Decorate/ Disrupt: what’s the role of art in transforming public services?

Fire Starter Festival

Decorate/ Disrupt: what’s the role of art in transforming public services?

by Fire Starter Festival
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The second event in the event series curated by Fire Starter Festival about exploring the influence of the arts on public services. #fsf2020

About this Event

We live in an era of economic, political and social instability characterised by uncertainty and unpredictability. The intractable nature and complexity of challenges, such as climate change, homelessness and growing inequalities have raised fundamental questions about the design, culture and practices of all public services. But…. do these unique challenges also provide an opportunity to “develop the capacity to imagine the world as otherwise”?

Do arts provide an opportunity to stimulate imagination and experience differently. Can we create new ways of being together that recognise and work with complexity, encouraging different forms of collective meaning-making? Can artists disrupt our thinking and habitual patterns? Is it their role to provoke, to kindle our imagination? Or, do they provide decoration rather than provocation?

And, if we assume that art can make things better, who is defining “better”? What proof do we have of this ‘better’?

To engage with this debate, and provoke rather than please us, we are delighted to welcome:

Jocelyn Cunningham, Director of Lancaster Arts (previously director of Arts and Society, RSA).

Anthony Schrag, Artist and lecturer at Queen Margaret University

Paul Gorman: Creative Director with Hidden Giants.

Leonie Bell: Strategic Lead, Paisley Partnership Cultural Regeneration, Renfrewshire Council.


This event is the second event in the ‘Exploring the influence of the arts on public services’ series on 28 January 2020. The series is curated by the Fire Starter Festival events team and hosted by various partners. The event is part of Fire Starter Festival 2020. #fsf2020

Fire Starter Festival (FSF) is an annual three week festival highlighting and celebrating innovation and creativity in Scottish public services, with a particular focus on transformational change. It allows people from all aspects of public service to showcase and share the innovative and creative ways they are making a difference to Scotland. Please check out all the different events in our FSF events calendar. The festival runs between 27 January and 14 February 2020.

Other events in the series are:

The Art of the Impossible: the producer competencies (28/01/2020 : 09:30-12:30)

Trailblazing dialogue walks for Scotland (28/01/2020: 16:00 – 19:00)


Date And Time

28-01-2020 @ 13:00
@ 15:30


36 King's Stables Road, Whitespace, Edinburgh, Scotland

Event Category

ArtsCommunityConflictCreativityDialogueDisruptionInnovationLearningPlaySystems approaches

Registration End Date


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