Creative Scots

The Creative Scotland Gala Awards Ceremony will be held on Thursday 13th December 2012, at Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow, from 6.30pm til late. (Dress: Black Tie) Sponsored by The Daily Record, Creative Scotland, Event Scotland, YoungScot, and Education Scotland.

Creative Scotland puts equality at the heart of its activity, and we aim to acknowledge and reflect the diversity in Scotland today in all our work … Providing leadership through best practice in our own organisation.

The Judging Panel for the Creative Scotland Awards 2012:

  • Allan Rennie – Editor, The Daily Record
  • Iain Munro – Director of Creative Development, Creative Scotland
  • Paul English – Arts & Entertainment Writer, The Daily Record
  • Andrew Lockyer – BBC, Executive Producer of The Culture Show and The Review Show
  • Sanjeev Kohli – Writer, actor, comedian
  • Tom Pow – Poet
  • Aaron Shorr – Royal Conservatoire Scotland

All men. Nobody responsible for putting together the panel of judges evidently thought it matters if Creative Scotland’s awards “acknowledge and reflect the diversity in Scotland today” in the most simple and basic of ways: by having a panel of judges that included representatives from half the population.

Acknowledging that it was pretty much inevitable that Allan Rennie and Iain Munro must be asked to be judges, since sponsorship has its due rewards, that leaves five places: for an evenly balanced panel, three or four of those places should have gone to women.

The general areas that appear wanted were a newspaper’s arts and entertainment writer, a TV producer, two creative Scots (writer, poet, actor, comedian), and a representative from further education in music, dance, or drama.

Specific issues about finding a senior TV producer who isn’t male are discussed here.

But no organisation in a modern Scotland should think it acceptable to come up with a panel that’s all male.

Creative Scotland’s response on Twitter was A broad range of arts & culture professionals were invited to form part of the judging panel. Female judges were selected but were unable to take part.

This is an initial list that it would be great to expand on. Tagged #CreativeScotsWomen on Twitter, or add as a comment here. (The Women’s Room UK is doing a similar and much more broadly-scoped project to list women experts for the BBC and other media.)

If Creative Scotland asked even half of the women on this list and they were all unable to take part on that Thursday evening, I want to know what party they’re all invited to, because that would be the best evening out ever.

On Twitter:

See Creative Scotswomen for the ongoing, updated list.

Update, 9th November

Phil Miller, State of the Arts: just when you thought it was safe to go on holiday:

The Creative Scotland Awards, someone said to me this week, once designed as a triumphant conclusion to the Year of Creative Scotland, now rather resembles the dry rimshot at the end of a very long bad joke. I know some at Creative Scotland wish they weren’t happening at all, for sure. Maybe it will be a fun night at the Kelvingrove. It’s being described as an event “unlike any other awards”. Yes, I’m sure it will be. But having a long but male-only judging panel, which has caused many waves this week, seems yet another example of an easily avoided own goal.

Andrew Dixon on The Creative Scotland Awards:

We understand that the Creative Scotland Awards have not been without their controversy. While the judging panel does, absolutely, include a cross section of high level expertise in arts and culture, it does not, unfortunately, include any women. This was not our intention. Several judges, including women, pulled out at a late stage meaning our final panel did not have the demographic profile we would have liked and we apologise for that.


Filed under Equality, In The Media, Scottish Culture

10 responses to “Creative Scots

  1. M Boyd

    Surely the real question here is what all these publicly funded bodies are doing in a time of restraint funding a lavish black tie evening for establishment figures?

    • I assume that it’s a fundraising evening – nominees get complimentary tickets, Everyone else pays through the nose.

    • I assumed incorrectly! From Facebook “The majority of the seats will be allocated on a complementary basis to the finalists. The awards – a partnership between The Daily Record and Creative Scotland – are planned to offer an opportunity to celebrate a wide variety of cultural success stories during 2012, the Year of Creative Scotland. A limited number of seats are being made available to private sector organisations at a cost of £100 per head, which will go towards covering the cost of the event.”

  2. Hannah McGill

    All agreed – but I object to this putting together of lists, actually, because we shouldn’t have to beg for them to notice people who are clearly prominent, accomplished, and highly visible to anyone with their eyes open. We are not a minority in need of special pleading: we are very evident. All they had to do was look beyond the end of their dicks. If you’ll excuse my language.

    • Totally agree. But, I think the impact of all these people who somehow couldn’t be asked is more effective when we see a list of names that when we Just point out there’s a lot of women, without the names.

  3. Language excused, Hannah! A party of women writers sounds a greta idea . . . but let’s all continue trying to keep Creative Scotland on its toes!

  4. I am not being facetious here, but as the only published Asian- Scot woman writer should I be included in your list?

  5. Shelagh C

    i always thought 90% of staff at CS were women (am I mistaken?) or it is the old glass ceiling again?

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