Tonight was my first official meeting as a member of The Arches board.
For those of you who don’t know The Arches, it is one of Europe’s leading cultural venues – an award winning, not-for-profit culture and arts venue and cafe bar and restaurant that occupies the massive cavernous space under Central Station in Glasgow. It plays host to some of Britain’s biggest club nights and an eclectic range of gigs, as well as exciting new theatre and visual art exhibitions.
During the past year, I have been talking to various audiences about boards – re-imagining their purpose and what they look and feel like so I’m excited to have the opportunity to practice what I preach! I’ve also been spending more time around cultural organisations through our work with bodies like Sync so it feels timely for the work I am doing as well.
My ambition for being part of the board at The Arches is to bring a fresh perspective and new ideas. I’m excited to be thrown into a space that is full of ambition, controversy and creativity. A role that has the potential to reinvigorate my love for Glasgow that recently, has sometimes wavered.
There are deeper questions around arts and creativity that I hope my time at The Arches will give me an excuse to spend time exploring. I believe an organisation like this, plays an important role in defining the creative industries and also educating the masses in what and who an ‘artist’ is. I’m interested in who and what defines a ‘creative industry’ because the perception of creativity and the arts is transforming, and now lives and thrives in worlds like social regeneration, design, innovation and digital. In Scotland, the blend between social and cultural value still has a long journey to go towards thriving – but I look at organisations like Zero Zero and the work of Tessy Britton down south and continue to be inspired by what can be achieved.
The bridge between these new systems and spaces is fascinating and full of challenges and I hope I can offer at least some interesting questions and opinions that will open up new connections and opportunities. I also think it is a challenge for any business of any shape or size to maintain a sense of what is happening at the edge of boundaries and the blurring of disciplines. I hope I can bring some insight from those boundaries and blurred lines to The Arches.
I’m looking forward to being part of an organisation that is breaking down traditional notions of what an arts venue should be and proudly offering emerging artists a platform for risk taking – values that I admire and believe in.