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News

Scottish Cultural Manifestos for 2021

Scottish Cultural Manifestos for 2021

The excellent Culture Counts organisation has just launched their Cultural Manifesto ahead of the 2021 Holyrood Election.

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You can read it here

They have also started a page where they are gathering all other Cultural Manifestos being produced at this time

Particularly interesting, we think, to see ‘Place’ right at the top of the Culture Counts manifesto, given our recent experiences of connecting with different Scot Govt departments and agendas – Place looks to be a shared platform where ‘culture’ can definitely show its worth as a vital ingredient of building a healthy and inclusive society.

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Blueprint100 Musings

Trying to keep to 'creativity as usual' during lockdown

[vc_row type=”in_container” equal_height=”yes” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]I was invited by the Blueprint100 team at the beginning of the year to run the Tuesday night Open Studio sessions. Blueprint has always been supportive of new ideas and giving young artists opportunities to try things out so they were happy for me to bring something new to the table. This was a series of talks about ‘Buildings that housed vibrant artist communities’. Of course The Stove is a building that houses a vibrant artist community but I wanted to explore with the Blueprint100 members, similar vibrant communities from history and from around the world, to see what we could learn from them and be inspired by. So we did just that.

Open Studio Model Making Workshop
Open Studio Model Making Workshop with Thomas Logan

However in March just as I was about to hold the third talk and Open Studio, dun dun dun…we all know what happened next, Scotland went into lockdown and it was no longer possible to continue the sessions. So being creative and innovative folk, we decided to continue online (after all it was the new craze to go online!). Along with Katharine Wheeler of The Stove Curatorial Team and Stove IT and website whiz, Robbie Henderson, we created Online Rooms on the Blueprint100 website to offer members a place to go to stay involved, inspired and entertained.
I came up with four different rooms: talks, opportunities, creative pastimes and a members’ gallery. It felt really exciting to be able to continue what I’d started for Open Studio, but in a new format. It also provided an opportunity to add new sections to the website that would be really beneficial to members on top of doing the talks. I contacted the Blueprint members and asked them if they would like to exhibit their work in the members’ gallery and had a great response. It has always excited me how much young creative talent there is in Dumfries and Galloway, so to be able to help them to promote their work and show others a taste of the wonderful folk that come along to Blueprint felt great.

Online Rooms Promotional Graphic
A Promotional Graphic for Online Rooms which illustrates the layout of the main page

At the start of lockdown when I was setting up Online Rooms, I also found a lot of great resources on the creative websites that I follow on how to survive as an artist during lockdown. These resources included lists of remote job opportunities, funding options and general ways of keeping inspired and entertained. This was something that I thought would be really helpful for Blueprint Members so included it on Online Rooms.
For the talks on Online Rooms I shied away from doing live videos and went for pre-recorded. This not only took off the pressure for myself but gave everyone at home the option to pop on to the website and watch it whenever they liked. The talks that I did were about the Chelsea Hotel in New York, Outsider Artists, Artist Collectives and a Viewers Choice talk. So they were similarly about vibrant artist communities. I’m a big fan of watching documentaries so I tend to delve in to art interests in that way in my spare time, but doing these talks made me watch more of them, more often and do more reading too which was really enjoyable. I get so inspired and motivated by hearing about other artists and creative communities and I hope Blueprint100 members do too.
I’d definitely recommend making time every so often to look for some YouTube videos about your favourite creative interests, as it can lead you down new paths and find out new things about the art world that you never knew. I always felt motivated and inspired after doing the research, so I would suggest it as a great remedy to fixing creative blocks!
Overall I hope that the talks and resources on Online Rooms have helped Blueprint100 members to stay motivated, inspired and enthusiastic about creativity during lockdown.
This post was written by Community Artist & Blueprint100 Member, Kirsty Turpie.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Categories
Blueprint100 Musings

Trying to keep to ‘creativity as usual’ during lockdown

[vc_row type=”in_container” equal_height=”yes” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]I was invited by the Blueprint100 team at the beginning of the year to run the Tuesday night Open Studio sessions. Blueprint has always been supportive of new ideas and giving young artists opportunities to try things out so they were happy for me to bring something new to the table. This was a series of talks about ‘Buildings that housed vibrant artist communities’. Of course The Stove is a building that houses a vibrant artist community but I wanted to explore with the Blueprint100 members, similar vibrant communities from history and from around the world, to see what we could learn from them and be inspired by. So we did just that.

