This article contributes to theorizing on multiculturalism by countering some previously identified criticisms of the notion of minority integration through cultural recognition. This is achieved by drawing on empirical evidence on identity construction and negotiation by minority ethnic communities through engagement in the arts.The socio-political context of the study is devolved Scotland, where multiculturalism is entangled with issues of national self-definition. The study reveals considerable interest by minority ethnic communities in engaging in the arts, particularly those associated with their ethnic background. However, such efforts are constrained by structural and cultural relations and differential power to claim resources from public organizations. The article argues that in the devolved context, minority ethnic communities' ability to claim interpretive space in the public arena is crucially dependent on the extent to which their claims to evolving representations of national culture are recognized within a wider drive to promote separate nationhood. Copyright © 2008.