‘festivals serve the important social function of creating identity and helping to weld communities’(from "The Social Impact of the Arts" by C Landry)
We aim to preserve the intangible cultural heritage (ICH) of the town of Paisley.
The historic environment of Paisley is made up of both tangible things (such as buildings, monuments and landscapes) and intangible associations (for example, stories, traditions, songs).
"Historic Environment Scotland" in their policy statement (which we strongly align with) says: "The historic environment is therefore about more than just physical things. It’s about those aspects of culture that have shaped our understanding of ourselves throughout our history: informing our perceptions of our place in the world, our relationships with each other, and the places in which we live."
We strive to present works which keep the cultural heritage alive in the wealth of heritage buildings in the town.
By producing and facilitating arts events which are woven into the fabric of this historic town we hope to put arts heritage at the centre of our mission. Our outlook is to foster "Democratic Culture", which is achieved through the people of the town actively participating in tomorrow's cultural heritage. The Arts Council in Ireland put forth the view that ‘festivals encourage participation in creative activity in people of all ages, from all levels of society’ (Arts Council, 1992)
Arts festivals in the UK have long been bridging the gap between the "high arts" and the popular and community arts. This is at the heart of what we aim to do. Not only do we work with "outside companies" to bring the best in cutting-edge contemporary arts to the town but also instigate the collaboration between these visiting companies and the local artists in the town.
Diversity and inclusion is of primary concern in everything we do and the equality of opportunity for participants and audiences alike. As one study put it: ‘all people, wherever they might live, have the right to access to the arts and ... the right to cultural self-determination’ (Cloake, 1995, p. 15). We strive to make our events as accessible as possible to those who may never have experienced cultural events before, by means of a strand of outreach which runs parallel with our events.
"the majority of arts festivals emerged as ‘bottom-up’ initiatives and developed organically, often crystallising around the energies of a small group of highly committed artists" (from "Arts festivals, urban tourism and cultural policy")
Freelance artists made up only 3.6% of the board members of arts organisations (according to Arts Council England), the Board, Committee and members of TAF are all freelance artists (as well as being: University Professors, Arts Administrators, School Teachers, Community Workers).
Since the 1980s there has been a huge explosion of festivals in the UK. Cultural policy makers have long been aware of the value of festivals to the inward investment of towns and cities. Often, these festivals are seen as a first step towards a more sustainable year-round cultural activity. "Tannahill Arts And Heritage" who run the annual "Tannahill Arts Festival" also produce events throughout the year and we see this as the best way to advance social and economic goals for the town of Paisley in the future.
We are supported by a large network (including venue managers, promoters, events producers, sound technicians, etc), who become partners when the festival is on, and who help us make the festival happen.