Music, art, writing, theatre, dance and craft are not add-on 'extras' but are vital expressions of the health of any society. As Yann Martell puts it, in the final sentence of his introduction to 'Life of Pi'
'If we citizens do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams'
Or, more recently, from David (Lord) Puttnam
"one measure of any community wishing to regard itself as truly civilised is the quality and depth of its artistic achievement".
The Clyde Valley has a strong cultural identity and it is rich in cultural talent, professional and amateur. Especially in rural areas, folk tend to work in isolation and have relatively limited opportunities for self-publicity. This website is intended to celebrate their work and to help share it. It is hoped, also, to make it easier for people to find out what's going on - a concert, an exhibition or a group to join - and about how to contact those involved in these activities. There are several fine websites in the valley of the River Clyde but there's a place for one which is totally focused on local culture.
Visitors can look at the Showcase and enjoy the featured works therein. No quality decisions are made regarding artistic 'merit' but the aim is to present all that is received on a 'first come first served' basis and within certain size and layout limitations imposed by technical and financial resources.
This site receives no financial support from governments in Brussels, London, Edinburgh, Lanark or Hamilton or from any of the quangos and agencies attached thereto.
The Clyde valley is as much an attitude of mind as a well-defined geographical area. It covers approximately the area south of Hamilton, stretching down the River Clyde to Abington, swinging round by Strathaven and Lesmahagow in the west, and Broughton and Carnwath in the east. The website does not try to exclude the larger towns but it mainly targets those living and working in the more rural areas, because the larger towns and cities are already well catered for. But there are no firm boundary lines.
Clydevalley.net will serve its purpose well only if it is truly representative of all the cultural activity of the area. There are more people and groups out there and the site aims to add them to its listings gradually.