Orkney Arts Forum was established in 2000 to support development of arts and culture within Orkney. The Forum consisted of representatives from art forms including music, visual arts, literature, drama, dance, storytelling, craft, architecture, new media and film as well as key organisations and community groups. The Forum met quarterly to discuss priorities for the arts in Orkney and to act as a consultation group for the Arts Development service within Orkney Islands council, driving the Orkney Arts Audits in 2001 and 2003 and the recent 10 year arts strategy.
During 2017 the Arts Forum and Council worked together to develop a new arts development strategy and published 'Orkney’s Creative Future' in October 2017. The strategy identifies three key themes to scaffold Orkney’s future art and cultural activity, organisations and communities.
Children and young people will be able to harness their curiosity, imagination and problem solving skills to achieve educationally, secure employment and confidently navigate life. Through new friendships and dynamic partnerships artists and organisations will foster collaborative cultural leadership and a more resilient future for the arts.
We consider art as vital to the future of sustainability and resilience of our islands. Orkney’s landscape, unique culture and sense of place will continue to be a source of inspiration for artists. A readiness to experiment and innovate will help us to realise a creative and vibrant economy and a dynamic place where people choose to live and work.
Individuals and communities will be able to access and participate in a diverse range of high quality arts activity. Increased opportunities for people to experience the arts and also to become the creators of art will help improve mental and physical wellbeing, tackle social isolation and enable people to develop important skills.
These themes provide the focus for the next ten years and informed the 'Sector Aims and Ambitions 2017- 2019' arts development action planning. Both 'Orkney’s Creative Future' and 'Sector Aims and Ambitions' are available in PDF format from the 'Related Downloads' section of this page.
In 2020 there will be a review of the progress of 'Orkney’s Creative Future Strategy' in order to update the 'Sector Aims and Ambitions' and drive this plan forward.