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Talking Showcase, favourite projects and recruitment with Creative Spaces Producer Mia Osborne

We chatted to our Creative Spaces Producer Mia ahead of the 23/24 Showcase taking place on the 28th of March. Hear more about the programme, her highlights of what this year’s associates got up to and what you can expect at the showcase!

Q. 1 – Can you give us a very quick summary of what Creative Spaces is?

Creative Spaces is a collective of young creatives aged sixteen to thirty who work with and advocate for the region’s young artists. We run a development programme every ten months where we hire in three emerging artists that work closely within the project and within the wider Stove.

Q. 2 – Can you tell us a bit about your role as Creative Spaces Producer?

So my role basically means that I support the associates throughout the ten months. So, I work with them closely, looking at their goals and their aims and what they want to get out of the programme and then help them develop the programme around that. I’m also there as the link between them as individuals and freelancers, and the Stove as an organisation. I work with them to develop different training and different opportunities that would be good for them as individuals, taking into account their creative practice and what they are like as creative freelancers. But, aside from that, I also work on the development of the programme in general and the engagement between Creative Spaces and lots of different organisations and partners.

Q. 3 – Who were the CS Associates this year?

“So the 23/24 group of Creative Spaces are: Martha Ferguson, who is a set designer, who works within production design. Sahar El-Hady, who is a theatre-maker and an actor. And, Korey Patterson who is an illustrator and musician.”

Q. 4 – What has been your favourite project that CS team have worked on this year?

“So, I think I’ve got two favourites from the year – although it’s really hard to pick because all of the projects have been amazing. One of them was the Muckle Mixer which was a freshers mixer that we did at the Dougie Arms. It was a really really good laugh and it got really really good engagement, and was an overall nice night. Quite different to that, was when we worked with Laurieknowe Primary over four days to delivery a series of small workshops with the primary school pupils around Wild Goose Festival. It was so lovely to work with primary school kids and watch how excited they got about geese!”

Q. 5 – Each of the associates is working on their own personal project that will be presented at the showcase. Can you give us a sneak peek of what they are working on?

“So I kinda want to leave a little bit of mystery, because they’ll be presenting fully what they have been up to at the showcase. But, what I’ll do is give you a couple of words, that I would say, describes what they are doing. So – Sahar: Discourse on immigration. Martha: Dystopian. And Korey: Robert the Bruce.”

Q. 6 – The CS team have been on quite a few adventures this year – where has been your favourite place that you visited?

“So it definitely has to be Bristol! We have been to a lot of really really cool places and seen a lot of amazing organisations, but, Bristol just completely topped it off. We had such a good time! We were so inspired and we left Bristol feeling like there was this new energy and I think it was a real turning point in everyone’s heads about not only what the team could do as individuals, but what Creative Spaces could do as an organisation in Dumfries. So, Bristol! One hundred percent.”

Q. 7 – What has been your highlight with the current round of associates?

“So my highlight has got to be working with such an amazing group of people. And, I mean, I say the same every year but, the team dynamic is always what makes you so energised. Every single person is so different but what they bring to the team is just so harmonious. Working closely with the Creative Spacers over the last ten months has been my highlight. It’s not been one singular instance, it’s been the whole thing!

Q. 8 – The 23/24 Showcase is on the 28th of March – what can people expect from it?

“So I know the term ‘good vibes’ is usually quite cringe, but, I actually think that the showcase is such good energy. It’s hard to explain – I mean obviously there is the literal explanation which is you are going to see people presenting what they do and what they are about, and it’s a culmination and celebration of young creatives. But, the energy in the room is just always almost meditative. You leave and everyone just feels so good! It’s so empowering, but it’s fun and it’s silly, but also quite laid back. It’s just really quite inspiring. I think everybody leaves with a sense of how we have a really cool thing happening here and let’s just shout about it!”

Q. 9 – And finally – CS will be recruiting the next round of associates later this year – what do you say to someone who is considering applying?

“The first thing I would say is definitely come to the showcase! We don’t put on the showcase specifically for recruitment, it’s not part of the application pack. But, I would say that you can definitely notice people who have come to the showcase in comparison to people that haven’t. They have way more context when it comes to the programme. I think it sets them up in good stead because they can really see what the showcase and Creative Spaces is all about. I think it makes people feel a lot more confident if they are starting the role when they have seen what the last year’s group have done. It also gives the opportunity to ask questions in real life.

That brings me on to the second thing which would be – don’t be afraid to reach out! We’re a really nice group people and we love hearing about people who want to apply and having a chat with folk that have any sort of questions about the application process or about the programme in general.

The third thing would be don’t read the application pack and think ‘oh my goodness, maybe this doesn’t fit with me’. The Creative Spaces programme is so special because it really fits around the individual. The special thing about the past few years is every year has been different and everybody’s individual experiences has been different. Because, we work so closely with the individual through mentoring and through one-to-ones, that we can really adapt what the programme does for you based on your personal needs and goals.”

The Creative Spaces Showcase is taking place from 7:00pm – 10:00pm on Thursday the 28th of March. Hear from guest speakers from Dumfries & Galloway who work in the creative sector, learn more about the Creative Spaces programme and how to get involved and enjoy live performances!

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