1. Introduction by Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland
As First Minister, I see the richness and diversity of culture in communities across Scotland. Literature is of course one of the great joys of my life - there is currently an extraordinary wealth of quality writing in Scotland.
I also see the benefit arts festivals bring to cities, towns and communities across the country; the way in which cultural events and projects can inspire everyone from the very young to the very old; and the impact our artists and national companies have when they perform overseas. In all of these ways, and many more, I see how culture inspires, sparks emotions and creates new connections.
The value of a strong culture and creative sector cannot be overestimated. Through sustaining and nurturing culture, we are investing in the future cultural, social and economic success of Scotland. For all these reasons, the Scottish Government values culture in and of itself. And we also recognise its wider impact. Culture brings people to live, work and do business here, and shapes our reputation as a warm, welcoming, open, progressive nation.
By investing in and strengthening culture, we are investing in the future cultural, social and economic success of Scotland.
That's why we attach such importance to this culture strategy. The strategy has been informed by our national culture conversation, and by the many gatherings that took place across the country. It considers how we can ensure that culture continues to provide enjoyment and enrichment for future generations.
The strategy is underpinned by actions to support the sector, build new partnerships and help communities develop and celebrate their own culture. It also challenges the public sector to think about how culture can make Scotland a country which is fairer, greener, more inclusive, more innovative and more creative. And it makes clear that culture is a cross-government priority - one which all ministerial portfolios in the Scottish Government contribute towards.