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News Project Updates

Creative Stranraer

Thursday 13th April saw the opening of Creative Stranraer on the corner of George Street and King Street in the centre of the town.

The space is a former shop unit that has been renovated by owner Mr Gillespie to achieve the vision of creatives in the town coordinated by Arts and Engagement Officer Janet Jones.

The opening night was a joyously happy occasion attended by a mixture of people from the creative sector, those involved in regeneration initiatives and the curious/willing.

There were speeches, music from Stacey Joy and family and charcoal drawing with the hub’s first artist-in-residence Jane Fraser.

Creative Stranraer will host artist gatherings, workshops, events, exhibitions and become an HQ for information and exchange on all things creative that are going in in the town.

Creative Stranraer is imagined as a prototype hub that will lead into the much-anticipated redevelopment of the former George Hotel as a new cultural and community space for the town and surrounding area.

The whole Arts and Engagement project is woven into the George redevelopment initiative, to create momentum and organisation in the local creative sector prior to the George opening, it has been managed by Stranraer Development Trust (SDT) with funding from DG Council.

The Stove is commissioned by SDT to support the Arts and Engagement Officer and provide guidance and direction from our experience in Creative Placemaking regionally and nationally.

The Arts and Engagement project began in June 2022 and has been shaped around three strands of activity:

  1. Community Engagement and Co-Creation – Janet has convened a highly successful and ongoing series community gatherings called ‘Vision and Action’ meetings with attendances typically 50+ local folk coming together to share ideas, hear about progress and for local businesses/projects to showcase what they are doing. Janet has also held a number of dedicated creative meetings for different groups within the cultural and creative sector locally.
  2. Public Art Projects – to date the most highly visible public art project has been the mural on the Creative Stranraer hub building by artist Tragic O’Hara. Tragic has also undertaken workshops with local groups of young people and is now working with the Stair Park Skate Park group. Another public art initiative is the photo and poetry wall next to Gateway to Galloway at the harbour. In the pipeline is a planned Street Art festival for 2024 and numerous other small-scale projects bringing together local creative practitioners in partnership with businesses and community groups.
  3. The Creative Hub – now open at the top of King Street!

All of the above activity is designed around the principle of the creative sector taking a lead in the regeneration of Stranraer by injecting some energy, vibrancy, sound and colour into the town and in the process inspiring and bringing people together and also creating opportunities for people to express their own creativity and support people to embark on creative careers in the local area.

The Arts and Engagement project has also been working in alongside the creation of the ‘community place plan’ for the town.

Opportunities Project Updates

Creative Commission – What We Do Now: Lockerbie

WWDN: Lockerbie

(This Opportunity is Now Closed)

Lockerbie Old School (LOS) in collaboration with the Stove Network are seeking to commission a creative practitioner(s) to work with LOS, its board, and local partners in engaging the community through an arts project exploring themes of possibility, identity, and re-connection.

Fee: £3,500*

Time: Flexible. To be agreed in early stages of the commencement of the project.

*There is a separate production budget associated with the project for materials and other expenses.

The Brief:

The creative practitioner(s) will work in Lockerbie, based at their High Street location, and use their practice to develop a project/series of events/artwork which invites the involvement of local people. The creative practitioner(s) will lead this co-created process to inspire new connections between people in the town and through this for possible future identities for the town to emerge which can be part of LoS’s ongoing work for the local community to take charge of its own future.

Following the key themes of; Possibility, Identity, Re-Connection, the creative practitioner(s) will work with key partners, community members and the residents of the town, it is expected the creative practitioner(s) will connect with individuals and groups in skills-based activity and conversation to understand, interpret and explore the future identity of the town.

LOS are eager to collaborate with a creative practitioner with a ‘hands-on’ practice in textiles, design, or craft to engage the community in new skills, utilising a dynamic creative practice to inspire and awaken new perspectives, ideas and hopes for the future. The project, it is expected, may serve as a prototype for forthcoming arts and community activities involving the wider community locally and regionally.

The commissioned artist will work with the Stove Network and LOS in determining the direction and approach of the project through a research an development period agreed by all parties, outlining key interaction points and determining the most beneficial approach to realise the project’s aims.