Open Studio Model Making Workshop
Open Studio Model Making Workshop with Thomas Logan

However in March just as I was about to hold the third talk and Open Studio, dun dun dun…we all know what happened next, Scotland went into lockdown and it was no longer possible to continue the sessions. So being creative and innovative folk, we decided to continue online (after all it was the new craze to go online!). Along with Katharine Wheeler of The Stove Curatorial Team and Stove IT and website whiz, Robbie Henderson, we created Online Rooms on the Blueprint100 website to offer members a place to go to stay involved, inspired and entertained.

I came up with four different rooms: talks, opportunities, creative pastimes and a members’ gallery. It felt really exciting to be able to continue what I’d started for Open Studio, but in a new format. It also provided an opportunity to add new sections to the website that would be really beneficial to members on top of doing the talks. I contacted the Blueprint members and asked them if they would like to exhibit their work in the members’ gallery and had a great response. It has always excited me how much young creative talent there is in Dumfries and Galloway, so to be able to help them to promote their work and show others a taste of the wonderful folk that come along to Blueprint felt great.

Online Rooms Promotional Graphic
A Promotional Graphic for Online Rooms which illustrates the layout of the main page

At the start of lockdown when I was setting up Online Rooms, I also found a lot of great resources on the creative websites that I follow on how to survive as an artist during lockdown. These resources included lists of remote job opportunities, funding options and general ways of keeping inspired and entertained. This was something that I thought would be really helpful for Blueprint Members so included it on Online Rooms.

For the talks on Online Rooms I shied away from doing live videos and went for pre-recorded. This not only took off the pressure for myself but gave everyone at home the option to pop on to the website and watch it whenever they liked. The talks that I did were about the Chelsea Hotel in New York, Outsider Artists, Artist Collectives and a Viewers Choice talk. So they were similarly about vibrant artist communities. I’m a big fan of watching documentaries so I tend to delve in to art interests in that way in my spare time, but doing these talks made me watch more of them, more often and do more reading too which was really enjoyable. I get so inspired and motivated by hearing about other artists and creative communities and I hope Blueprint100 members do too.

I’d definitely recommend making time every so often to look for some YouTube videos about your favourite creative interests, as it can lead you down new paths and find out new things about the art world that you never knew. I always felt motivated and inspired after doing the research, so I would suggest it as a great remedy to fixing creative blocks!

Overall I hope that the talks and resources on Online Rooms have helped Blueprint100 members to stay motivated, inspired and enthusiastic about creativity during lockdown.

This post was written by Community Artist & Blueprint100 Member, Kirsty Turpie.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Categories
News

Feedback – it's a real thing

From Moxie DePaulitte – The Stove Herald
Throughout the year, we like to make sure we keep in touch with all our members and ensure that everyone has chance to easily express their hopes, wants and needs relating to the development of The Stove and joint creation of a better Dumfries. Whether that be more formally at the members ‘Housewarming’ event; ‘Cultural Wayfinding’ sessions; via Tea with Moxie (yep, that’s still going if you want a natter and a cuppa!); at drop in sessions; during live events; the speechbubbles project; or just casual encounters in the street: the core team are keen to hear thoughts, suggestions and ideas on how to take things forward.

Moxie at work at Guid Nychburris
Moxie at work at Guid Nychburris

The Stove has really blossomed since opening its High Street doors earlier in the year and there are lots more exciting adventure on the horizon so here is just a quick recap of the kind of things you were asking for and what we’ve done by way of response.
Spoken Word and creative writing was very high on people’s agenda and an increase in events was suggested by many. April saw Open Mouth blast onto the scene with Sarah Indigo and Eryl Shields leading performance and creation workshops with school students during the day. The success of this has led to Brave New Words being developed into a regular Open Mic night at The Stove, the next of which is this coming Friday October 30th, and is open to all (musical or spoken word, Brave New Words is open to all original writing). In the run up to Christmas, various other word based events are planned, including Wagtongues Pop Up Bookshop at the end of November and there is an open-call out for new writing for exciting art installations in the closes of the town.

