Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival Focuses on Performing Arts Development  

Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival focuses on Performing Arts Development 


With the release of its Support for Ambition programme, the success of its recent Network Meet-Up of local creatives, venue managers and promoters from Moffat to Stranraer, and new partnership with leading national company Magnetic North the Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival is offering artists in the region some significant skills development opportunities. 


Simon Hart, the organisation’s Director & CEO, said: We are proud to promote and celebrate the great work of local artists which adds so much to the cultural life and vitality of Dumfries & Galloway. Our SfA scheme provides funds for artists to take their early creative ideas and experiment and test them, to see if they want to take them further. This can be a long process but, as previous SfA recipient Tom Pow has demonstrated, this sort of start can lead to the success and acclamation of a show like The Village in the Road.   


Support for Ambition (SfA) is Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival’s initiative that enables venues and promoters to present performance events in the region by providing financial, promotional, and advisory support.  Through its Support for Ambition (SfA) scheme, Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival also helps regionally based creative performing arts practitioners to develop their artistic vision, and technical skills and working practices. This scheme also supports Dumfries & Galloway based performing arts venues to programme productions or events.


Performing arts venues in Dumfries and Galloway should be programming events in similar disciplines if they are looking to apply, with successful venues being eligible for financial, promotional and advisory support.


Venues can apply for a maximum of £1000, with Creative Practitioners allowance set at £3000.

The previous success of the Support for Ambition programme has provided an excellent platform for the organisation to re-launch in 2023. The team received many fantastic applications to be part of their programme in 2022, highlighting the high calibre of work that takes place in every corner of our region and showing how the industry is bouncing back after a hard period. The deadline for applications for this year’s SfA scheme, for both Venues and Creative Practitioners, is Monday the 30th of October 2023 at 12.00pm. Further information, including how to apply, can be found here.


Creative Practitioners: https://dgartsfestival.org.uk/arts-live/support-for-ambition-creative-practitioners/

Venues: https://dgartsfestival.org.uk/arts-live/support-for-ambition-venues/


The Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival recently hosted their first Network Meetup in Castle Douglas, on the 28th September 2023. This Network Meetup allowed venues, artists, promoters and creative practitioners to get together to share ideas, collaborate and support the development of the performing arts industry. The meet up gave organisations across the region the chance to discuss the arts sector within Dumfries and Galloway, and offer advice on areas where improvement is needed. This event was an excellent example of the performing arts development opportunities that the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival aim to host more of throughout 2024. There are already plans in place to host a similar type of event in the new year. The date for the next upcoming Network Meetup is planned to be the 7th of March 2024.


Magnetic North is an award-winning theatre company based in Edinburgh. They aim to give artists from a range of disciplines and backgrounds the nourishment, focused support and production opportunities needed to continue developing and creating great work throughout their careers. Rough Mix, in partnership with the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival and Magnetic North, is a paid creative lab for early-stage ideas and practice development: a two-week practical opportunity for artists to try out new ideas or new ways of working. It brings together a small core group of practitioners from different disciplines and gives them time to start developing new projects in a supportive and collaborative atmosphere. This opportunity focuses on mid-career artists, with an aim of developing already established creative ideas, projects and possibilities.


Rough Mix encourages boldness and innovation in the work of the artists who take part by giving them a unique opportunity to have a creative interaction with artists from different disciplines in a focused and supportive atmosphere. It is curated and led by Magnetic North’s Artistic Director Nicholas Bone, who has developed a distinctive and widely-respected approach to developing new work and creating links between artists and art-forms.


Previous participants include playwrights, choreographers, visual artists, film-makers, and composers. Previous editions of Rough Mix have been run in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Peebles, Perth, Auckland, Stirling and online. Rough Mix works effectively for artists who are open to stimulation from other artforms, want to explore new possibilities in their practice, and are keen to spend time engaging with other artists.


Rough Mix will take place at Cample Line, Thornhill, DG3 5HD, from 5–16th February 2024. Applications for this year’s Rough Mix will close on Monday 20th of November at 10.00am. More information regarding this opportunity and how to apply, can be found here. https://www.magneticnorth.org.uk/artist-development/roughmix


The Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival support people in the regions most rural areas to enable the experience of world class performing arts. These opportunities have always been at the heart of what the organisation has to offer but they will be creating a strategy to expand this offering over the coming years so get in touch with them if you’d like to know more.

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