Tomorrow morning I’m heading down the road to Livingston to attend the Voluntary Arts Scotland Conference (VAS).
VAS is a fantastic organisation, with a wealth of information online, and a supportive and friendly team behind the scenes. Seeking to promote participation in the arts and crafts by supporting the development of the voluntary arts sector, VAS offers help and support to organisations, groups and individuals who engage in the voluntary arts.
There are an estimated 2 million people in Scotland who participate in arts and crafts, 9,400 organisations and 263,400 volunteers in the voluntary cultural sector. Volunteer work within the arts sector is imperative to the future and sustainablity of organisations and groups. I myself spent six months volunteering for Stills Gallery in Edinburgh between 2008 and 2009. As a volunteer you have to be dedicated, committed and passionate about what you can do and need to do as a volunteer. There are obvious downsides, no pay, although you are now able to sign on to job seekers allowance if you are volunteering, and there is the risk of being taken advantage of. However on a positive note, volunteering and volunteering for the arts is a right of passage we all must pass through, if you envisage a career within the arts and cultural sector.
So, on Friday and Saturday this week I’ll be attending a number of workshops, talks and seminars looking at issues such as the new Creative Scotland body, how we can measure the impact of arts and crafts on communities, fundraising, the protection of vulnerable groups and the legacies of the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
I’ll be online and active throughout the conference, so hopefully there will be some interesting items to report!
Check out VAS at http://www.voluntaryarts.org