CS Comedy Support Claim

Jul 29 2020 | By More

Creative Scotland claims “We do support comedy as an art form”

Creative Scotland has released a series of tweets defending its support for comedy in Scotland, saying it comes through support for venues, bridging bursaries and its Open Fund.

The statement comes in response to comedian Mark Nelson who has been using his role as compere of the Stand Comedy Club’s live Saturday Night shows to voice his criticism of Creative Scotland. He is not convinced, tweeting in reply that: “Sadly from the experience of our industry this claim of support is simply not true.”

Mark Nelson live on stage at the Stand Comedy Club during Lockdown. Screen-grab from live stream by Thom Dibdin

Nelson has itemised different comedians difficulties with gaining Creative Scotland support during the pandemic during his weekly rants.

Creative Scotland’s tweets come in a response to Nelson who has been tweeting the government arts agency directly, saying: “have you decided to recognise live comedy and music yet like your English and Welsh counterparts? If not can you give reasons why not? Thousands are out of work and not eligible to government bail out.”

In its Tweets, Creative Scotland said: “We do support comedy as an art form

“This is through our funding for performing arts venues across Scotland, our support for Festivals and our support for individuals.

“Our recent emergency Bridging Bursaries were available to freelance creative professionals who had lost earnings due to the cancelation of work as a result of COVID-19. This included those working in comedy.”

Open Fund

The Tweets also said that Creative Scotland’s Open Fund is currently open for applications, and that comedians are able to apply for funding through this process. Details of the Open Fund are here: Open Fund Link.

Creative Scotland continues: “We are bound by National Lottery conditions for the Open Fund, meaning its support can’t be used for running costs of venues. We absolutely recognise that due to the serious impacts of COVID-19, commercial venues that haven’t required public funding before are in need of support.

“The UK Government recently announced £97m of support for culture and heritage in Scotland. Following this announcement, we are waiting to hear more and are working with the Scottish Government to help define details. As soon as we have more info, we will make it available.”

However Nelson is not convinced by this. He tweeted: “Sadly from the experience of our industry this claim of support is simply not true.

“I hope however comedians will now get applications in their droves and be accepted unlike in the past. I also eagerly await your info on how the 97m from the government will be spent.”

Creative Scotland says it has updated its FAQs and coronavirus advice page with information about its support comedy.

Do you fund comedy?

Creative Scotland provides funding to a large number of venues, organisations and festivals who deliver comedy through their programmes, for example Tron Theatre (Glasgow), Eden Court Theatre (Inverness), The Beacon (Greenock), Aberdeen Performing Arts and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Individuals and organisations involved in comedy are welcome to apply to our Open Fund. Applications are assessed against published criteria, assessing artistic and creative quality, public engagement, effective management and the financial viability of the project from the information provided. Applicants are required to make the case for public funding by demonstrating their vital contribution in increasing quality and access to their work. (Link)

Do you recognise comedy as an artform?

We recognise comedy as a creative art and it is supported in a variety of ways, including support for writing, practice development, performance and production. Our support for comedy is delivered across a range of artforms including theatre, physical performance, music, film and spoken word. (Link)

Creative Scotland’s original Twitter Thread on its support for comedy is here: https://twitter.com/CreativeScots/status/1288466459581186051?s=20

Creative Scotland website: https://www.creativescotland.com


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