WWDN: Lockerbie, contributes in part to the ongoing ‘creative place-making* network’ of Dumfries & Galloway entitled What We Do Now. A collaborative project placing creative practitioners with community anchor organisations across Dumfries & Galloway, working with communities in a co-created process to explore and develop imaginative possibilities for residents, communities, and groups across the region.

The project, initially funded by Culture Collective, is one within a national network of socially-engaged, community-based creative practice across Scotland. LoS alongside the Stove Network are eager to hear from practitioners with experience in community-embedded practice, workshop facilitation and production.

*We define Creative Placemaking as: a community led approach that uses creative activity to support collective decision-making and positive change for people and the places they live.

About Lockerbie Old School:

The Lockerbie Old School Community Hub (LoS) are an anchor organisation for change within the town of Lockerbie and the DG11 postal region, aiming to put local people at the heart of regeneration efforts for their town. The Trust is run by a Board of volunteers who are working towards a number of significant projects in Lockerbie. Having been successful in gaining ownership of the former Academy through a Community Asset Transfer they have advanced plans to develop a not for profit but financially viable Community Venue where the people of Lockerbie can gather, learn and grow as a community. LoS are in the process of acquiring a permanent base on the High Street. It is intended that the space be a test-bed for future activity and will feature a community workshop space as well as act as a ‘front door’ to the Lockerbie Old School project for the local community to engage in.

How to Apply

To apply please send the following before 5pm, Wednesday 15th December 2022

  • Letter of Interest. This should tell us why you are interested in the commission, why you think you and your practice are suited to this opportunity and give us an outline idea of how you might approach the project if you were successful (NB we are NOT looking for fully formed project proposals at this stage – we are committed to arts practice whereby a project is formed by being in a place and working with the people there)
  • CV. This should tell us about your personal history, your experience and to date and give us an idea of the skills that you have.
  • Up to 5 examples of previous work. If you do not have 5 don’t worry – we are committed to making opportunities for people at all stages of their career, this is exactly the kind of thing we can discuss in an initial chat. We are looking for you to show us what you do in the way that you are most comfortable and happy with and can accept submissions in weblinks, photo files, sound files, or physical works (though please don’t send us original artworks!).

Please send your application to [email protected]

Submissions should not exceed 10MB in size. If you want to send or deliver a physical submission our address is: The Stove, 100 High Street, Dumfries DG1 2BJ

Selection Process

We are keen to hear from practitioners at all stages of development and from all disciplines. We’d encourage anyone interested in finding out more about the opportunity to get in touch for an initial informal chat – particularly people at earlier stages of their careers as we can explain more about what is involved in a project like this and what to include in an application. Please email [email protected] and we’ll arrange a time to talk (BSL interpretation is available)

It’s important that our people reflect and represent the diversity of the communities and audiences we serve. We welcome and value difference, so when we say we’re for everyone, we want everyone to be welcome in our teams too. Wherever you’re from, and whatever your background, we want to hear from you. We will accept applications from anyone and everyone who feels they have the skills required to fulfil this role.

News Project Updates

Sanquhar in Focus

Image credit – Baillie Reid, Sanquhar Camera Club

Young people have been exploring Sanquhar life through a lens and documenting what it is like to grow up in the town. Part of the What We Do Now (WWDN) project, Sanquhar in Focus is the first exhibition of Sanquhar Camera Club (SCC ). It opens on and runs to Friday 8 April to Friday 6 May 2022. 

The five talented young photographers and filmmakers who formed the SCC are Elliot Brydon Brown, Tarian Hunter, Baillie Reid, Hannah Smith and Hollie Walker. They are supported by WWDN artists, Colin Tennant and Saskia Coulson, who have delivered talks and presentations in Sanqhuar Academy including a six-week photo workshop programme.

Image credit – Sanquhar Camera Club

On the creation of the club Saskia Coulson said: “often as artists, we are invited to join an existing group or community to collaborate or share a certain skill set with. For What We Do Now in Sanquhar, a community of young people interested in creative practice didn’t exist from the get-go and there were months of working with A’ the Airts, the local community and secondary school to establish the collective.” 

“I wish this group had been running for years because I love it.”

