WWDN, a Dumfries & Galloway Project, Secure Major Funding

The Stove Network has been awarded funding through Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, to support the design and delivery of WWDN (What We Do Now) a Creative Placemaking Network that aims to support and build partnerships between artists and community organisations, co-creating with communities to develop projects, visions, and enterprise across Dumfries & Galloway.


Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is one on the UK’s largest independent funders focusing on three main aims: to improve Our Natural World, secure A Fairer Future and nurture Creative, Confident Communities.


The funding award for WWDN will support the project, over the next two years, to establish itself as a sustainable network for the region that will drive forward community-led work and support the growth of activity, resource, expertise, and knowledge in creative placemaking.


Katharine Wheeler, WWDN Project Director comments;

“We are delighted to be receiving support from Esmée Fairbairn for the establishment of WWDN for Dumfries and Galloway. It is a real testament to the work we have all been doing together across the region to think more strategically and innovatively about how creativity and culture is used to make a real difference for communities and for the individuals involved. I would also like to add a thank you to Scotland’s Culture Collective programme, if it wasn’t for this innovative approach to funding the initial pilot, What We Do Now would not exist”


The WWDN Network will support a programme of activity aimed at building relationships between artists, local community organisations and cross sector partners, using creative activity to spark and explore ideas within their communities and work to establish the support, capacity and resource for network members to take those ideas forward.


WWDN is the result of The Stove Networks exploration of creative placemaking, initially through the Embers Report, with written contributions from Carnegie Trust UK and support by South of Scotland Enterprise. The Embers Report consulted with 21 community organisations across Dumfries & Galloway, establishing a deeper understanding of ‘creative placemaking’ and proposing a networked approach to the way it can support communities to use creativity as a catalyst for regeneration and community-led development.


The impact of this approach for communities and those involved is significant, with one such being the pathways and opportunities that it opens up for young people to be active, innovative and confident in realising their ideas and ambitions.


Karen Ward-Boyd of The Holywood Trust adds;

“It is excellent news that The Stove Network has secured funding from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, within such a competitive funding climate, to further develop creative placemaking through ‘What We Do Now’. Its work to date has provided inspiration, confidence, and opportunities for young people across Dumfries and Galloway to become involved in their local community, it has also given them a voice. The programme will provide further routes for young people’s creative development and potential career pathways within the creative and cultural sectors.”


The network will launch officially in the new year but for those that want to stay up to date you can sign up to the WWDN mailing list and follow the progress – Find out more about WWDN at www.whatwedonow.scot

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