The Stove Network in Dumfries recently won a place for Dumfries and Galloway in the Culture Collective – a major Scottish initiative for culture and creativity to play a key role in the nation’s long-term recovery from the COVID pandemic.
The Stove’s project ‘What We Do Now’ joins a national portfolio of work across Scotland and is a bold, collaborative project working with creative freelancers/artists, communities and local community organisations across Dumfries & Galloway. Today, The Stove have launched a national call for artists to work on this exciting initiative.
Of the twelve commissions available, ten will be awarded to creative freelancers/artists to work for a year with one of five towns in D&G and initiate creative projects with key sections of each respective community. Shared learning and support for artists, groups and organisations is a crucial element of the project and opportunities will be split between ‘established’ and ‘emerging’ artists/creative practitioners to provide work for freelancers who have been particularly hard hit at this time and also to invest in a lasting legacy of skills for the region. A further two creative freelancers will work with the core project team of The Stove on the creative documentation and digital delivery of the project.
Commissioned artists will work with communities in five towns across Dumfries & Galloway, supported by anchor organisations in each place: Stranraer Millennium Centre in Wigtownshire, A’ the Airts in Sanquhar, Outpost Arts in Langholm, LIFT D&G in Northwest Dumfries and Castle Douglas Development Forum in the Stewartry.
Katharine Wheeler, Partnerships and Project Development for The Stove commented: “These opportunities are an invitation to artists to re-emerge, to experiment and play with new ideas in collaboration with communities across Dumfries & Galloway. ‘What We Do Now’ is itself an experiment in how creativity, arts practice and community can work to realise new possibilities, to engage and platform the voices often unheard in our places and ‘build back better’ in the aftermath of COVID-19.
The Stove is an organisation that has had collective freelance creative practice at its core for over ten years in embedded community arts practice, and we’re delighted to be able to continue to use this experience to engage creative freelancers and support them in collaborating with communities, community groups and their peers across the project.”
The Stove has just gone live with this national call-out and is encouraging experienced practitioners as well as those who are new to community-engaged methods of working to come forward. Commissioned artists will have access to the relevant experience and skills of The Stove and their partners including regional arts organisations (Wigtown Book Festival, DG Arts Festival and Upland).
‘What We Do Now’ is a vote of confidence in the role of creativity as part of the future of our society and, as such, looking for creative practitioners who want to be part of making a difference.
For more information and how to apply, please visit www.thestove.org/what-we-do-now