Brave New Words - poetry slam September 18th 2015
Brave New Words – poetry slam September 18th 2015

A number of conversations around food were sparked at the Housewarming event, perhaps sparked by the delicious Chai Tea made by Open Jar and the Bannocks baking on the open fire in the square! People were keen to harness the power of nourishment in all its senses, suggesting gatherings; gardening experiments where people could come to learn how to grown and learn how to cook seasonal produce; cup return schemes for our café and film evenings and talks linked to food and produce. We’ve also been in talks regarding community gardens, rewilding, and working with groups around the region to provide a chance to explore the lines where the act of growing becomes art.

The amazing Alic Thompson from Social Bite talking food and social enterprise at The Stove (http://www.social-bite.co.uk/)
The amazing Alice Thompson from Social Bite talking food and social enterprise at The Stove (http://www.social-bite.co.uk/)

The latter was explored during our recent film season at The Stove where films such as Moo Man, Vanishing of The Bees, and The Lunchbox were accompanied by wonderful talks and equally wonderful tasty, relevant treats.
We also had an incredible talk by Alice from Social Bite who shared their journey from scratch to building an amazing network of Sandwich shops which help the homeless back on their feet and into work.
Work has started on The Stove Café which will provide a vibrant meeting place in the heart of Dumfries and a base for further creative exploration of how we think about, grow, distribute and cook food. The tender was won by Angela and Colin Green and we are very excited to see what this new development brings.

Stove members at Housewarming talking about ideas for the future
Stove members at Housewarming talking about ideas for the future

We are really keen to hear from people who might like to host groups in the early evening (for example we have a regular Craftivism (Creative Activism) workshop beginning on October 28th) which will encourage people to linger a little longer once the shops have closed, and build on our commitment to breathe new life back into the town centre.
The Craftivism workshops also touch on a couple of other points raised by members. It became apparent that people were keen to form Skill Sharing groups and to engage in Mindfulness initiatives. Craftivism encourages both and we hope will be the catalyst for other Skill Sharing/Skill Swap events to be born.
It was suggested we take ‘The Stove’ outwith the building and do more projects around the region. One such project involved The Young Stove working with a group of school aged children in the woods near New Galloway where they ran a workshop called Survival Art School and then showed the youngsters around their own show at Gatehouse of Fleet., another was the co-production of EAFS; a wonderful Off Grid Adventure in the grounds of Morton Castle that, amongst many other magical things, encouraged the sharing of food as a point of human contact and engagement, calling on that primal need to break down modern social barriers and open up a world of friendship and communication around shared nourishment.

Rajasthan heritage Brass Band at The Stove
Rajasthan heritage Brass Band at The Stove

People asked for Drumming and what a line up we gave them! Not only did we fill the day with the incredible Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band, who brought huge smiles to everyone they encountered, but then an evening which gave way to a spectacular workshop with local drumming groups which brought the community together in a loud and joy filled way.
Thinking of the future vision, in addition to calls for giant water slides, segways instead of Orange Bike Schemes, permanent Block Parties, Adult Ball Pits and Drive in Cinemas, it was clear people wanted to feel the love coming back into the town centre.
Phrases like:
“Let’s celebrate what we have and what we can be rather than focusing on what we don’t. We are a vibrant town with vision. Work together to make it happen.”
“Keeping Dumfries’ heritage but being more upbeat and welcoming to new things”
“Convert dead shops into flats = get people back into town.”
“Use empty shops as art galleries/installations – artists get work shown, town gets colourful, vibrant art instead of empty shops full of litter.”
have been repeated in various forms and, although a little less exciting than gigantic bowling alleys made of foam, are a little more tangible and form a good starting place for change.
It’s obvious that the regeneration has already begun with many people commenting on what a positive difference having The Stove present on the High Street has already had but there is, clearly, much more to be done.
We had some great public sessions working with Lateral North to discover how interventions and Cultural Wayfinding could help develop Dumfries, help her be more welcoming, and make it easier (and more exciting) to navigate, just as it has in other towns; and there’s more of that to come with an event surrounding Norway House next month.The building itself has had a wide range of personalities since its birth. It’s provided a messy space for The Young Stove and other artists, been an exhibition space for a range of artists, housed workshops, meetings, gatherings and music gigs. It’s welcomed a wide range of people through its doors from immensely varied walks of life, and that makes us very proud. It’s also become an ideas exchange, a place where people can come to give inspiration and take it, to bring ideas and help them grow.

