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The Stove Team

Meet the Team behind The Stove Network

Matt Baker | Chief Executive Officer

Matt was one of the founders of The Stove in 2011. The Stove was a progression of his practice as a public artist. Through his career Matt became increasingly concerned with the potential for creative process to empower communities. He sees the Stove as a long-term experiment in embedding a creative resource within a community – the work is a co-directed journey with local people and Matt remains completely absorbed and fascinated by where that journey is leading.

His challenge as CEO is to remain attuned to the overall direction of The Stove, through remaining true to our values and leading a culture of learning, empowerment and excellence within our organisation. Matt is also the interim chair of the National Partnership for Culture, the independent group appointed by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture to support the delivery of the national culture strategy.

Lindsey Smith | Finance Director

Lindsey grew up in Dumfries and is delighted to be back working in the heart of the town. She studied Accountancy in Edinburgh after a career as a Trainer and Manager in the Catering Industry. 

With nearly 20 years of experience of Financial Management across both Commercial and Charitable Industries, 11 of which were for third sector entities focused on the Arts & Creative practice, she brings a breadth of expertise and a love of spreadsheets. 

Excited by the passion, dedication and enthusiasm of The Stove team she hopes to support the organisation’s vision and aims within the town and the wider community.

Martin O’Neill | Artistic Director

As artist and producer, Martin works with people to realise new projects, artworks and spaces employing an eclectic range of styles and disciplines from community events to theatre, music, poetry and installation. Martin describes his artistic practice as rooted in the values of inclusion and facilitation, collaboration and representation. As Artistic Director of the Stove, Martin works across all of the Stove’s projects, connecting these values with everything that we do.

Katharine Wheeler | Partnerships & Project Development

Katherine has grown a strong multi-dimensional practice over the past 20 years building up a portfolio of work in drawing, painting youth work, activism, community arts and street performance. Originally studying at Duncan and Jordanstone College of Art and Design, she recently completed an MA in Arts and Social Practice with the University of Highlands and Islands. In 2022 she directed ‘kNOw One Place’, Scotland’s first Creative Placemaking forum, and authored the Embers Report which exposed the strength of grassroots activity in community and creative regeneration work across Dumfries and Galloway.

Kevin Stewart | Communications & Marketing Director

After graduating with a degree in design from ECA, Kevin began his career as a fashion stylist developing work that stretches across film, television and editorial media, before embarking on a 15-year career in international brand marketing.

Spending over a decade holding senior leadership positions with some of the world’s most famous luxury brands in fashion, beauty and hospitality, Kevin has also supported national charities and universities through the development of specialised projects, mentoring and partnership opportunities.

Looking for a change in direction, a new challenge and an opportunity to reconnect with Dumfries and it’s community, Kevin returned to the region, and joined The Stove team in 2021, bringing with him a wealth of experience in marketing, client management, communication and engagement.

Graham Rooney | Operations Director

When he’s not living his best life creating a project plan, running projects, leading on the Wild Goose Festival, motivating the team or telling anyone who will listen about the value of systems, Graham can be found managing contracts, arranging building maintenance and holding responsibilities for the governance of the organisation.

Graham comes originally from a sporting (football) background, and loves being part of a team and really believes in the magic that can come from working together towards common goals. Graham particularly enjoys the part of his role where he gets to merge his enterprise head with community led endeavours. Graham is the Lead Producer of the Wild Goose Festival, of which he is extremely passionate about. He once said he might change his middle name to Barnacle and we’re not sure if this was entirely a joke.

Before joining the Stove in 2018, Graham trained as a professional thermographer and worked for 20 years ‘within the construction industry. Graham is not an artist but does have a creative side. He has collaborated with visual artists to produce works that have been exhibited at art festivals in Croatia and Scotland, and has had solo work shown in exhibitions including the 2017 Royal Glasgow Institute Fine Arts Show.

Katie Anderson | Public Art Lead

Katie describes her work as an embedded practice of settling, establishing creative projects alongside and as part of communities, creating work that has its foundations in a sense of place. From painting signboards to supporting exhibitions in the cafe, hosting film screenings, developing permanent public artworks and delivering outdoor installations alongside a variety of other side-projects, Katie’s role at the Stove has continued to develop led by the aspirations of the Network, and inspired by the varied fabrics of the town itself.