SCC Student Hollie Walker

SCC students have emersed themselves in learning about the creative industries and developing a wide range of photographic and filmmaking skills. Many of these skills were brand new to the group. 

“I didn’t even know I liked photography and filmmaking, but I really enjoy it now and want to become a professional photographer.”

SCC Student Baillie Reid

The Sanquhar in Focus exhibition of new work by the Sanquhar Camera Club opens on Friday 8  April from 4 to 6pm at A’ the Airts (8-12 High Street, Sanquhar, DG4 6BL). It runs until Friday 6 May during regular opening times. 

Image credit – Sanquhar Camera Club

Sanquhar Spring Half Term Activities 

A’ the Airts is hosting a programme of creative events and workshops for young people during the April half-term holiday.  to learn about other areas of the creative industries including graphic design, screen printing, sculpture and many more. 

The events and workshops, open for all young people between 13-18, have been organised by What We Do Now (WWDN) artists, Colin Tennant and Saskia Coulson and emerging Sanquhar artist, Jack Stancliffe

Colin said “we’ve invited several very talented creatives who are all from Dumfries and Galloway and in their 20s and 30s to lead the workshops. We’ve done this because we want the young people of Sanquhar to meet and learn from young adults who come from a similar area and background and are working professionally in different disciplines across the creative industries. Essentially, it’s about connecting them with inspirational people to help them understand that anything can be possible through creativity.”

Find out more

Screen Printing and Sanquhar Stamp Design, Thursday 7 & Friday 8 April, 11.30am to 4pm

Post Office Sculpture Building, Saturday 9 April, 12noon – onwards.

Fashion & Design – The Sanquhar Pattern with Kirsty Geddes, Monday 11 April, 1 to 4pm

Publications & Magazines – DIY (Do It Yourself) ZINES with Callai Watson, Tuesday 12 April, 1 to 4pm

Music Videos – Creating Music Videos and Band Photos with Ruari Barber-Fleming, Wednesday 13 April, 1 to 4pm

News Opportunities

Work With Us:

We’re looking for a Content Coordinator to join the team

Website Content Coordinator

Contract Term: March 2022 – January 2023

Responsible to: Head of Communications & Engagement  (HoC&E)

Fee: £6,000

Equates to: 1.5 Days Per Week (£600 PCM)

The Stove Network, Scotland’s only arts led development trust, are looking to recruit a website and social media content coordinator to work specifically on our Culture Collective project, ‘What We Do Now’.  Interested? Keep reading…

You’ll be working on a new website due to launch at the end March 2022. The aim of this role is, initially, to provide content migration support during the pre launch phase of the site and to ensure all necessary content is included on the website and is laid out in a way that suits the user. Once the website is launched, you’ll work collaboratively with the Artistic Director and HoC&E to ensure consistent brand messages across all touchpoints, be responsible for writing, proofreading, and editing content, and sometimes sourcing and commissioning creative practitioners to deliver audio and visual assets.

We are looking for a candidate who can think both creatively and analytically and someone who is able to work with internal and external stakeholders to understand their projects and able to develop exciting and engaging messaging.

The successful candidate will receive technical training and support from The Stove Networks’s Web Developer & Analyst.

Key Responsibilities

  • General maintenance of the website and associated social media channels 
  • Work with the HofC&E to formulate both short-term and long-term digital content strategies to meet aims of the WWDN project
  • Writing, editing and proofreading content
  • Work collaboratively with the AD and HoC&E to plan and develop site content, style and layout
  • Develop an editorial calendar highlighting key project milestones
  • Identify and commission additional content support where needed eg: copywriting, photography, graphic design, videography, etc.
  • Utilise analytics tools to track website traffic and to report on content engagement levels

Desired Experience

(Some training will be provided)

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Highly computer literate
  • Experienced with digital analytic software
  • Analysis and report writing
  • Experience of keyword placement and SEO best practises
  • Experience in the management of social media platforms
  • Creativity and the ability to develop original content that provokes engagement
  • Able to translate complex information into clear and concise messaging
  • Experience of editing images and videos

To be considered for this role please send a CV and covering letter to [email protected]

Closing date for applications: Midnight 27th February 2022

We welcome applications from everyone and anyone who feels they can fulfil this role as described.

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