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Janet Archer

Janet took up her post at Creative Scotland in July 2013. Since that time she has appointed a new senior leadership team and produced a long term plan for the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland 'Unlocking Potential, Embracing Ambition'. Alongside this she has simplified Creative Scotland's approach to funding and begun implementing a new People Strategy for the organisation.

Prior to joining Creative Scotland, Janet spent 6 years at Arts Council England as Director, Dance, working as part of the national arts strategy team.

Before joining Arts Council England, Janet spent 16 years with the Newcastle based National Dance Agency, Dance City as Chief Executive and Artistic Director. Alongside this she was a founding member of the Newcastle and Gateshead Arts Forum, the Chair of Audiences North East, a Board member of the National Dance Network and Phoenix Dance Theatre.

What do you think are the main challenges of culture and democracy nowadays?

The biggest challenge all of us have as policy makers in the cultural space nowadays is change. Not just change in artistic or cultural trends, but increasingly change driven by technology, migration, population growth and the environment are all serious considerations that impact on our work. The world our children will inhabit will be very different to the world we live in today.  We need to adapt our strategies and policies to seed a cultural future for them that draws from our heritage but responds to new forms of expression and increasing demand for cultural democracy and interactivity across both digital and live experiences.

Another challenge we face as a funder is how to make choices in the context that we can never fund everyone. The process of decision making, of saying no, as well as yes, is inherently undemocratic. At Creative Scotland we are very careful to ensure we properly embrace equality, diversity and inclusion. However until such time as cultural entitlement as a human right for everyone is fully adopted and enough resources are allocated to provide for 100% access to arts and culture, funders will always have to make difficult choices. Making them well in a considered and evidence based way using proper expertise to inform decision making is therefore absolutely essential.