The role of Public Art Lead supports core Stove programming with additional activities and events including Reel to Real Cinema and Conversing Building, offers specific support for projects that hold public art elements, and also develops it’s own distinctive projects that explore public spaces in and around the town centre.

Katie has been a part of the Stove since 2013, and currently delivers the role on a freelance basis alongside her own personal creative work from her studio in Annandale.

Robbie Henderson | Web & Data Manager

Robbie has been working in the third sector since 2017, where he has been involved in various projects aimed at using creativity and technology to enhance the social and cultural life of his home town, Dumfries. Some of the diverse projects he has helped develop include setting up an online music and book store, and helping to reimagine a local festival as an online experience.

Robbie’s role at The Stove is multifaceted. He is responsible for developing and maintaining websites for The Stove and its various projects, utilising his skills in web design and front-end development. He helps to enhance and monitor The Stove’s digital presence, using his knowledge of SEO strategy and web analytics.

He identifies and addresses cybersecurity needs for The Stove’s IT systems, websites, and online platforms. He also serves as a Data Protection Officer, ensuring that The Stove complies with the relevant data protection laws and regulations.

He is tasked with developing and maintaining IT systems that support day-to-day operations, planning and delivery of events and projects, and fundraising. He provides IT support, training, and advice to his teammates, ensuring that they have the necessary knowledge and resources to carry out their work effectively.

Robbie has had the opportunity to learn and apply new skills in different disciplines such as live streaming and audio engineering. These skills have enabled him to edit podcasts and videos for YouTube and live stream workshops, panels, and festivals.

Robbie finds his work at The Stove rewarding and enjoyable. He enjoys being part of an organisation that uses creativity as a catalyst for social change and community empowerment. He also appreciates the diversity and flexibility of his role, which allows him to explore different aspects of technology. He takes pride in the projects he has contributed to and the skills he has acquired at The Stove.

Sal Cuddihy | Production Lead

Sal began working at the Stove Network as part of the curatorial team in 2016 and is now Head of Production, managing all events that are delivered by the Stove. She has been the Lead producer of Nithraid Festival since she began and has recently taken on management of the Creative Caerlaverock Project.

Sal runs a team of talented event producers that assist in delivering all in house events at the Stove and has created a training program for young people entering the world of event production. Her key focuses and skill sets lie in transforming spaces and locations, into artistically curated venues (the bigger the challenge the better), Front of House training and management, Community Engagement, Health and Safety, logistics and venue management.

Sal works closely with the various departments in the The Stove Network & Cafe to deliver the visions that are presented by the communities and artists that engage with the Stove.

Erin Aitchison | Marketing Officer

After graduating with an MA(Hons) degree in English and Film Studies in 2022, Erin returned to Dumfries & Galloway to pursue a career in Communications and Marketing close to home. She completed a marketing internship with D&G Arts Festival, which sparked an interest in working for the third sector. Erin was drawn to the Stove’s grass-roots creative placemaking work and enjoys its positive impact throughout the region.

Although not an artist herself, Erin uses creativity in her approach to all communications she coordinates for the Stove. Her strengths lie in digital marketing across various platforms, content creation, event promotion, and copyediting. And – of course – she loves a good spreadsheet. Outside of work, Erin is often found on a stage with local theatre company DMTC, reading novels and exploring Southwest Scotland.

Pam Mackay | Cafe Manager

Pam can be found busily running The Stove Cafe alongside our brilliant team. She is also involved in supporting events happening in and around the cafe, working with the wider Stove team. She strives to breathe life into the place and make it somewhere for all to feel welcome.

Pam really enjoys connecting with her creative side too. She previously studied photography in Glasgow and has a huge passion for music and live performance. One of the things she loves about running a cafe within a creative organisation is that there is always something new and interesting happening somewhere – “It’s a great community to be a part of.”

