WE all value culture and diversity.

It’s what defines us, whether it’s language, religion, art, music or any other aspect of it.

We can, without effort, point to examples of cultural activity and institutions which enrich us, provide valuable opportunities for citizens, break down barriers, combat inequalities, and provide essential means of engagement and expression.

Our more formal cultural institutions including civic museums, galleries and venues, are some of the most celebrated around the world.

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This is due to the vast collections which they hold, for the experience they provide for citizens, visitors and artists, and for the central role they play in contributing to the important conversations of the day. Our civic museums are described as holding the “finest civic collection in the UK”.

You may have noticed the fanfare and excitement of Banksy being in town. It is a landmark moment for our city and for the Gallery of Modern Art.

It demonstrates the importance of these spaces in providing access to a range of artists, including those who challenge power structures and bring art to wider audiences.

Who isn’t moved by Banksy’s reason for coming to Glasgow?

It’s clearly because we are a city of creativity, culture, and also, the Duke of Wellington has a cone on his head.

We are a city with a sense of humour. 

It’s in our culture and this has positively reinforced our city’s sense of identity.  

Glasgow is rightly respected for its cultural assets and infrastructure.

We were once chosen as a City of Culture.

Glasgow is one of only 40 Unesco Cities of Music in the world. We have invested heavily in our cultural infrastructure and it shows.

International audiences continue to be attracted to our city’s cultural programming. Glasgow is producing some of the best creative talent around.   

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Yet Glasgow’s cultural institutions and artists are suffering from reduced funds.

The council’s latest budget has seen some of the worst cuts ever landed on Glasgow Life, our museums and galleries.

This is affecting opening hours, conservation work, collections and exhibitions and learning for our young people.  

It’s easy to say we need more money.

However, the case for increased funding for Glasgow’s cultural assets is very strong.

Despite the international importance of many of our museums, galleries, music and event spaces, and that these contribute to Scotland’s wider economy, we barely get national funding for them. 

Glasgow as the economic powerhouse of Scotland continues to pay for these assets largely out of local budgets.

There is £27 million spent every year effectively as a subsidy by Glasgow City Council to keep our cultural assets and programmes running.  

We have to ensure that funding gaps are filled to protect and enhance culture for the benefit of our citizens, artists, events and future prosperity.

There is a need for the work on the transient visitor levy to be accelerated to help provide this financial support.

The Scottish Contemporary Arts Network has just launched its Artists Make a Better Future campaign.

Let us support our artists, celebrating the good work they are doing, and ensure that Glasgow’s culture flourishes.