THE role that culture plays in recovery and renewal is to be investigated by a panel of experts including Dame Evelyn Glennie.

Individuals and organisations from across Scotland are being urged to sign up for the online Catalyst Conference which will look at how culture can help recovery from the pandemic and seek to create new partnerships across a range of sectors.

Glennie said it was a chance to find solutions to a whole range of issues that exist not only in Scotland but across the world.

“I feel very honoured to have been asked to speak at the Catalyst Conference, an event that has such a firm focus and belief in the power culture has to bring about positive change, not least as we continue to exist in the wake of the pandemic,” she said.

Organised by award-winning Curated Place, the conference will feature speakers from the arts, education, heritage, tourism and business sectors.

Director Andy Brydon said the importance of culture, particularly in the wake of Covid-19, could not be over emphasised.

“Culture has given communities the world over an opportunity to respond to the shared trauma of the pandemic and demonstrated its critical role as the social glue that supports our mental health, our communities, and forms our shared memories,” he said.

“In more practical terms, culture tells the stories that need to be told, in a way that has an impact. Whether this is raising awareness of environmental issues, or helping give voice to the oppressed community within any given society, culture holds the key to communicating the needs of the collective. The opportunity to create pulls together the threads of individual experience as well as giving a renewed purpose to the shared public spaces we inhabit in a digital world that has transformed the retail and service role of our town and city centres.”

The “increasing” cultural inequalities is one of the issues that will be investigated at the conference, he said.

“By getting everyone in a (albeit virtual) room together, we hope to continue existing and generate new action addressing how we can best enable culture to support everyone from local business owners to art collectives,” said Brydon.