The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere in partnership with Upland CIC has announced an autumn/winter events programme aimed at artists, makers, and owners of creative businesses.
Taking place at locations across Dumfries and Galloway, four free workshops invite professional artists and anyone involved in business within the creative sector to come together and discuss how to manage a successful and sustainable enterprise. Topics to be covered include how the UNESCO-designation region provides inspiration, resources, and promotional opportunities, and how artistic practice can be environmentally-friendly and profitable at the same time. The series is also designed to facilitate networking, allowing artists and business owners to make new connections with others who are working rurally and may be impacted by the relative isolation of self-employment and working alone.
As a UNESCO designation, the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere works to protect natural and cultural heritage that is recognised for its globally important. One of two UNESCO Biospheres in Scotland and seven in the UK, the organisation offers business development and marketing support aimed at bringing direct benefits to local enterprise and communities, including the micro-businesses and SMEs that are a key part of the southwest region’s economic landscape. This support includes the Biosphere Certification Mark, a trademarked accreditation for sustainable practice which has made fifty awards as of summer 2023. The GSA Biosphere’s programme is supported by core funders South of Scotland Enterprise and three local authorities including Dumfries & Galloway Council.
Upland CIC is D&G’s leading art, design, and craft development organisation, best known for its flagship annual open studio event, Spring Fling. Upland’s annual calendar includes workshops, exhibitions and collaborations aimed at sharing the excellence and innovation within the region’s creative arts. The organisation strives to nurture artistic development, supporting creative careers for new and established artists and benefiting the economy and sustainability of local communities.
Esther Tacke, the GSA Biosphere’s Business Engagement Officer, said, “Our region is known across Scotland and further afield for having produced eminent artists, writers, musicians and makers through centuries of creative endeavour, and our goal as a UNESCO Biosphere is to support the continuation of this tradition and D&G’s vibrant cultural scene. There are unique challenges to getting a creative business off the ground and making it sustainable, and it’s our privilege to be partnering with Upland to empower local enterprise through the exchange of experience and ideas.”
The Creatives & Sustainability workshops will take place in Kirkcudbright, Thornhill, Stranraer and Wigtown from October to January 2024 and are free to book on the GSA Biosphere’s Eventbrite page: www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/galloway-southern-ayrshire-unesco-biosphere-37030057543. Alternatively, please email [email protected] to reserve your place.