Radio DMC
Radio DMC

Music has been another hot topic for members and the public and we have been growing a Music strand since The Stove began through our Dumfries Music Conference – since 100 High Street has been open this has continued to blossom through partnerships with other local music groups, such as Small Town Sounds, Music Plus and Electric Fields. These partnerships have led to great gigs showcasing local talent such as Rudi Zygadlo, MØGEN and Mark Lyken. You can even learn guitar at The Stove now with guitar teacher David Bass.
Other things that have come up in chats include:

  • Partnerships with the Crichton Campus – exciting news on that next February
  • Fast Public Broadband – big up to Ailsa for making The Stove the first business with fibre-optic broadband in the town centre
  • Space for screenprinting – we’re supporting Upland and Maklab in trying to start a facility at Maklabs premises on the High Street
  • Classes in IT and Film Editing – our digital making suite will be taking bookings soon…watch this space
  • Support for research projects into Environmental Issues – Stove was the base for the recent Environmental Art Festival Scotland and watch out for ArtCOP Scotland @ The Stove in early December
  • More for young people in the town – the Young Stove continues to flourish and is integrated into just about everything we now do
  • Be part of making Dumfries better – The Stove continues to be a place that people come to debate and take positive action for the town…we are taking an active part in the current debate about the Whitesands and there is exciting news coming up about major improvements to the High Street.
'Not to Be Sold Separately' an exhibition by Young Stove
‘Not to Be Sold Separately’ an exhibition by Young Stove

So, let us know what you think. Book in with Moxie for a cuppa, send an email or drop our Herald a line on Facebook. The Stove is ever evolving and its quiet energy is building all the time; so get in touch and let’s see how we can sail together into the next phase.
PS if you are ever wondering what is going on at The Stove then please check our Events Calendar – here or to check back over what has been going on our Blog – here

Categories
Opportunities Projects

Join the Nithraid Team – and be part of one of the 'Events of the Year'

Not long now till the Nithraid – it was a massive hit last year and is even bigger, bolder and bonkers this year. Of course you can come along to watch….but even more fun to be part of the team that makes the event happen. The Stove Network is all about hands-on experience and there is plenty to do in the run up to the day and lost of folk needed to make it go with a swing (and a splash) on 13 September.

WE NEED YOUR HELP

Hands Up for The Stove
Goan Yersels un Volunteer!

THINGS WE NEED HELP WITH:
…..immediately

  • Sewing simple flags – you get a kit and instructions and can do this at home

From 8th September and through that week at our temporary studio at Greyfriars Church Hall (Burns Statue Square, Dumfries)

  • Creative Construction…..model boats, flag making, coo salting, banner writing….all tools and instruction provided…no special skills needed
  • Promotional work….generally having fun in the toon getting the message out about Nithraid

On September 13th (Nithraid Day)

  • Market Stalls eraction
  • Stewards and Marshalls
  • Runners
  • Catering assistance
  • etc,etc
Stove Studio @ Greyfriars
Team Stove Making banners for Guid Nychburris at Greyfriars Church Hall 2014
Crowds at Nithraid 2013
Crowds at last years Nithraid


To get involved please contact Cara McNaught on caramcnaught@yahoo.co.uk or 07515 810990

