Feedback from the Stove’s Annual Gathering

Missed out on our AGM last month? We’ve got you covered with recordings of the two presentations shared during The Stove’s Annual Gathering. First up, a review of the past 12 months from Matt Baker (Orchestrator) and Katharine Wheeler (Partnerships and Development), featuring (approximate!) closed captions:

The second presentation looks forward to the year ahead, from Martin O’Neill (Artistic Director).

Also as part of our AGM we hosted a series of short members conversations reflecting on some of the key findings from our membership survey carried out last year. We wanted to take the opportunity to share some of the ideas that came out of these five really interesting sessions.

  • a creative exploration of night time culture
  • a debating club
  • a debating club for Disabled Access
  • Digital recording of live events at The Stove to allow more inclusion for audiences who can’t attend in person
  • More making spaces – we need to move from attics to aircraft hangers to realise our potential
  • Signposting good practice nationally and internationally in social/community arts
  • Digital recording of live events at The Stove to allow more inclusion for audiences who can’t attend in person
  • Use technology to reach across distance
  • Make a statue of Ailsa in Fountain Square
  • Stove learning: Don’t just tell people stuff, support them with the means to do it themselves
  • Access to IT skills development and recording of activities
  • See our towns and villages in D+G as mini-cultural hubs Its good for Stove to be more regional, but don’t forget about Dumfries, there is still a lot of work to be done doon hame
  • Analysis of the population in comparison to our current engagement reach – elderly inclusion 
  • Intergenerational working  particularly within the medium of movement
  • ‘Access to Choice’ – diversity in how to access events and activity
  • bringing in Community Learning and Development expertise available locally into the Stove team
  • grow ‘night-time culture’ in the town centre
  • bring some of the ‘positives’ discovered during the past year into future activity 

There were loads of brilliant conversations between the 75 attendees, and we were sorry to not have longer to open up the space to hear from friends, members and Stove supporters after such a long period away from the Stove building, but hope that we can continue these soon!

You might notice that our website has had a bit of an upgrade to reflect our programme this year, so to explore more of our current and upcoming projects visit: home page, and Soapbox.


Local Democracy Event and The Stove’s AGM!

Last night we held our yearly AGM which was a typically animated and entertaining Stovie night! We began this year with a discussion for our members around local democracy. Scottish Government has begun a national conversation about the need for more decisions to be made at a local level and they are asking for ideas about ways to do this.There has been much community-led activity around the country of late, with much of it being informal and grass roots. The question we posed at The Stove last night was how could this genuine popular activity become part of the larger power structure of our country?

In particular, we focused on the role that “alternative peoples town halls” could play – by this we mean places like The Stove that are publicly accessible and full of life and energy; places where conversations about ideas, change and projects naturally happen and places that people know they can always bring ideas or find out what is happening. Members talked about their experiences connected with The Stove and how Stove projects, discussions and partnerships created a fertile ground for the local community to get involved with making their own place for the future.

Conversations included:

  • Keeping democracy visible using empty shops etc. as “alternative town halls”;
  • Cultural activity being a brilliant way of keeping democratic process accessible and relevant for communities;
  • Uniting people around specific projects for their community being the catalyst for involving people in local decision making.

Then the AGM itself was a warm and supportive affair with an atmosphere of positivity about the last year and the future. The final accounts and Chairs Report will be posted on the website in 2 weeks time when we get the final audited accounts back from the accountant at the beginning of December.

Read the Tresurer’s Report here: Treasurer’s Report

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