Engage Scotland

Engage Scotland represents the Scottish body of Engage members, responding to training and networking needs within gallery education with a Scottish focus.

What do we need to ensure inclusive youth engagement in visual arts in Scotland as we emerge and recover from Covid-19?

Engage Scotland has been awarded Targeted Youth Arts Funding by Creative Scotland to deliver a project to support young people, visual arts organisations/galleries, and freelance artists in Scotland, to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’re particularly interested in tackling some of the pre-existing concerns around youth arts engagement with the visual arts that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with supporting new, innovative and creative models of working with young people, with a specific focus on tackling inequality.

Hannah Rye will work with Engage Scotland to coordinate the project, which runs until March 2022. She will be in touch with colleagues during spring 2021 as we look to understand what the visual arts sector needs to support youth engagement during this challenging time. Hannah has substantial knowledge and experience of developing and delivering arts engagement and learning programmes through previous roles at Edinburgh Printmakers, Imaginate, Edinburgh World Heritage, Cromarty Arts Trust, Youth Theatre Arts Scotland and Traverse Theatre.

We’re in the early stages of setting up the project and will be in touch soon, meanwhile feel free to contact Hannah on youtharts@engage.org with any thoughts on what support our sector needs.

Mapping contemporary visual art & design education in Scottish schools

In publishing the Culture Strategy for Scotland in February 2020, one of the Scottish Government’s actions was to collaborate to realise the transformational power of culture in achieving a broad range of policy outcomes. (5) A Culture strategy for Scotland,  https://www.gov.scot/publications/culture-strategy-scotland/pages/6/

This included partnering with Creative Scotland and Engage Scotland to undertake mapping research to identify best practice and barriers, developing new approaches to supporting schools, teachers and pupils to engage more confidently with contemporary visual arts and design. Engage Scotland is seeking to commission a freelance researcher to undertake this project.

Refresh and reinvigorate your practice through Engage’s Spring Training programme which is open for bookings from gallery and visual arts learning practitioners from across the UK

Safeguarding and Child Protection training

As part of the Engage Spring Training Programme we are offering funded places to those working in the gallery and visual arts education sector to undertake an online e-learning course with NSPCC. Each CPD certified course can be completed at your own pace and in your own time. You can save your progress, exit and revisit the course at any time during the 12 months you have access. 6 places available per course

Most relevant to Engage members in Scotland is –

Child protection in Scotland

Do you need to understand your role in protecting children and young people in Scotland to keep them safe? Developed by subject matter experts specialising in child protection, the NSPCC’s e-learning course will give you a clear understanding of how to recognise, report and record concerns about a child’s welfare. Please visit the NSPCC website for full details: https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/training/child-protection-scotland-course

How to book

In order to reserve a place on one of the e-learning courses book a ticket below with Engage on Eventbrite. You will need to consent to Engage sharing your name and email address with the course provider in order to undertake the course. When you have booked a place, Engage will register you with the course provider, and you will receive an email invitation from them with the information you need to undertake the course.

To book:


Not going back to normal: Manifesto launch from Collective

New disabled artists manifesto

A new manifesto calling for radical change in the arts was launched last year. Not going back to normal has been created following an open call out to disabled artists. Published as a website and a book, the project combines visual art, poetry, manifestos and more, and includes contributions from 47 contemporary disabled artists living in Scotland.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, the world suddenly became interested in isolation, exclusion, and distance communication – issues which disabled people have experienced long before the pandemic. As the country locked down, disabled artists in Scotland were asked to re-imagine what ‘normal’ might look like in a radically accessible arts world.

Artists Harry Josephine Giles and Sasha Saben Callaghan have brought together contributions of art and ideas which show what the arts in Scotland could and should be like for disabled artists in the post-pandemic era.

Not going back to normal manifesto can be found here: https://www.notgoingbacktonormal.com/

About Not going back to normal

Not going back to normal was commissioned by a consortium of visual art organisations working together to address barriers faced by disabled artists in Scotland, made up of; Arika, Artlink, CCA, Collective (project producers), DCA, Glasgow School of Art Exhibitions, Project Ability, Scottish Sculpture Workshop.

The project is funded by Creative Scotland and Engage Scotland, and is independently managed and curated.

COVID-19 Update 

In response to the latest government guidance relating to COVID-19 (or Coronavirus), and in order to prioritise the health and wellbeing of our members, audiences and staff, Engage has made the following changes to our operations.   

The Engage Scotland Coordinator continues to work from home and the Engage Head Office team are now working remotely. Engage will continue to advocate for the gallery and visual arts education sector across the UK and internationally. 

Read more about Engage’s COVID-19 response here. 

COVID-19 support resources

Please get in touch if you have any suggestions for us at this time by emailing scotland@engage.org  

Engage Scotland, SCAN and the Scottish Artists Union launch Visual Arts Manifesto

Front page of the Visual Art Manifest

Engage Scotland has joined forces with the Scottish Contemporary Art Network and the Scottish Artists Union to create a 19 point manifesto focusing on workers’ rights and diversity in the visual arts. 

The Visual Arts Manifesto has been launched as a direct response to the current challenges facing the art sector as a whole and is our first public response to the new National Culture Strategy consultation process. 

The Manifesto sets out our policy demands but also our collective commitment to positive change. This vision and set of ambitions for the sector will help ensure that we maintain Scotland’s global reputation as a dynamic, innovative place for contemporary visual arts.