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The Market of Possibility Reflection

Images by Kirstin McEwan Photography

Throughout July & August 2023, the Market of Possibility took over a former retail unit in the Loreburne Centre in Dumfries, offering a new and interactive space, where the public could visit free of charge, get creative and share their visions for the future of our town.

This project was made in collaboration with Dumfries Partnership Action Group (DPAG) and supported by the National Lottery Community Fund. The Market held exhibitions, workshops and interactive elements by local community groups and each of the Stove’s Open Hoose Projects. Learn more about the project below.

The Market of Possibility was an opportunity to work with our Open Hoose groups towards realising an ambitious project exploring the future identity of the town as a thriving, connected and creative place to live. Being able to connect these campaigns, communities and enterprises within the larger Dumfries Partnership Action Group action plan, rooted the ideas and activity to a broader campaign towards the grassroots regeneration of our town. From music to history, the idea of a diverse, cultural and community-led town centre once again felt more than tangible.

Martin O’Neill, Artistic Director

The space that held the Market was transformed by the Stove’s production team from an empty retail space into a collaborative playground with tactile exhibitions, interactive elements and areas where the public were urged to get involved and share their own thoughts about the future of the town.

The space was open three days each week over the two months from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, and was visited by Dumfries locals, visitors, and tourists who delved into a world of grassroots campaigns, electrifying projects, and inspiring initiatives, all led by local people.

Being involved with the transformation of the unit in the Loreburne Centre was a fantastic opportunity to bring together so many fantastic community groups from Dumfries into one cohesive, stimulating, and accessible space. We sectioned the ‘market’ into different town sections, where those visiting the space could explore different futures for Dumfries just by walking around taking everything in. As the production team, we were able to engage and talk with the public, which resulted in very meaningful and insightful conversations about our town that we are excited to build upon in the future.  

Sal Cuddihy, Production Lead

Referencing Dumfries’ history as the regions key market town, the Market was focussed on the celebration of local innovation and creativity and featured a plethora of creative workshops as well as interactive installations in partnership with some of the town’s most popular creative community groups.

The local community groups that were involved with the Market of Possibility were Re:Dress, DMC, For Enjoyment, The Missing Museum, Dumfries Pride, Deep Green Space and Paragon Music.

Our Open Hoose groups were also involved, with Doughlicious, Free Improvisation, Queer Club, Write, Nith Life and Repair Shop hosting drop-in events for the public.

The space as a whole asked those who entered “What if Dumfries was…”, where visitors were urged to ponder the possibility of our town being a green, creative, making, inclusive, music, and historic town. Each of these avenues of thought roused hundreds of responses, and from this exercise we can explore what the future of Dumfries might look like, and all the different possibilities that may shape it.

The legacy of MOP is so vast that being able to boil down to a few key actions is a little daunting but certainly something we can’t wait to explore. Using the different ‘towns’ within the space was particularly well received as a means of exploring not only the Dumfries of the future, but the town as it is today. We’ve over 400 postcards of creative ideas from the public to rifle through which may well lead to the next big thing for Dumfries. Above all however, working across all the community groups, partners, organisations, campaigns and businesses towards realising this project has laid a fertile ground for more collaborations in the near future. Collaborations both enterprising, creative and surprising. I can’t wait to see what comes next. 

Martin O’Neill

Learn more about the Market of Possibility, and each of the groups involved with the project here.

Musings News Project Updates

The Market of Possibility at Guid Nychburris 2023!

Imagine a future where fashion, gardens, and stories come to life. Exciting, right? 

At Guid Nychburris 2023, The Stove Network and Dumfries Partnership Action Group joined forces with various community projects in launching ‘The Market of Possibility’.

Our ‘Town of Possibilities’ parade entry was made up from volunteers from Stove members and those involved in the various groups taking part in the Market of Possibility in July and August. Thanks to the large number of volunteers who helped, we won first place in the walking category of the parade!

We would like to say a massive thank you to all of those who took part in our parade entry and to those who supported us as we walked round the streets of Dumfries. Another massive thank you to the organisers of Guid Nychburris 2023 for such a fantastic day!

What is the Market of Possibility?

Nestled in the vibrant heart of Dumfries, the Market of Possibility invites you on a journey into a world of grassroots campaigns, electrifying projects, and inspiring initiatives led by local heroes. It’s not just a market—it’s a captivating blend of studio, playground, and laboratory. Step inside, and you’ll find yourself immersed in a thought-provoking space that ignites new ideas and nurtures your ambitions.

From revolutionary green spaces to innovative social bakeries and homegrown fashion, the Market of Possibility, located in the Loreburn Centre throughout July and August, is a grand celebration of local innovation and creativity. But it’s not just about admiring these incredible endeavours; it’s about actively participating in shaping the future.

Imagine attending creative workshops, exploring interactive installations, and even building your very own towns of the future. The Market of Possibility is an invitation to play, connect, explore, and create together. Let’s embark on a journey where we can build new ambitions, explore fresh ideas, and uncover limitless possibilities for the future of our beloved town.

Prepare to have your imagination sparked as the Market of Possibility showcases a diverse range of local campaigns, enterprises, and grassroots projects. Each project presents an interactive installation that will inspire big ideas, ignite conversations, and welcome new visions for a future town fueled by imagination, connectivity, and equality.

Step into the Green Town, where you’ll encounter Deep Green Space, Climate Kitchen, and Nith Life. Dive into the Historic Town, home to Creative Caerlaverock and The Imaginarium. Discover the Creative Town, where Drawing For Enjoyment and Write! flourish. Explore the Making Town, with its Repair Shop, Re:Dress, and The Guild. Immerse yourself in the Music Town, where Paragon Music, Free Improvisation, and Dumfries Music Collective harmonise. And don’t miss Queer Town, where Queer Club and Dumfries Pride shine brightly.

Each project at the Market of Possibility presents an interactive installation that sparks imagination, initiates conversations, and invites fresh ideas. Together, we’ll envision a future town grounded in imagination, connectivity, and equality.

The Market of Possibility builds upon the visionary ‘Town Centre Vision & Action Plan’ developed by Dumfries Partnership Action Group, a comprehensive community-led initiative that outlines the future of Dumfries town centre. This event is an evolution of that plan, and it’s designed to bring people together, foster collaboration, encourage experimentation, and, most importantly, have fun!

We can’t contain our excitement to welcome you to the Market of Possibility. Prepare for a thrilling experience filled with imagination, innovation, and endless possibilities. Join us as we embark on this incredible journey. See you there!

The Market of Possibility is opening it’s doors on Thursday the 13th of July with the Re:Dress takeover!

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