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Posted by Sadie Stoddart - July 2019

As part of my internship with Circus Artspace I was introduced to the Scottish Contemporary Art Network’s Art in Action Campaign.  The campaign’s aim is ‘ champion the valuable role visual art plays within communities across Scotland – and to call for stronger recognition of this value when it comes to decision-making.’  The Scottish Government has stated its desire to place culture at the heart of a future Scotland, but the portion of the Scottish Government budget that currently goes to culture is less than 1%, with visual arts just a part of that.  With this in mind I sent out invitations to local MSPs to come and see our first exhibition, Parade and to see for themselves’ during their summer recess, the important role art plays in our community. 


Rhoda Grant MSP kindly took up the offer and came for a visit to Circus Artspace within the Inverness Creative Academy.  On her visit she got to meet some of the Circus team, some of the artists exhibiting and got a behind the scenes look at the setup of the exhibition. The team talked about the collective, our plans for the future and how important art is for Highland life. We talked about how keeping local talent within the Highlands and Inverness, while encouraging new talent in, plays an integral part in having an open and culturally rich community. I got to talk about my experience as a recent graduate from Moray School of Art and now an intern with Circus.  


Opportunities in the Highlands are often hard to come by but thanks to the new Inverness Creative Academy and collectives like Circus Artspace it means that my desire and the desire of many new graduates and creatives to remain in Inverness and the Highlands is more hopeful. With the support from MSP’s such as Rhoda Grant, Scotland has a chance to lead the way with regards to investing in culture and creativity and become a more interesting and innovative place. 


To find out more about the campaign visit:

Or follow the hashtag #ArtinAction

The Press & Journal, Saturday 13 July 2019 

"The Circus Artspace internship programme is such an incredible opportunity which will encourage local graduate artists to stay in Inverness and to launch their career in the Highlands. 

I'm excited to see Circus Artspace grow and become an important organisation for contemporary artists in the Highlands." 

MSP Rhoda Grant 

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