Categories
Opportunities Projects

C'mon Feel the Noise

Our Balkan Street Carnival Band is coming together nicely under the inspirational leadership of Ruth Morris……..but there is still time to join in if you fancy being part of the band that will be at the heart of this years Nithraid. There are no restrictions on who can join the Band (all ages are welcome) – all you need is:

  • To have an instrument that you can play whilst walking along and doesn’t require plugging into anything electrical
  • To be an ‘intermediate’ level musician
  • To be able to attend at least one rehearsal prior to the event and the final rehearsal on the day

Instruments: Brass, Woodwind, Accordian, Percussion
We are also looking for people to join in the process and do some very simple dance moves – if you are up for that then let Ruth know (contact below)
The Nithraid event happens on Saturday 13th September in Dumfries
Rehearsals are held on Mondays and Thursdays between now and 13th September at Greyfriars Church (the one in Burns Statue Square), Dumfries – at 7pm – 9pm

Nithraid Score by Ruth Morris
The Balkan Street Score for Nithraid has been specially composed by Ruth Morris

The Balkan Street Band will kick off proceedings at the Nithraid in Dock Park at 12.30pm (this is also the final rehearsal) – then the band will lead the Salty Coo procession which starts at the bottom of High Street at 2pm and finishes on the Whitesands at 3pm. The Balkan Street carnival Band will play a final set on the main stage of the Nithraid at 4pm after the boats have (hopefully) arrived.

Street Carnival Band
Street Carnival Band

To join the band please contact Ruth Morris on bellevue_rendezvous@yahoo.co.uk or o1557 500501/07796 370146

Categories
News

The Stove's Herald!

A while back we put out an opportunity for something called a ‘Public Communicator and Herald’ – We had a strong sense of the spirit of the role…but found it very hard to describe exactly…so the selection process was a very 2-way process….after much conversation and inspiration from all involved in the process…Ladies and Gentlemen we are very proud to announce that our Herald is Moxie DePaulitte:
Hello there, I’m Moxie and I’m delighted to be able to introduce myself as The Stove’s newly appointed Public Communicator and Herald which, at the risk of sounding like a Valley Girl, is just like, totally, you know, the coolest job title ev-ah.
I’ve been asked to write a short post introducing myself but, although I’m really good at talking about other things, I’m really don’t excel at saying things about myself so I enlisted the help of my four year old. This is what she said:

“She is nice and cuddly and warm. And she has a really nice job. She do some importment stuff and she always loves me and she always does nice stuff for us. And she uses all her money up for food for us. Her name is Moxie she does some pretty good stuff. Can I go back in the paddling pool now, please?”

So there you have it; a definitive guide to me, my work and my new role.
I think she’s pretty much covered everything but, just in case any of you aren’t fluent in Preschooleeze, I’ll translate…I’ve been involved in the arts for as long as I can remember and love the passion, power and opportunities the creative process stirs up. Sadly, however, art works are frequently just presented to us and the glory and excitement of this process is missed because we don’t know the why, the what, and the wow.
A lot goes on behind the scenes and, when a group is so absorbed in a project, it’s easy to forget that not everyone knows the back story; the reasons and the nuances behind a piece. It’s not transparent. So, this is where I come in: Part of my role is to help more people become aware of and involved in that very process; to make sure everyone understands what’s going on and that the cogs are visible as they’re turning.
The lovely people at The Stove know it can often feel like events go on around us and happen to us rather than with us and for us and they would very much like that to change.
On funding bids they probably call it ‘Building Stronger Community Relationships’ but, luckily for me, that translates as ‘meeting up with people for a cup of tea, chin wag and a biscuit’, so get in touch! Share with me your ideas and questions; I’ll be delighted to talk them through with you. Let’s see how we can get you involved.
email me info@thestove.org and I’ll get back to you.
Be part of something brilliant. You really can help shape Dumfries into the town you know it can be.

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Creetown Project

Ferry Thorn: Stove shouts out on BBC radio Scotland

Ferry Thorn: Stove shouts out on BBC radio Scotland

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event Opportunities poems street art

SHOUT out CRIER

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News

Back to work! Making art and planning the building

Happy new year!