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The Stove Goes to Parliament

The Stove is showcased as a leading example of how art and cultural activities can lead change, for and with the local community.

Colin Smyth MSP for South Scotland addresses the crucial role the culture sector plays in our local communities in Parliamentary debate, and spotlights Dumfries based organisation, The Stove Network along with Lift D&G and Midsteeple Quarter as examples of where Art and Cultural activities work to support communities.

“…The Stove have used arts and cultural activities to bring together diverse communities to drive positive placed-based solutions to the challenges people care about, for example, the future of their town centre. Using arts and culture, not as an end in itself, but as a means to deliver a wellbeing economy.”

Colin Smyth MSP

“The Stove is honoured to be highlighted in this way in Holyrood. The ‘Culture in Communities’ report by the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Committee of the parliament is an important examination of the deep value of participating in culture in communities throughout Scotland. The recent and very welcome announcement, by Scottish Govt, of increased funding for culture is an opportunity to look more deeply into the recommendations of the report and make an innovative shift in the way we support culture in Scotland with dedicated funding for participation in culture, in a similar way to how we fund participation in sport for its health benefits.”

Matt Baker, CEO of The Stove Network

As the Scottish Government builds a budget for culture, Colin Smyth urges; “… we need to better recognise the wider role of culture in delivering that wellbeing economy… by better ring-fencing funding streams for community participation.”

Watch Colin Smyth’s speech here:

Matt Baker addresses the topic of participation in culture and the issues surrounding the current funding model for culture in his blog “A Culture of Participation aka Growing Our Own Culture” published in April 2023.

In the blog Matt discusses the need to review the current role culture plays in supporting communities and suggests a new approach – Participation in Culture Initiative Framework, which could include a percentage for culture across government departments, accountability/collaboration across departments in implementation of participation in culture, regional/place-based approach to implementation and Innovation in funding models.

Read the full blog here

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