Artists valued by Scottish society

13 September 2002, United Kingdom

Research recently commissioned by the Scottish Arts Council (SAC), has illustrated the great importance many Scots attach to the role of artists in creating a good image of their country. According to a media release, 90% of the more than 2,000 Scots surveyed said that the success of Scottish artists, performers and writers gives them a sense of national pride. With 89% noting that such success gives the outside world a good impression of Scotland, and that Scottish artists are important people who contribute to society. The findings from part of a regular independent survey commissioned by the SAC; Attendance at, Participation in and Attitudes towards the Arts in Scotland. The research indicates that many Scots think that the arts are crucial in developing personal, social and economic benefits and that they should receive government support. The report also indicates that four out of five adults in Scotland take part in some form of arts or cultural activity, although the number has fallen since the last survey from 85 per cent in 1998 to 78 per cent. In commenting on the survey, SAC Director Graham Berry, noted that it was encouraging to see the majority of Scottish adults participating in arts and culture, but changes in lifestyle were contributing to the slight drop. 'Other surveys tell us that there are huge demands on people’s leisure time. The fall in present levels of participation could be due to changes in lifestyle, eg the fact that the UK has the longest working week in Europe or the fact that the average person watches over 20 hours of television per week,' Mr Berry said. Berry added that the SAC and other organisations within the arts sector are working hard to break down perceived barriers by introducing arts into areas with little arts activity, and by developing initiatives that attract these audiences into arts venues. Further details on the survey are available online at;