Deirdre Rooney | Finance Assistant

Originally from Ireland, Dee spent time travelling the world, and lived in Australia before moving to Scotland, firstly to Glasgow before settling in Dumfries with her family. Dee brings over a decade of retail and hospitality management experience to the Stove Team.

Dee is a real people person, and along with supporting our Finance Director, she also works with the wider Stove team to deliver training and support opportunities. Dee’s people-centric approach is evident to anyone engaging with the Stove, always offering top-notch banter!

Mia Osborne | Producer | Creative Spaces

As someone who grew up in rural D&G, a lot of Mia’s work is centred around how local people, in particular young folks, engage with creativity in a rural context. This is something she explores in her work as Producer for Creative Spaces. Mia supports our three Associate’s in their journey through the Creative Spaces programme and collaborates with them to help build a sustainable community for young creatives in D&G. Mia’s work with young people has been widely recognised in the region for its impact which is reflected by her win at the Dumfries and Galloway Youth Awards 2022 for Arts and Culture.

Mia approaches projects with creativity at the core whilst also championing the importance of non-traditional mediums of creativity and challenging stereotypes of the creative industry. This is communicated through meaningful, embedded and collaborative community work with organisations and projects that aim to enhance the local area and the lives of its people.

Aside from Creative Spaces, Mia works as part of the in-house production team, delivering a wide range of community events, and works freelance as a Creative Producer where she delivers a variety of projects from community consultations to large scale events.

Wren Winters (they/them) | Community Venue Coordinator | WWDN Digital Coordinator

Originally from rural Appalachia in the USA, Wren came to Scotland in 2022 to pursue an MSc in Sustainable Tourism and Global Challenges. Arriving at The Stove in the summer of 2023 on a thesis placement with the Wild Goose Festival, they engaged the community with grass-roots research and development initiatives. At the end of their Master’s, Wren stayed on board to help run the 2023 Wild Goose Festival Hub. Wren can now be found in The Stove creating systems, coordinating Open Hoose development, championing community conversations, and working on the WWDN Digital Media Festival. Outside The Stove, Wren works as a freelancer developing sustainable tourism initiatives that celebrate national, local, historical, and natural heritages.

A passionate believer in taking any opportunity to be outside, Wren spends their free time cycling, hiking, doodling mushrooms they encounter in the wild, and playing with their Saluki/Border Collie rescue amongst the hills of Dumfries and Galloway.

Andrew Furlonger | WWDN Membership Manager

Andy studied Business and Management in Birmingham. After graduation he spent a few years working for a range of multinational financial and telecoms companies before taking a senior role at an international charity and moving to London.

His career in the capital spanned two decades and included senior business development and account management roles for FTSE 250 property firms, early stage startups and social enterprises among others. He has developed and led business units at an operational and strategic level, implementing processes to deliver revenue targets in highly dynamic environments. 

An art enthusiast, especially neo-expressionism, he also has a passion for events and building networks – so the membership manager role was a perfect fit. It  also tied in with a move back to Dumfries after 20 + years in Birmingham and London. Andy brings with him a track record of delivering challenging targets and creating opportunities through innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset.

Leanne Bradwick | Community Events Producer

Leanne is one of our community event producers here at the Stove. She is quite often the person you will meet when you come to events and her role is to make sure everyone has the best time possible! Leanne also works in production for larger events such as Nithraid and Wild Goose Festival. She helps Sal plan and build these events to bring something different every year.

Meg Dickinson-Hood | Community Events Producer

Starting off as a freelance Sound Engineer, Meg was working with some events held at The Stove before joining the team as a Community Events Producer.

Meg started off her career in the music industry back in 2017 as a guitarist in a five-piece band, playing all across the country & in Europe. Just before lockdown, she decided to further her knowledge & study Sound Production in Cumbernauld which then led her to move offstage & behind the desk. Since finishing her studies & moving back to Dumfries, she has been working with the local creative community, running the sound desk at live events & recording artists in the studio.

Meg created her first project at the start of 2023 where she produced a series of live sessions with Circa 16 Sound Recording to showcase a wide variety of Scottish musicians.

Stove Alumni: Past Members of The Stove Network Team

Learn More about Our Past Stove Team Members

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