coming months. A recent speech by Culture Minister, Fiona Hyslop, highlighted a more open approach to arts and culture from the government, with less focus on the commoditisation of the arts and financial return upon investment, a key concern of many artists in Creative Scotland’s approach.
She even mentioned the games industry. Briefly.