Anthony Schrag and Caitlin McKinnon’s paper, “Exploring the Boundary-Crossing Nature of ‘Creative Placemaking’: The Stove as ‘Adaptor/Converter’” features in the internationally renowned publication, Field.
Field is a journal of socially-engaged art criticism and responds to the remarkable proliferation of new artistic practices devoted to forms of political, social and cultural transformation. Frequently collaborative in nature, this work is being produced by artists and art collectives throughout North, South and Central America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
Schrag and McKinnon’s paper explores, in depth, the concept of creative placemaking, and the role of The Stove Network in developing and spearheading this idea within its current methodology and its approach in Southwest Scotland.
Creative Placemaking, is defined by The Stove Network through the WWDN project as: a community led approach that uses creative activity to support collective decision-making and positive change for people and the places they live. This paper explores the relationships between people, place, and creativity, (Creative Placemaking) and “how this ‘new’ concept of place-based creative works is being implemented within the (UK/Scottish) cultural sector, with particular attention placed on The Stove, in Dumfries.”
Dr Anthony Schrag, co-author of this paper, recently contributed to ‘kNOw One Place’, Scotland’s first forum dedicated to the discussion and ambition of creative placemaking, produced by The Stove Network and supported by South of Scotland Enterprise and Culture Collective (funded by Scottish Government and coordinated by Creative Scotland). This future-thinking discussion on how communities can use creativity to lead the development of their places, featured a series of online webinars and a mixture of open space discussion and expert reflection, exhibition, and original artworks. Drawing people from public, private, independent, and charitable sectors together to share and co-create an agenda for creativity and placemaking for the future.
In the following video, Anthony explores Creative Placemaking, specifically focusing on the idea of a ‘boundary crosser’ using his recent paper as reference:
Matt Baker, Orchestrator, The Stove Network emphases the critical role that creativity can play in the development of community led planning.
“The focus of creative placemaking is to bring under-represented voices from the community into conversations about the future of the area in which they live, through active creative projects. To bring together people, communities, groups, and organisations, public, private and third sector agencies to develop common ground on community-led planning and enterprise.”
Watch Matt as he explains what Creative Placemaking means, in this context, and how it is making an impact through What We Do Now (WWDN), The Stove Network’s creative placemaking pilot project that has been underway for more than 12 months in Dumfries & Galloway. This ground-breaking, collaborative project works with artists, communities and organisations in Castle Douglas, Dumfries, Langholm, Sanquhar and Stranraer.
Caitlin Wallace, an Inspire Graduate with Dumfries & Galloway Council, has explored further the relationship between artists and Places through the strategic partnership Dumfries & Galloway Council has with WWDN.
Working closely with the project to understand the opportunities within Creative Placemaking for community-led planning and development, specifically as a tool for communities to develop their own Place Plans, Caitlin spent time interviewing the participants of WWDN about their projects and Creative Placemaking approach to working within their communities.
Throughout the WWDN pilot Katharine Wheeler, Partnerships and Projects Development Lead at The Stove Network explains;
“Our focus for the project was to connect artists and community organisations together, to develop creative activities and projects in their communities with the intent for wider social change and wellbeing for those involved.”
In this review, Katharine looks back on the first 12 months of the project and not only celebrates successes, but also identifies challenges and opportunities for the future.
This approach to collaborative working practice, leads the way to a new future of creative placemaking in Southern Scotland. To discover more about WWDN and Creative Placemaking in Southwest Scotland, visit: whatwedonow.scot
Exploring the Boundary-Crossing Nature of ‘Creative Placemaking’: The Stove as ‘Adaptor/Converter’
About the Authors
“Dr. Anthony Schrag is a practicing artist and researcher, and Senior Lecturer at Queen Margaret’s University (Edinburgh). The central focus of his work examines the role of art in participatory and public contexts, with a specific focus on social conflict, agonism and ethics. His PhD and current research examines the notion of ‘Pro-Social Conflict’ within participatory and social-practice projects. His most recent publication The Failures of Public Art and Participation (co-edited with Cameron Cartiere) was released in Sept, 2022. He is currently the Primary Investigator on a RSE project developing a Rural Art Network (Scotland). He has worked nationally and internationally, including residencies in Iceland, USA, Canada, Pakistan, Finland, The Netherlands, and South Africa, among others. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants including Royal Society of Edinburgh, The Hope Scot Trust, Creative Scotland, British Council, Royal Scottish Academy, the Dewar Arts Award, Standpoint Futures as well as a Henry Moore Artist Fellowship.
Caitlin McKinnon is an SGSAH funded PhD Candidate exploring Arts Management Education. Caitlin has sought to immerse herself in the arts and cultural world in a variety of different positions. Highlights include co-founding a community arts zine in her hometown, volunteering with a Toronto Artists Collective during their takeover of a vacant subway kiosk and working at the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre to run story-based workshops for the local community. More recently, Caitlin has worked on several different research projects commissioned by Creative Scotland, British Council (Scotland), Engage Scotland, as well as organisations such as Out of the Blue, the Stove, and SESQUI Canada. As a developing researcher, Caitlin’s research interests include discourses of arts management, professionalisation, cultural policy, and relations of power in the cultural sector.”