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Arts / Island art manifesto advocates ‘transformative change’

ARTISTS from Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles have come together to produce a “manifesto” highlighting the impact of arts from the islands.

The document, called Even Here, Even Now, calls for policy makers to make “transformative change”.

It says that without acknowledgment and support for island-based arts, “communities are at risk of losing their cultural richness”.

The manifesto’s creators include Helen Robertson and Barry Nisbet from Shetland, Sandra Kennedy from the Western Isles, as well as Jamilla Garrett, Arwen Haselden and Niamh Haselden from Orkney.

They also took part in Culture Collective, a network of 26 participatory art projects, shaped by local communities alongside artists and creative organisations.

Shetland Arts’ creative project programmer Kathryn Spence managed the initiative with support from Carol Dunbar from Pier Arts Centre, in collaboration with An Lanntair and Taigh-Chearsabhagh.

“‘Even Here, Even Now’ sums up the spirit, resilience and creativity that define our island arts communities,” Spence said.

“This manifesto is about change and ensuring that island arts thrive and contribute fully to our cultural landscape.”

Some challenges the manifesto lists is public transport, digital connective, the price of travelling to the mainland and higher energy costs.

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