Tag Archives: Creative Scotland

Scottish Arts Council

Over the past 24 hours, I’ve been putting together a list of women either born or living in Scotland who could have been asked (but most of them weren’t) to be judges at the Creative Scotland Gala Awards Ceremony. There are currently over seven dozen names on the list: the list includes women who are not white, who are not able-bodied, who are not cisgendered, who are not straight.

None of this diversity is apparent to me in the Daily Record/Creative Scotland panel.

Between them, Creative Scotland and the Daily Record asked at least half a dozen women – Creative Scotland claims over a dozen were asked. None of the dozen women could manage it, and CS just gave up and decided to have an all-male panel: two men from the Daily Record, a man from Creative Scotland, a man from the BBC, a man from the Royal Conservatoire Scotland, and two writers: Tom Pow and Sanjeev Kohli.

I’m sure both Tom Pow and Sanjeev Kohli were fine judges. (Kohli could not be present for the judging, and cast his vote remotely.) This is not to decry the quality of the judges selected, but to point up that this failure to have even a gesture towards gender balance does not in any way reflect either the diversity of Scotland or the Scottish arts community, and certainly does not reflect well on Creative Scotland’s aspiration to put equality at the heart of its activity.
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Creative Scotswomen

The Creative Scotland Gala Awards Ceremony will be held on Thursday 13th December 2012, at Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow, from 6.30pm til late. All the judges are men.

Creative Scotland’s response on Twitter when asked why this should be: 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.

A discussion on Facebook includes Creative Scotland responses:

  • A broad range of arts, culture and media professionals were invited to form part of the judging panel. Invites were extended to those with specialist areas of knowledge across the cultural & media sector. Creative Scotland is committed to putting equality at the heart of its activity.
  • 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.
  • In response to a question by Mark Fisher Hi Mark, over a dozen female judges were approached to sit on the panel. Three were eventually confirmed but were unable to complete the process.

One of the judges, Sanjeev Kohli (‏@govindajeggy) said on Twitter: More seriously, I had to vote online in absentia & didn’t even notice the lack of females. Will bring it up. For clarity… as far as I’m aware the rest of the jury did deliberate in person. I couldn’t make it on the day.

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.

Update, 11am Friday 9th November

Question: If in about 24 hours, a handful of people on Twitter and Facebook could put together this kind of list (86 names so far), why did Creative Scotland only ask a dozen women and then give up, leaving their panel of judges men only?

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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.
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Filed under Equality, In The Media, Scottish Culture